Worcestershire Record No. 25 November 2008 p. 6
For a number of years I had been aware of a box of Record Cards sitting in the Records Office, in its various manifestations, waiting for someone to have the time and inclination to decipher them and commit them to computer. In July 2007 Michael Jeeves, one of the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust (WWT) volunteer receptionists, was looking for something to do during the periods when he was not answering the telephone or doing other WWT tasks – the problem had met a solution. Since then, Michael has worked away, with help in decryption from John Meiklejohn, and has now got up to letter H in the first set of cards. This first batch has now been turned into maps, which I have then checked against M C Clark’s originals.
The starting of this process prompted me to find out rather more about MCC, and I was lucky enough to find the typescript, reproduced below, in the box with the records, together with a copy of an obituary of MCC by Bert Brand, which appears to have come from the WWT Newsletter. I have since been able to obtain a copy of his obituary which appeared in The Mycologist, Vol 7 pt2, May 1993 and to purchase a copy of A Fungus Flora of Warwickshire which we now hold in the WBRC. He was obviously someone who contributed a great deal in many areas, and he was honoured with two awards: in 1987 he was awarded the H.H. Bloomer medal of the Linnaean Society of London as an outstanding amateur biologist and in 1988 he was awarded the Benefactors medal of the British Mycological Society in recognition of his contributions to Mycology and to the Society.
It is my intention to get these records published on the NBN gateway, and perhaps elsewhere, so they are at last available for others to see and use. If anyone else out there feels the urge to help to computerize the remaining records, please get in touch - this mostly involves copying data from the cards into a Word table – nothing complex.
BIOLOGICAL RECORD CARDS FOR THE ASCOMYCETES ETC. OF WORCESTERSHIRE COMPLETED BY MALCOLM C. CLARK (Typescript found with the records and written by M C Clarke)
My main natural history interest is the ascomycete fungi, particularly the discomycetes (cup fungi). Though many of the larger species (and a few others) were recorded by Carleton Rea in "Amphlett and Rea" etc. these records were very inadequate. I live in Worcestershire and decided in 1980 to make an up-to-date survey of this group in the county. (I had just seen the finish of the publication of A Fungus Flora of Warwickshire which I edited, after spending much of my spare time for many years on the fungus survey of that county, as part of the team engaged in that project, and needed some new project to work on.)
To assist my Worcestershire survey Dr. John Osley, then working on setting up the Biological Records Centre, let me have 1,000 of the record cards issued by the Centre. I set up a card for each species I recorded and listed all records of the species according to 1-kilometre squares, with details of habitat, date, etc. with continuation sheets on blank paper in the case of frequent species. I marked all the squares off on the outline map on the reverse side of the card. It was understood that the cards would be returned to the Centre in due course. Although the survey is by no means complete, and never can be, since it is impossible to record these often very small and obscure organisms in every square in the county, the time has perhaps arrived when the cards should be returned. Sufficient has been done to give a good representative view of the distribution and frequency of each species. Adding further records will not alter the general picture very much, except perhaps in the (apparently) rare species with only a few records.
The cards are divided as follows:-
(a) Cards for discomycetes - the group I have concentrated on
(b) Cards for other ascomycetes. It must be emphasized that I did not devote the same amount of attention to these as I did to the discomycetes, and many species are undoubtedly under-recorded, while many with which I am not very familiar will have been missed altogether.
(c) A third group of cards which I began setting up for species seen by Carleton Rea or others, which I have not re-found. These are not complete however as I found that I was using too many cards for this purpose. Cards for all these will no doubt however have been set up at the Centre by Dr.Osley.
(d) A small number of cards for miscellaneous fungi in which I was particularly interested
Though I have tried to record as widely as possible in the county I admit that parts of it have been comparatively neglected, mainly those most distant from my home. Thus, the outlying parts of the west and far south of the county have not been covered, neither have some of the intensely cultivated parts of the Vale of Evesham or the built up areas of Birmingham and its suburbs, and Worcester City. Allowance should be made for this in examining the results.
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