Keeping Records

Recording the wildlife we see contributes to collection, storage and dissemination of biodiversity records which creates recorded knowledge of the wildlife in our area and an understanding of local biodiversity. This in turn informs decision-making at a number of levels and enables it to take account of the needs of our wildlife.

If you are wondering about whether you might like to start recording, the first step might be to note occasional sightings, perhaps take a photograph and then post the information on our facebook page. If this leads you to wanting to record more seriously then all you require to start is a pencil, paper and some patience and a willingness to learn.

To put it very simply, recording is writing down what you see and where you saw it. Adding a little more information and collecting the data in a standardised form and feeding them into the county recording system means that our records make a valuable contribution to county and national records.

For the data to be useful it is desirable that at least the following information is provided:-

  • Species name
  • Location name
  • UK national grid reference (ideally 6 figure and taken from a GPS)
  • Date
  • Recorder’s name
  • Any other details such as whether it was a female, an egg, if it was flying or feeding, how many there were, was it flowering, was it a juvenile, etc.

Useful ways of registering your data include –

Using the Species records that are submitted are validated by experts before being passed on to the Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre. The system also provides feedback if there are doubts about the identification. If you have a smartphone the iRecord app makes it even easier.

If the species is notable or interesting, and you are sure of the identification, it can be added to The Society’s ongoing record of such sightings which are submitted direct to SxBRC annually. In this case data should be e-mailed to the Society's Recorder.

In Sussex records are maintained by the Sussex Biodiversity Records Centre (SxBRC).

If you prefer not to use an online recording tool there are a number of alternatives you can choose from. Specific information about record keeping and a tool (using Excel) to help with recording records can be found on the SxBRC recording page.

SNHS are keen to increase wildlife recording activities, and have established a recording group of beginners and more experienced recorders, with particular interests. To find out more please e-mail the Society's Recorder

page updated 2nd April 2020