Our Aims and Objectives
ALERC's 5 year Strategy
The 5 year Strategic Plan runs from 2015-2020 and was agreed by the Directors in 2015. It was presented to the Membership for adoption at the 2015 conference. The plan focussed on increasing membership, further development of the accreditation system and increasing the number of accredited LERCs, the sustainable financing of the ALERC national coordinator post and raising the profile of ALERC and LERCs at a national level. The document can be downloaded here.
Deb joined the ALERC Board in September 2019. She has recently been appointed as an ALERC link wtih the NBNT and has an informal connection to with the Scottish Biological Infrastructure Review process.
CBDC is based in the Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery in Carlisle. The Museum has been collecting biological records from Cumbria since 1902. It therefore has a long history of working with national and local recording schemes and taxonomic experts to increase and verify the data it holds.
CBDC is recognised as “the place to go” for information about Cumbria’s species, as it holds over 2.3 million records covering 31,700 species collected over 200 years. The records, alongside the 320,000 specimens in the Museum’s Natural Science Collection, have been and still are used to further our understanding of wildlife and conservation.
Debs’ role is to promote the value and use of the data held at CBDC as well as the data and ecological services that staff can provide. Recent projects include GIS mapping actual and potential Atlantic Woodlands in Cumbria for Plantlife, collating and mapping pollinator records and delivering species identification training for the Cumbria Local Nature Partnership, building a hedgerow database to hold and analyse survey details from the Rusland Horizons project and developing online mapping tools for Cumbria GeoConserservation.
Deb is a member of the Carlisle Natural History Society and British Bryology Society. In the past she enjoyed botany but has recently redirected her studies to dung beetles and bryology.
Adam has worked in LERCs since the early 1990s. After starting his career at Somerset Environmental Records Centre, Adam spent five years working on the 'Hampshire Biological Record' before becoming Manager of Wales' first LERC, the Biodiversity Information Service for Powys and Brecon Beacons National Park, in 2000. Adam joined the newly-formed SEWBReC as its first Manager in 2004.
Adam was the first Chair of ALERC and other previous roles include being a Trustee of the National Biodiversity Network Trust and Vice Chair of the National Federation for Biological Recording. Within Wales, Adam was instrumental in the establishment of the LERC network and represented the interests of SEWBReC and the other Welsh LERCs on a number of groups including the Wales Biodiversity Partnership Steering Group and the Wales Environmental Information Steering Group.
Away from the world of Records Centres Adam is a member of Ogmore Phoenix running club and has completed a number of events including half marathons and this year completed the 32 mile Vale of Glamorgan coastal ultra.
Mandy joined the council of NFBR in 2002 when it was the national advocate for LRCs. Over 11 years, Mandy chaired the LRC sub group, helped organise the first LRC-specific conferences in 2004 and 2005, and wrote the paper that led to the establishment of the Biodiversity Data Users Group.
Mandy co-chaired the Association of Local Biodiversity Information Centres Steering Group, which was formed at the 2005 conference. It drafted a constitution for a new association, and the members formed the ALERC Steering Group in 2008, and launched the CIC in 2009.
Mandy was a member of the Accreditation Steering Group, and has had two spells as a director (2011 – 2017 and 2018 onwards). She set up and chairs the business development group which is her main focus. The group has developed ALERC’s positions on charging, open data and led the ‘LERC’ name consultation.
Mandy became assistant on London Wildlife Trust’s Biological Recording Project (BRP) in 1997, and manager in 1999. An independent consultation gave the go-ahead to turn the project into a local environmental records centre, and after a two-year development phase GiGL launched as a hosted records centre in 2006, then as a community interest company in 2013.
Mandy has been a trustee of the NBN Trust since 2016
Mark is the only ‘ever present’ Director on the board, being one of the founding Directors in 2009. Mark has fulfilled a number of roles within the board, including organising conferences, reviewing the Accreditation criteria and building ALERC's websites. He currently oversees the Communications and Influencing work area and is part of the group responsible for the ALERC accreditation system.
NEYEDC is an independent LERC, being the operating function of a charitable Trust that was formed in 1999 and covers two counties and two city unitary authorities. Mark joined NEYEDC in 2005 since when it has grown to 5 staff, has its own publishing arm and is currently running the National Lottery Heritage Fund 'NatureHack' project promoting new technologies to site managers.
NEYEDC operates an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (drone) for aerial surveying and Mark is a qualified UAV pilot clocking up over 60 hours flying time. He also oversees data verification and management, manages agreements with clients and works on producing data products and services.
Mark is a member of the British Ecological Society and the Yorkshire Naturalists Union. He also chairs the Yorkshire and Humber Ecological Data Network, which includes the other five Yorkshire LERCs, and who collaborate to produce regional data products.
