Julie Cox, GiGL Data Officer
GiGL, our partnership and our databases, would be nothing without the contribution of London’s recording community. Every additional record has the potential to positively impact conservation efforts in our city.
Supporting London’s recorders is key to our status as a Community Interest Company (CIC). We also provide biodiversity information to members of the general public to enable them to manage or protect their local green spaces. Much of the work we undertake for recorders and members of the public is done free of charge, thanks to financial support from corporate GiGL partners. In this edition of The GiGLer we outline some of the ways we assist recorders and the general public, and also showcase a few projects we’ve accomplished with the recording community over the past few months.
There have been changes afoot within the GiGL staff team since the last GiGLer. In January we said a sad farewell to our Operations Manager, Matt Davies, who left us after having clocked up 10 years of service. Matt has enjoyed a well-deserved break for a few months, before embarking on some private consultancy work. He’s still found time to give us an insight into his time at GiGL. Also in January, I departed from English soil to accompany my husband to his new job in California. However, it hasn’t been goodbye as I continue to work remotely for GiGL three days a week. We hope GiGL partners and customers haven’t noticed much of a difference apart from the odd email sent late in the evening!
Back in the GiGL office we congratulated Chloë Smith on being made Partnership Manager and Maria Longley on being made Community Manager. We are pleased to be working with Andy Foy one day a week as our new Technical Advisor. We’ve worked with Andy before when he created our marvellous data search system and SINC database, so are delighted to have him on-board. Finally, in June we welcomed Louise Sleeman to the GiGL team. Louise joins us from the Mammal Society where she’s been working on the South East Mammal Atlas. She will be working alongside the team in the office to help deliver services and data products to GiGL partners and customers.
We enjoy being a part of both the London recording community and the nationwide recording schemes. Our former Operations Manager, Matt Davies, gave a very well received presentation at the annual National Biodiversity Network (NBN) conference last year, demonstrating the various opportunities and services offered by Local Environmental Records Centres. We also co-authored a poster displayed at this spring’s National Federation of Biological Recording (NFBR) conference with a PhD student who is using GiGL datasets in his studies of ecosystem services. You can read about his research in our winter 2014 newsletter.
Our work with recorders and the public is beneficial to the whole of the GiGL partnership. While I analyse patterns within GiGL records, which we hope will be of interest to recorders, Chloë and Maria provide guidance on how we can help members of the public.
The London Natural History Society is undoubtedly one of the largest recording organisations in London. Their president Helen Baker outlines how GiGL have assisted the LNHS. Another important recording community is the London Bat Group, who have utilised GiGL data and maps in an atlas published this spring. GiGL partner Froglife tell us about their new recording app which will generate new amphibian and reptile records for the GiGL database. To help pinpoint action against invasive species, GiGL have created some new risk maps for London Invasive Species Initiative (LISI) using existing records alongside other GiGL datasets. LISI manager Karen Harper tells us more.
We have enormous respect for our recorders’ professional opinions as well as their records, and we welcome representatives of key recording groups onto our GiGL advisory panel. It is imperative that recorders have a say in the services we provide, including how we share their records. The first meeting of a new format GiGL advisory panel will take place in September. An update will be provided in the winter newsletter. GiGL’s main steer comes from our Board of Directors. This includes John Swindells, a highly respected London recorder, who is this edition’s Director interviewee.