Generous grant awarded

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has given a grant of £127,118 to support the work of the North East Scotland Biological Records Centre (NESBReC) over the next three years.

Comprehensive wildlife recording is crucial to enable SNH and others in North East Scotland to make informed decisions about economic development, strategic planning, and land management. With information about wildlife in the area, environmental impacts can be reduced or avoided. Having this sort of information at an early stage can also avoid costly and time-consuming delays to projects.

The grant recognises the wide-ranging value of NESBReC’s work, helping ensure that reliable and up-to-date wildlife information is available for local authorities, developers, consultants, researchers, organisations and Individuals. By the end of summer 2012, NESBReC’s database topped one million records and since then more than 10,000 new records have been added.

NESBReC also offers a valuable service by training the many volunteers keen to become biological recorders and contribute to the constantly growing database of information.

Glenn Roberts, NESBReC’s manager said: “We very much appreciate the grant from SNH, which we see as a vote of their confidence in the work we do.

“The efforts of many hundreds of volunteers across the North East are the core of our success and we’re always keen to welcome new recruits. While some of our recorders are experts in specific groups like spiders or moths, others contribute information about all sorts of wild plants and animals.

“Even if you can’t tell a blackbird from a bog moss, our training courses are designed to improve your skills, or we can put you in touch with individuals or groups who are willing to ‘nurture’ a newcomer.

“We’ve just started compiling a Mammal Atlas for the North East, and I’m sure there are lots of people out there who can already identify many mammals and could contribute to this project.

“If you don’t want to do it on your own, you could think about getting a few folk together in your area to embark on this together.

“The information will go towards producing an up-to-date account in 2015 of the mammals in our area.”