General interest

What is a local environmental record centre?

Local Environmental Record Centres work with local naturalists and societies, professional consultants, statutory bodies, wildlife trusts and other organisations to collect data about species, sites and habitats as well as other types of data like weather and pollution.

Primarily this data is then used by planning authorities, developers and conservation bodies to inform decisions about land management.

Why record wildlife?

All sightings are important, from butterflies to hedgehogs, to the birds and the bees, so get out and about record what you see! Since its formation in 1999, NEYEDC has worked with amateur naturalists and volunteers with a view to ensuring that the best possible data is available to inform all decisions that affect conservation, land management and sustainable development in North and East Yorkshire.
Getting out and about in the countryside recording what plants and animals you find is not only helping to conserve the natural environment, it helps you to stay fit and healthy too!

How do I fit in?

You can contribute to the record centre or to nature conservation in a number of ways – from sending in your wildlife sightings to getting involved in events to helping out with the adding of records to our database.

How to record wildlife

What makes a biological record?

The simplest way is just to note down a few simple details of what was seen where and when and by who, e.g. Kingfisher; River Ouse in York by the Lendal Bridge; Harry Smith; 15 October 2018.
Be as precise as possible, if the details are too vague we won’t be able to make use of the record. If possible use a map or the GPS on your phone to provide a grid reference for your sighting.
Provide any other relevant information such as the type of record (e.g. sighting, nest or footprint), number seen, sex, or life-stage.
Who – Provide your full name and contact details; this helps us distinguish between different recorders and enables us to check details if necessary.
What – Give the scientific name if you can, or the standard common name. If you don’t know the exact species please be as specific as possible about what you’ve seen, for example ‘pipistrelle bat’, ‘newt’, ‘Rosa species.’’
Where – Give a grid reference and a location name if you can, otherwise please provide a good description to help us assign an accurate grid reference.
When – Ideally give an exact date, however the month and year, or a date range, is sufficient.

Need help identifying something?

If you see something new or you’re just not sure what it is, it’s really useful to take a couple of photos if you have a camera or mobile phone with camera facility.
The internet is a great resource for identification. You can often type in the colour and size of something with the month you’ve seen it and various possibilities will be returned. Alternatively you may like to try a specialist site for butterflies or birds for example.

How to submit your sightings

It’s great to hear about the wildlife you see when you’re out and about or in your garden. We encourage you to submit your sightings to the Yorkshire Naturalists’ Union  where it will be checked by experts, and then passed to us to be used to support decision-making, education, research and conservation in North and East Yorkshire.

Alternatively you could use the iRecord website which is one of the easiest ways to record your wildlife sightings.  It makes it easy to enter records, upload photos, and explore yours and others’ data. If you’re looking to submit records to us, this is the route we recommend you take. It’s easy to use, secure and reliable.  Best of all, records entered into the system can be instantly downloaded and immediately put to use.

If you would rather submit a one-off record by email or you have an identification enquiry please email us on attaching photos if you have any.If you record wildlife outside North & East Yorkshire you can submit them to the relevant Local Environmental Records Centre or equivalent organisation throughout the UK.  You can use the Association of Local Environmental Records Centres (ALERC) Find an LERC mapper to find the correct LERC.

If you are a consultant looking for information about submitting your records, see the Ecologists and Consultants page.

If you are a Naturalists looking for information on submitting records regularly, see the Naturalists and Volunteers  page.

How to get involved

The Yorkshire Naturalists’ Union runs a number of interesting events and field meetings every year including public recording events such as Bioblitzes, field meetings focussing on a particular group (such as plants or beetles) and larger excursions which include all sections of the YNU.  All field meetings are free and non-members are very welcome to attend.  Dates and details of events can be found on the events page of the YNU website.

For a more detailed guide to getting started the Darwin Guide to Recording Wildlife is good to learn about the basics of the subject. You can download a copy here: Darwin-Guide-to-Recording-Wildlife

If you are interested in practical conservation and wish to take in ground work activities then you could contact the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust or The Conservation Volunteers


Comments are closed.


The background images on this website are taken from the Yorkshire Naturalists' Union Flickr group and have been contributed by YNU members.