Maria Longley, GiGL Community Manager
GiGL is no longer the new kid on the block. One of the joys of having been around for a while, is being able to introduce people and organisations to each other. Earlier this year, we were approached by Keiron Brown of the Earthworm Society of Britain, looking for the earthworm county recorder for London. We were quick to point him in the direction of the London Natural History Society and are delighted he is now involved with the LNHS and has verified existing earthworm records in the GiGL database. It was fantastic for us to be able to share Charles Darwin’s earthworm records with someone who truly appreciated them.
It’s obvious once you spell it out, but the environmental datasets we hold are just a manifestation of the amazing and diverse networks of people we work with in London. It’s our relationships with the people who create and use data that keep GiGL going. The variety and sheer number of uses for the data and groups who generate it mean we meet lots of wonderful people. Sometimes, it’s us showing up at an event, or presenting to an audience that allows people to find us and connect. Other times, it’s working over long periods to share knowledge of a common topic. But the connections we make, and are able to share with our London network, have sparked new project ideas and data sharing and learning which benefits us all.
Sharing ideas and learning between biological recorders is at the heart of a new project on which Keiron is working on behalf of the Field Studies Council. BioLinks will deliver identification training for difficult to identify species groups that are data deficient in the West Midlands and South East regions. You can help inform the BioLinks project by completing a short, ten minute, online survey about training needs and preferences.