Derbyshire Biodiversity
Home > Recording - "Submit records"


How to submit records 

It is important to record wildlife in the countryside (and in gardens) so that we can gain a better understanding of where species are found (and also where they are not found) and how important their presence on a site is.  Records help with making management decisions on reserves and making comments on development issues on sites.  Never assume we don't want your records - we do!


Do I need any special equipment?

No, not really, but remember to take a notebook with you to records the records!.  Good wildlife records are based on good identification.  This only comes with practice and experience.  If you are not sure about what you are recording take some identification guides with you (some can be borrowed from a library).  Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and the Derbyshire Biological Records Centre can provide advice on good identification guides.

Other useful bits of equipment may include binoculars and a magnifying glass.


What do we need to know?

To be useful, a record needs to have 4 important elements:

  • Who - your name, address and telephone number or e-mail (to credit your records and in case we need to contact you to check a record).
  • What - what species you have seen.
  • When - date.
  • Where - where did you see the species (with grid reference (6 figure) and site name).

Other information may also be useful such as the number of a particular species seen (eg. 3 weasels) and whether there was evidence of breeding (eg. young seen).


What happens if I don't know how to take grid references?

Don't panic!  The Ordnance Survey produce an excellent factsheet on the national grid and taking grid references.  Write to them at:
Ordnance Survey
Romsey Road
SO16 4GU

Or visit their website:


Where can I go to get more practice and experience at recording?

There a range of local wildlife groups which have walks and events for members and others to share and gain experience in wildlife identification.


Golden Rules of recording:

  1. Have fun!  Wildlife recording should not be a chore, just something you do whilst out enjoying the countryside.
  2. Never trespass.  Always stick to public footpaths or know sites which have open access (such as some Derbyshire Wildlife Trust reserves).
  3. Never guess identification, only submit records you have confidence in.
  4. Don't pick wild flowers (it is illegal and if the species is rare you could endanger its future).
  5. Write your records up the same day (it is surprising how easily you forget what you saw!).


Where do I send my records?

Below is a list of county recorders who will be interested in your records and could help with identification.
 Help is at hand with species identification! The county recorders will hopefully be able to help but will need a good description and or digital photograph.
Alternatively your can send a digital photo to the ISPOT website.
More information on wildlife recording in Derbyshire can be found in the presentations from the 2009 Annual Forum

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