Resources are now available for English LRCs who are working on their MoA deliverables for 2013-14. These resources consist of field handbooks, a list of Indicia forms available for those using Indicia online recording, examples of how LRCs have engaged recorders and examples of the quarter three deliverables.
The resources appear on the consultations and publications page here. The individual documents can be accessed via folders reached through the a link on the page or by clicking here. There is also a zip file containing all the available documents for people struggling to access the folder.
People who want more information or have particular questions on these resources, or any part of the MoA, should get in touch. Also, if you think you have an example document that you think should be made available, please don't hesitate to email them in.
The Mammal Society have been in touch with ALERC to mention their harvest mouse nest survey and t make LRCs aware of it. Details can be found on their website here. The survey will take part later this year and may interest the volunteer recorders that LRCs deal with, possibly generating useful records for both the LRC and the Mammal Society. The webpage contains details on the survey as well as useful information on training.
Following a Meeting of the ALERC Board of Directors on Tuesday, ALERC has a number of announcements to make regarding the running of the organisation.
Firstly, many of you will be aware that Gary Lewis has already announced his intention to resign the position of chair, and from the board itself (this news appeared on the ALERC forum on 13th August). The directors would like to take this opportunity to thank Gary for his years of service and all his hard work.
In light of this, the remaining directors have been working closely together to find a successor as chair and are now delighted to announce that Nicky Court of HBIC will be taking the role on. Nicky brings a lot of LRC experience to the job, and many of you will already know her in her former role of treasurer.
This means that the now vacant position of treasurer has been taken by Eric Fletcher of RECORD.
In further news, it is with regret that the Directors accepted the resignations of Alexa Tweddle as ALERC Director and representative for Scottish LRCs. Along with Gary, Alexa has also put an enormous amount of work into the development of ALERC over the last 2-3 years and the Directors would like to offer their sincere thanks to her as well for everything she has contributed.
On the positive side the Directors are very happy to confirm the appointment of Adam Rowe, manager of the Southeast Wales Biological Records Centre, onto the board of Directors. Welcome back Adam!
Following all this change, the Directors’ have agreed a reshuffle to the Officer positions and the spread of workload amongst the Directors is as follows:
• Nicky Court has taken over as Chair of the Board of Directors
• Eric Fletcher has taken over as Treasurer
• Eric has also taken over the management of the ALERC National Co-ordinator post
• Mark Wills was appointed to the new position of Vice-Chair
• Craig Slawson took responsibility for Membership administration
Finally, the directors would like to thank you, the members, for your continued support at this time.
ALERC is pleased to hear from Herefordshire Council that they have produced a revised business model for Herefordshire Biological Records Centre which ensures its continuation and keeps Emma Wall and Sam Sayce both in post. This follows a consultation that the council ran last month, which ALERC was pleased to be able to contribute too.
HBRC was threatened with closure as the council implements sizeable budget cuts. However, stakeholders were given the opportunity to comment on the council’s plans to close the centre, which meant the case in favour of retaining it could be made by the likes of the National Biodiversity Network Trust, the local Herefordshire recording community and ALERC.
Emma says “The support given by … ALERC has been invaluable and will continue to be so as we think more about our future… Unfortunately, it may be a situation that other LRCs will face at some point and hopefully we can repay the favour and share our experiences.”
ALERC’s response involved working with a number of LRCs to assess income and expenditure and help the Council work out how an LRC is able to balance its books, as well as highlighting how important for Herefordshire’s biodiversity the continued existence of its LRC is. ALERC’s response to Herefordshire Council’s consultation is available on the website here. If you have any questions about this, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Date: 16th October 2013
Venue: BVSC, Birmingham
More info: Click here
The 2013 conference is currently taking bookings. ALERC are now in a position to announce the afternoon speakers, who will be giving short presentations on a variety of topics, aimed at stimulating a debate. The speakers are;
These talks will set the scene for an open debate in the afternoon, around a central theme of “the future direction of LRCs”.
The CIEEM Code of Professional Conduct states that members shall “wherever possible, make scientific data collected during the course of their professional duties available to others such as records centres.”
However, sharing ecological survey data is not always straightforward – there can be issues around client permission, verification, data formats, and there can be a time and cost implication.
ALERC is working with the National Biodiversity Network Trust, the Biological Records Centre and the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management to develop a biodiversity data management website for ecological consultants.
Key features include:
· Data entry forms designed for specific survey methodologies.
· Data entry in the field (via smartphone or tablet) or in the office.
· The ability to set a data release date for each project as agreed with the client.
· A range of data download options including GIS formats.
· The ability to tag records as ‘sensitive’ to restrict their availability to only approved users.
The system will enable consultants to share their records without any extra effort. Data will be available to local environmental records centres through the ‘LRC download’ page on the iRecord website (www.brc.ac.uk/iRecord) and verified records will be shared via the NBN Gateway.
A steering group, which includes ALERC representation, has been set up to oversee development to ensure that the system fulfils consultants’ requirements and makes their work easier. The steering group members represent both large and small consultancies with specialism in a range of habitats and species. They began by describing the data they collect and the formats in which they present it to clients, and provided initial ideas on features they would like to see in a data management system. A specification was drawn up based on their suggestions and used to develop a prototype.
The steering group met at CEH Wallingford in May to spend a full day exploring the prototype and discussing options for further development. Their suggestions are now being incorporated and the prototype will shortly be available for testing by the steering group using real survey data.
The group will meet again in winter to discuss their experiences of using the system, then further refinement will take place prior to full release of the system in Spring 2014.
This project is funded by Defra through their contract for the development of the National Biodiversity Network.
Project four of the Defra fund is now taking tenders. Please see the information from NE below:
DEFRA FUND PROJECT 4 NOW INVITING APPLICATIONS
An invitation to apply for funding under Project 4 of the Defra Fund for Biodiversity Recording in the Voluntary sector has been posted on the Natural England website. This contains details of what is covered, how to apply and how bids will be evaluated. The closing date for all bids is midnight on 18th February 2013. For any additional queries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The programme for the 2013 NFBR conference is now available, along with the booking form. This year, the conference will be from 18th - 19th April, in Poole, Dorset. As well as the two day conference programme, there will be a field day at Studland NNR on the 20th. For more information and to book your place, please use the documents below.
Natural England are now inviting tenders for project three of the Defra Fund for biodiversity recording in the voluntary sector via the Bravo system. The deadline for tenders is 9th January 2012 and the project is described as "the third instalment of the fund and follows previous work focused on structured surveillance and capacity building. Project 3 will focus on verification and improving data flow." Please follow the link for more information https://naturalengland.bravosolution.co.uk/web/login.shtml
Booking for the conference has been open to members for while but it is now open to non-members as well. The conference will take place on November 6th, in the familiar surroundings of the BVSC conference centre in Birmingham. There will be a familiar look to the conference format as well, with outside speakers in the morning, followed by the AGM and afternoon workshops. For more information, and to book your places, please visit the conference page here /conference-2012.html
Welcome to the announcements page of the Association of Local Environmental Records Centres.