Books For Sale

Got Some Empty Space on the Bookshelf?

Recently at WSBRC we have been busy sorting through our extensive Natural History library. This library has been built up over time and contains many books including: identification, habitat management and general natural history interest. As a result of this we have over 200 second-hand books up for sale. Subjects range from soil to snakes and Badgers to Butterflies. Have a look at the full list here.

If any of the titles take your fancy then drop us an email to reserve your books. Don’t miss out on this chance. For most of the books there is only one copy; once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Has Anyone Seen a Spider?

Why is it important to record everything you see?

As 2017 starts to draw to a close it gives us as at WSBRC a chance to look back at the records we have received over the past year. We get records from many different sources and covering the whole range of species found in the county, from birds and beetles to snakes and spiders.

One thing that is very clear form looking at the records we hold is how some species are seriously underrepresented. Take for example the humble House Mouse (Mus musculus) currently in our database there are only 135 records for this species and in 2017 we received only a single sighting. This is just on example another is the Common Garden Snail (Cornu aspersum). Which as the name suggests is common and found in gardens however we only have 117 records and one new record for 2017.

Under recording also extends to families and groups of species. Take the Orb Web Spiders (the Araneidae) again this group is widespread and found in places such as gardens and woodlands but we have less than 800 records for the whole group. We know that all these common and widespread species are out there, the records are just not being sent into us.

The message here is to record everything you see, both the rare and unusual and the common and every day. There are a wealth of resources and many local experts and recording groups to help with get to grips with species you are not familiar with and everyone has to start somewhere.

If you are interested recording something specific, improving your ID skills with a new group of species or would like to know a bit more about the gaps we have and where your records could help make a big difference, please get in touch.

The Cotswold Water Park Dragonfly Atlas

Azure damselfly Wallace Regelous

The CWP dragonfly atlas - published & available to purchase

Dragonflies and Damselflies of the Cotswold Water Park is now in print!

The Cotswold Water Park Dragonfly Atlas Project was originally conceived in 2008, to coincide with the launch of the National Dragonfly Atlas Project. It aimed to complete, and publish results of, landscape-scale dragonfly surveys conducted over a period of 5 years. These surveys sought to establish a detailed and accurate baseline for the Cotswold Water Park, along with proof of breeding for as many species as possible.

Aided by countless hours of volunteer effort, contributions of some stunning photographs and maps, and significant perseverance from the book’s author Gareth Harris, the Cotswold Water Park Trust has announced that a full colour printed edition of the Atlas is available to purchase online for £12 (plus shipping). Visit for details.


More about WSBRC’s role in the project

A new atlas project

Common Frog, David Restall

An amphibian & reptile atlas for Wiltshire

There are thirteen native species of amphibians and reptiles (known as herpetofauna) in the UK and of these nine are found within Wiltshire. There has never been an atlas of Wiltshire amphibians and reptiles published and with several new non-native species turning up in the county an assessment of our herpetofauna seemed overdue.

We currently hold around 12,000 records for the group as a whole, with the greater majority of records being for amphibians and distribution of these records seems to be fairly representative across the county. Wiltshire Amphibian & Reptile Group (WARG) activities are predominantly based in the Swindon area but we’re lucky to also receive records from consultants and other professional ecologists collected as part of their survey work as well as ad hoc records from the public from gardens and other local areas.

WSBRC and WARG are keen to improve further our knowledge of the whereabouts of these species so measures to safeguard our native fauna can be more effective. An Atlas project is a great way to overcome any gaps in information, encourage wider participation in herpetofauna recording across the county and provide high quality evidence to secure long-term gains for amphibians and reptiles. The recent Wiltshire mammal atlas proved this unequivocally and was a tremendous success.


 Our aims are to:
  • identify key locations for Wiltshire’s amphibians and reptiles
  • share information that will help protect them into the future
  • gather existing and new records of native and non-native species from recorders
  • produce an atlas of distribution based on current records
  • stimulate new recording and survey events in future to allow updating of the atlas

Please share your records with us by adding them to Living Record from where they will be verified by our County Amphibian and Reptile Recorder, Gemma Harding. Records collected for the atlas will be shared with local and national recording schemes such as the Amphibian & Reptile Conservation Trust (ARC)

WARG are always looking for new members and new sites to set up surveys or group events. If you know of a suitable location for a recording activity please contact WARG directly via or on their Facebook page.

Identification Guides

There are numerous guides and resources to help you out with identification, here are some to get you started:

Guide to amphibian identification

Guide to reptile identification

Guide to alien amphibian and reptile species in the UK

Information on amphibians and reptiles

Wildlife Gardening Links

Wildlife gardening is a great way to add some natural habitat back to your local area and provide somewhere for species to thrive. Make your garden more attractive to amphibians & reptiles and other wildlife by trying out some of these ideas:

Froglife – Wildlife Gardening

ARC Trust – Gardens & Ponds

Wildlife Trusts – Gardening

Welcome blog

Red Admiral and Scabious, Stephen Davis


…to our new website

We hope you will be able to find your way around but to help you get started here are a few pointers:

> New to WSBRC? Find out more about us

> Need a data search? Request one from here

> Want to submit records? Here’s how

We will continue to update the site as we develop new resources for it with guidance from our County recorders and other key experts. We also will signpost new identification tools, surveys and projects to inspire and support Wiltshire’s recorders. Please let us know what you would like to see on our site to help you with your own recording.

Happy recording!
Purgle & the WSBRC team

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