Away from LERCs Mark enjoys hill walking and tending to his allotment. He spends a week or two each winter in the mountains snowboarding.
A Director since 2017, Steve serves on our Communications and Technical working groups and represents ALERC and members' interests on Wildlife and Countryside Link's Land Use and Twenty-Five Year Plan groups, contributing regularly to WCL's advocacy & policy responses. Steve has extensive experience across the research, commercial, public and NGO sectors. Prior to his current role, he managed the Northants Biological Records Centre. As a local authority ecologist, he emphasises the value of information about the natural environment for strategic planning and decision making purposes, and in securing the value of nature.
A founding trustee of the National Forum for Biological Recording, Steve served as vice-chair of its Advisory Council. He is a Linnean Society Fellow and a full member of both CIEEM and ALGE. He represents ALGE on the cross-sector Biodiversity Data User Group and is a member of the National Biodiversity Network Trust's Stakeholder User Group
Rather than recording a particular species group, Steve finds himself too much interested in everything. This includes how LERCs can foster and facilitate local recorders, and how better outcomes for biodiversity conservation and natural capital stewardship might yet be achieved by ensuring that future evidence needs are met - and acted on.
Clare joined the ALERC board in October 2016, initially to focus on strategic engagement and raising the profile of LERC services through responding to public consultations and other communications activities. She took on the role of Chair in October 2017, including line management of the ALERC National Coordinator.
Clare started working in the LERC sector in 2015 when she landed her dream job as manager of Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre – which she had previously enjoyed a long association with as the volunteer coordinator for the Butterflies for the New Millennium recording scheme and data manager for the ‘Butterflies of Sussex’ atlas project.
Clare oversees the running of the record centre and development of SxBRC’s products and services. She is the main point of contact for SxBRC partners who include local planning authorities, government agencies, conservation organisations and water companies. Sussex is blessed with a very active and self-organising biological recording community and in 2019 celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Sussex biological recorders’ seminar, which now attracts around 250 attendees each year.
In her spare time, Clare enjoys studying fungi and writes about her mycological exploits at http://misidentifyingfungi.blogspot.com/.
Sara has been the manager of EcoRecord, the Local Environmental Records Centre for Birmingham and the Black Country since 2001 and joined the ALERC board as Secretary in 2016.
Having always been fascinated by nature, it was an interest in mapping, data management and analysis that has brought her to the world of LERCs via a degree in Forestry and Remote Sensing, a couple of years working on forest fire mapping and modelling projects (not in Birmingham!) and consultancy work.
Sara feels strongly about the essential role LERCs play in delivering positive outcomes for nature conservation and the vital role ALERC has in representing and supporting the development of the LERC network. Our sector thrives on developing strong collaborative relationships at both local and the national levels and the provision of a sound evidence base. ALERC’s role in ensuring these aims are achieved and sustained across the LERC network is invaluable.
She feels privileged to work with a large number of brilliant, committed and enormously knowledgeable group of volunteer recorders and these days if she’s allowed out of the office you’ll probably find her recording the invertebrates of urban streams.
Ian was manager of the Herts Environmental Records Centre between 2013 and 2020. Immediately prior to that he developed data models to produce outputs for the Herts Ecological Mapping project.
Ian was involved in records centre management from the mid 1990’s and enjoys employing technological solutions to automate data management and data dissemination. He is still passionate about biological recording with a particular interest in under recorded groups, he is currently county recorder for Orthoptera, a member of the Herts Invertebrate Project and a trustee of the Herts Natural History Society.
When not looking at obscure beasties he carries out a BTO BBS and also takes part in surveying for water voles.
Ian Joined the board in February 2018.
Nicky leads the Hampshire Biodiversity Information Centre, is a former ALERC director and chair and is now Honorary Treasurer.
ALERC employs a National Coordinator whose role is to deliver the association’s objectives in line with direction from the board of directors. Work includes:
- Promote membership of ALERC and facilitate joins & renewals.
- Administer accreditation system.
- Promote LERC services to outside organisations and act as a first point of contact for ALERC and its members.
- Encourage and facilitate networking between LERCs to enable exchange of ideas, collaborative working and sharing good practice.
- Seek and deliver external contracts, where these align to ALERC’s objectives and add value for members.
Become a Director
We are always keen to encourage new membership to the board of Directors. You don't need to be a Centre manager to join - any ALERC member can become a Director, you just need some enthusiasm and a desire to continue to make ALERC and Local Environmental Records Centres the best they can be. If you are interested please contact one of our current Directors and you can download the role description outlining the ALERC Director responsibilities here.