NEWS FROM THE WORCESTERSHIRE BIODIVERSITY PARTNERSHIP
Biodiversity Action Plan Manager
It's all happening down at the WBRC - no sooner is the new Manager, Simon, getting stuck into his new role he is given a star slot in the first edition of the Regional Biodiversity Partnership's newsletter. With the appointment of Simon all hopes are pinned on the 'coming of age' of the Worcestershire Biological Records Centre, and this will be not a minute too soon. The need for improved access to biological data is a theme that seems to be cropping up more and more frequently, not least at a Development Workshop held by the Worcestershire Biodiversity Partnership recently.
The aim of the workshop was to consider the broad balance of activity across our Partnership working - have we got the mix of Education, Information and Action right, and what are the sorts of things the Partnership really needs to be tackling over the next few years?
The urgent need for improved access to biological information came out as an extremely strong message from this workshop - something for the Local Authority representatives attending the meeting to take away and digest when considering budget allocations for the next year.
However, furthering the work of the WBRC is not going to be helped by the outrageous 'poaching' of high quality volunteers that seems to be going on! To assist with data entry Simon had managed to entice one Nick Button, who had recently moved to the area after working for the Dorset Biological Records Centre, to volunteer for the WBRC. Nick has some excellent experience, and no doubt Simon was really looking forward to making the most of this windfall. However, unluckily for Simon, but good for Nick, some Aggregates Levy funding had been procured by Worcestershire Biodiversity Partnership for a one year post to look at aspects of nature conservation relating to aggregate extraction, and Nick was successful in his application for this job. So, congratulations to Nick, but has anyone out there any spare time to help with data entry at the WBRC ?
Education and awareness-raising was also raised at the Partnership Development Workshop as a crucial element of the BAP process. To help raise awareness of Worcestershire's biodiversity among schoolchildren some shiny new Fact Sheets on Worcester BAP habitats and species have been produced, and will be available early next month. These have been produced by Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, Bishops Wood Centre and me, and are being printed using funding from English Nature and the County Council. The sheets are aimed at encouraging schools to use local examples of biodiversity in their teaching activities. We have our very own versions of the Giant Panda and tropical rain forest here in Worcestershire is the message we are trying to get across! Once completed these Fact Sheets will be available on the Biodiversity Partnership web site (www.worcestershire.gov.uk/biodiversity), where they will hopefully also appeal to a wider audience.
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