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Worcestershire BRC - A Progress Report

By Geoff Trevis

The work to develop an operational record centre has continued over the summer months, largely due to the financial assistance of English Nature. The project team met several times and had a fruitful trip to the Cheshire Record Centre which is one of the NBN pilot sites.

Capital funding has allowed us to purchase some much needed IT equipment, some decent furniture for the volunteers (John Meiklejohn and John Partridge), reference books and laminated maps. We have also been able to organise the training sessions on invertebrates, mammals and botanical recording which have been led by national authorities on the various groups. The last one of these, on botanical recording, is to be held in January 2002 and is fully booked. We have a manual for biological recording in Worcestershire in preparation. This will be a loose leaf volume with sections and updates published as they can be prepared. The first section covering basic recording information and methods with notes from the training days will be available in the New Year though the exact date is yet to be determined. Recorders and those involved with WBRC will be notified as soon as it is ready.

Establishment costs and-long term core funding continue to be a source of concern and uncertainty. However, another grant from EN has enabled us to employ a consultant to investigate the market for our services and the likely size and source of income. We look forward to a report in December 2001. In parallel with this we are also actively considering approaches to grant-giving bodies to pump prime the establishment phase. Our objective is to establish a viable centre serving the needs of the recording community, education, planners and environmental consultants and the public. Given some hard work and some luck on the financial front, the future looks very exciting.

The WBRC Recorders Group has also met and have planned three recording days in 2002, and the strategy for building the scope of the database. We will be organising the annual recorders meeting, hopefully in March-April 2002, and we look forward to seeing you there. Details of these meetings will be reported separately.

The following overall policy for managing records in keeping with NBN requirements is given below

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