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Getting Involved

Over 50% of records held in the BIS database come from local recording experts and members of the public. It is therefore an important role of BIS to promote and support biological recording throughout its area. We are especially keen to encourage and help enthusiasts to start recording the wildlife they see and send that information into BIS. We will ensure it is sent to local recording experts to be checked and authenticated before it is entered into the BIS database. It can then be made available for exchange with National Recording Schemes and National Biodiversity Network Gateway, to add to our biodiversity knowledge at a local and national scale.

Why record Wildlife?

  • Ensure human activities do not cause damage to wildlife and biodiversity
  • Can plot distributions of species locally and nationally
  • Monitor changes in distribution
  • Derive which species are rare locally and nationally
  • Monitor loss and gain of species
  • Contribute towards climate change information

What to record?

  • All records of wildlife are important to BIS
  • What you feel confident in identifying or provide evidence such as photo
  • Could select a particular group e.g. birds, butterflies
  • Or record on ‘local patch’ eg back garden, favourite walk or woodland

To make a biological record we need the following information:

- What was the species you saw (Common name plus Scientific if possible)
- Where did you see it (local place name plus 6 or 8 figure grid reference)
- Who was the recorder and, if necessary, who confirmed the identification
- When did you see it (date)

The easiest way to send your sightings into BIS is to use the BIS online Wildlife Recording Database (WiReD). After you register you can save, view and map all your records. It ensures that the correct information is added, including photos if available, and can be directly verified by the local experts. It is then easily downloaded into the BIS main species database.

If you do not want to register with WiReD you can use our simple on-line recording form. Otherwise we can still receive records via email or preferably in an electronic format such as a spreadsheet. Click here to download an excel spreadsheet preconfigured for recorders, and which outlines the information BIS needs to import records into the BIS Recorder 6 database. More regular recorders may use biological software such as Recorder 6 or MapMate which can be directly exported to the BIS Recorder 6 database.

PLEASE NOTE: We will incorporate your records into the BIS database as soon as possible and they will be collated and disseminated manually or electronically, including the Internet, for environmental decision-making, education, research and other public benefit uses. Your name will form part of the record that is collated and disseminated and contact details will be held on a computerised database at the Biodiversity Information Service (registered under the Data Protection Act 1998) but will not be passed to a third party without your consent. Please see the BIS Privacy Policy as to how we handle personal information.

To easily find a grid reference for your record go to the Grab a Grid reference tool.

To see a summary of records BIS holds for your area go to the Data Access Tool.