I make wildlife records but where should i send them?

I am thinking about sending in records of wildlife to help local conservation but there are lots of different organisations asking me to send records to them. Who should i send them to?

There are many different organisations calling for wildlife records for many different purposes. Knowing who to send them to can be tricky and it is perhaps helpful to think about what it is you want to achieve by making a record.

Are you looking to learn and perhaps specialise in recording a species group, e.g. plants, dragonflies or bryophytes? If so then you are best getting in touch with the appropriate National Recording Scheme or Society. These national organisations collect species records and typically have a national focus. More importantly, by getting to know them they will be able to offer you training and support specific to your field of interest. They will probably run a national recording project which collects structured data and allows for confident monitoring of wildlife in the UK as a whole. 

Many recording schemes and societies have regional experts who coordinate activity, often with affliliated local groups which you can join. Regional representatives for these societies are usually our independant verifier (someone who checks records for a particular taxonomic group).

Are you a generalist looking to highlight areas important for local biodiversity? If so then it may be better to at least send us a copy of your records directly. We will pass records to the relevant National Recording Scheme or Society just as the majority of them will pass records to us. However, this process can be slow and at times takes years.

Impacts on biodiversity at a local scale tend to happen rapidly so it is important we have access to information as soon as possible. National level aggregation and review tends to take place at a slower pace and much lower resolution by which time chances are we have shared your records 'up'.

Are you a generalist who wants to highlight areas important for local biodiversity but also learn more? Rather than just sending in records it can be far more rewarding to join a local naturalist group. In Merseyside we are fortunate to have a number of friendly groups, always keen to take on new members and share their knowledge. You can search for many of them on our 'local groups' page.

Alternativley, get in touch and let us know what you're in to!