Recording and submitting sightings
Whilst finding and thereafter seeing your own birds, plants, insects or whatever it may be is the most enjoyable aspect of being interested in our flora and fauna it really is just the start in many ways. By submitting your records you can make a quantifiable difference to our understanding of species’ distributions or abundance which in turn enables the production of annual reports, breeding or wintering atlases. Your data can actually help conservation! The other plus is that it’s easy to contribute.
The downloadable Cheshire (Vice-county 58) recording template for moths, below, is just one vector through which you can start the journey.
It’s designed to be as simple to use as possible and will check and advise you as to whether an input species requires additional information (such as a photo) even before you click on “send”. There’s an entire tab full of information on how to use the spreadsheet and where to send it once your records are input.
What happens next
Generally speaking County Recorders would prefer to receive records during November or December so as to allow time to validate them and get them safely onto the county database as part of the permanent record.
The database already hosts well over one million records and is currently growing by approximately 55,000 records a year. Once all the input, validations and database updating has taken place there comes a period of 6-8 weeks during which time the annual report is produced and made available to whomever wants to download it and records for the year are forwarded on to national records centres.