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LERCs: it’s not always about data

Even though LERCs are mostly associated with biodiversity data, they often provide services that are not strictly related to the data they hold and manage. Below are just a few examples of the wealth of non-data resources available through the records centre community…

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Digitising Orpington Field Club

It is not very often that we get asked to help digitise the archives of a natural history society so we were excited when the Orpington Field Club approached us to see if we could help. After saying yes, we received a visit to our office from two members of the Club who came with a trolley full of paper newsletters and annual reports detailing the work and life of this organisation from the 1960s to 2014…

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Joy of Recording: Does watching and recording wildlife make a difference?

The Barbican Wildlife Garden is 0.17 hectares of loveliness! We have a meadow which is hand scythed annually and two borders of hedging which include mature plane trees. There are two ponds and a small orchard of ‘rescued’ fruit trees. There is a much loved small bird hide, complete with a white board for observations. We have bird boxes and feeders, and a network of paths dotted with perching logs and benches…

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Joy of Recording: 365 days of wildlife

On the 1st January 2019 I began a year-long personal project – every day I would observe and record wildlife through the lens of a camera. I was inspired by the Ealing Wildlife Group who run a Facebook group which I’d recently joined and with whom I had shared posts about local wildlife. The members help each other by answering questions about wildlife in their gardens, nearby parks and open spaces. The project provided the opportunity I was looking for to connect with nature and learn more about local wildlife…

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Nature at Home

This spring Londoners have helped protect each other by curtailing our daily travels to stop the spread of the coronavirus. This has also, necessarily, affected our trips to visit greenspaces and see wildlife. We are still receiving records from people’s gardens, of wildlife spotted through windows or from permitted walks…

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Book Review: The Meaning of Birds

Written with a warm affection for our avian friends, the book reminds you of all the reasons you too love birds, and puts dozens of familiar and new facts at the forefront of your mind. Barnes is a birder and a story teller, and this book is an entertaining reminder of why observing and interacting with birds is such an important and enduring part of human experience…

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London Recorders’ Day 2019

On 2nd November, natural historians, conservationists, educators and data managers of London came together once more; we left the grey skies and wet streets of west London and entered that towering cathedral to nature, the Natural History Museum, for the second annual London Recorders’ Day. GiGL, the Field Studies Council (FSC) Biolinks Project and the Natural History Museum Angela Marmot Centre for UK Biodiversity co-organised and hosted this event following the success of last year. The varied talks and displays discussed the joy of studying nature, skills and careers, diversity and inclusiveness, and the use of biological records in practice…

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Joy of Recording: How the skylarks on Warren Farm taught me how to sing

“…Like a rocket, the bird shot straight up into the air from the ground. Momentarily hovering before jauntily flying in a large oval shape. Singing like it had accordions for lungs, a warble so beautiful and so loud and then, just before it plummeted to the ground like it had forgotten how to fly, it let out a repeated single note that sounded like the kind of noises my brother and I used to make when firing water pistols at each other. Pew Pew Pew! “It’s a skylark.” I said, tying up the poo bag, my rescue dog grinning up at me. And on we walked…

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Joy of Recording

…I returned to the UK in 2011, moving into a house boat on a wharf at the junction of the rivers Brent and Thames. One day, while working on a small patch of garden on the wharf’s bank, I noticed a tiny little snail that I hadn’t previously encountered; after making enquiries around the neighbourhood, my landlord told me it was a Thames two-lipped snail (Balea biplicata)…

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