The Worcestershire BRC remains a key element in the development of recording in the county but, as with so many projects, progress at times seems painfully slow. However, progress is being made and this is particularly so with getting data from the card files onto computer. Martyn Hodgson, John Partridge and others have put many hours each into data input and there is now an impressive range of records in the database. I am hoping Martyn will be writing a short article to bring you more completely up to date which will give you the current total of records available. I wanted to express thanks on behalf of all of us involved in recording for the hard work which John Meiklejohn, John Partridge, Martyn Hodgson, Patrick Taylor and others have put into maintaining the centre and bringing the computer database to a point where we can really begin to think in terms of using the information for publications. Thanks are also due to the Worcestershire County Council and the Wildlife Trust for funding a much needed upgrade the BRC computer hardware. If the old system had continued in use much longer I think a few nervous breakdowns might have resulted! We now have Recorder 2000 installed and John Partridge in particular is familiarising himself with this new version which hopefully will be a lot more user friendly than the original Recorder.
The other important matter to report is that the Somerset Environmental Records Centre has been appointed to produce a development plan for the centre. This study is being funded by English Nature, Worcestershire County Council and the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust. Many of you will be aware that this is taking place, having been invited to the initial discussion meeting at Bishopís Wood Centre. There has been some slight slippage with the timetable but interviews with people involved in biological recording and with potential users of data are taking place and we will be expecting the final report by the end of the financial year. All being well, I will be able to give a verbal update at the recorderís meeting in March, which I would encourage everyone to attend. These meetings have proved enjoyable and informative in previous years and are establishing themselves as an important event in the naturalists calendar. Because the support for recording in Worcestershire is so good we are also managing to attract speakers of national importance.
I think these two matters cover the main areas of development so may I finish by once more encouraging everybody to send in records. The quality of the database will only be as good as the quality and quantity of data submitted and we really do need a continuous flow of information. All we need is what has been seen, who saw it, when it was seen and where (preferably with a grid reference). We remain desperately short of records, even for common species, across much of the county. Good hunting!
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