ESSEX Wildlife Trust has launched a new website to make one of the essential parts of its work easier: collecting wildlife records.
At www.essexwtrecords.org.uk anyone – members of the public, as well as Trust staff and volunteers – can submit records of species seen in Essex. All people need to do is register at www.essexwtrecords.org.uk, follow the link to submit a sighting, select the date, click on the map and say what they have seen. People can access their sightings again and again, by logging onto the site.
“The new recording website is an exciting development for the Trust,” Dr Lorna Shaw, Biological Records Officer for Essex Wildlife Trust, said. “Archive records on handwritten cards and on databases are still invaluable to us but, thanks to the new website, recording species is now accessible to all. It is quick and easy for the public to tell us what they have seen, when and where.”
Wildlife records help Essex Wildlife Trust to manage their nature reserves, monitor the health of wildlife populations and identify areas for conservation improvement. Sharing records with other organisations helps to make a case for protecting wildlife-rich sites and to get funding to improve habitats for wildlife.
“Whether you are a Trust member, volunteer or just have an interest in wildlife, visit www.essexwtrecords.org.uk for information about the surveys we run, local wildlife sites, or to tell us what wildlife is near you,” added Dr Shaw.
The Trust is especially keen for the public to contribute to its new online Hedgehog Survey, also accessed via www.essexwtrecords.org.uk.
“The Hedgehog is much-loved but there is growing concern that its population continues to decline nationally,” Dr Shaw said. “Now is the time for people to look out for Hedgehogs in their garden. They are under-recorded; please help us monitor the distribution of Hedgehogs in Essex by reporting sightings of them in your garden or local area this year.” Full details: www.essexwtrecords.org.uk/hedgehogsurvey.
□ The launch of the Hedgehog Survey ties in with British Hedgehog Preservation’s Hedgehog Awareness Week, which runs from 3rd-9th May 2015.