Worcestershire Record No. 22 April 2007 p. 5

Worcestershire Biological Records Centre
Report 2006-7

The development of Worcestershire Biological Records Centre this year has again been one of steady progress. Staffing for core WBRC work has expanded. In addition to the Manager Simon Wood, Jennifer Schenke has joined us as Biological Recording Officer (four days per week), and this together with the stalwart input from John Partridge, John Meiklejohn, Kath Quickfall and recently office boy Harry Green means that we are processing and delivering more data than ever before. The student placement shared with WWT has continued to spend one day per week in the office and WBRC has continued to host the Community Wildlife Officer for the Vision Mapping Project on behalf of the county Biodiversity Partnership; this project is now coming towards a close with the final report being drawn up for Heritage Lottery Fund.

The direct operational element of WBRC has continued to focus on database development and expansion. The network of satellite data in-putters has increased helping to bring the total number of species occurrences held to just over 758,000, all contributing to the ability of WBRC to provide an improved service to all users. The supply of records to users has again also continued to increase, especially those commercial enquiries to Ecological and Environmental Consultants, providing a valuable income stream to support the core data functions of WBRC. The increase in available staff time has run parallel with WBRC using a professional Geographic Information System (GIS), the majority of the work so far has been to digitise Special Wildlife Site boundaries as part of the ongoing review but GIS is a powerful tool that will become integral to the working of WBRC as we develop it further.

A memorandum of agreement has been set up with all five other County Biological Record Centres in the West Midlands to ensure smooth running of joint working on projects which cross county boundaries and require regional responses. In the last year we have bid for and successfully gained two contracts to supply data in a regional context. This work will continue as long as organisations who have a requirement for regionally amalgamated data continue to request our services.

We have also been involved with important work in developing a national association of local record centres through the council of the National Federation for Biological Recording. This aims to provide a much needed voice for all county BRCs on issues that need to be addressed with other organisations at national policy setting levels, which to date have been somewhat beyond the scope of individual county BRCs.

Simon Wood, Manager, February 2007

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