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Field Studies Council Sue Townsend Biodiversity Learning Manager Rich Burkmar Tomorrow’s.

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Presentation on theme: "Field Studies Council Sue Townsend Biodiversity Learning Manager Rich Burkmar Tomorrow’s."— Presentation transcript:

1 Field Studies Council Sue Townsend Biodiversity Learning Manager http:// Rich Burkmar Tomorrow’s Biodiversity Project Officer

2 Field notes of a training provider: joining the dots for biological recording training Future Challenges for the NBN Future Challenges for the FSC

3 Taxonomists... an endangered species! Naturalist Extinct 2020

4 Where we came from: key facts about us  Began in Dec 1943  In 2013 we estimate that there are over 150,000 visitor contacts at an FSC centre and over 7000 contacts at other sites, eg through OPAL  Now operates 19 Centres

5 Where we came from: Why on earth did it start?  A perceived need to get young people into the natural environment  A chance meeting between a forward thinking schools inspector and a representative of the National Trust  A chance to see ‘the real thing’


7 Where we are now: So what do we do?  Provide courses for school groups, universities, professionals and amateur learners  Lobby government in support of outdoor learning  Run a series of environmental projects  Produce identification publications

8 Where we are now: Customer Base

9 Flatford Mill Juniper Hall Nettlecombe Court Slapton Ley Amersham (Day) Epping Forest (Day) London (Day) Derrygonnelly Kindrogan Blencathra Castle Head Malham Tarn Rhyd-y-creuau Preston Montford Dale Fort Orielton Margam Park Millport Head office Titanic Quarter - Belfast Where we are now: 19 FSC Centres in 2013

10  Access to a large number of skilled tutors  Well placed to run further training courses nationwide  Longstanding reputation  A network of successful field centres and contacts throughout the UK  A recognition that not all training courses are commercially viable  A recognition that the UK identification skills are patchy  An awareness that there is a reliance on volunteer data Where we are now: Identification training & resources

11 Identification and recording resources

12  The level of ‘competency’ in biodiversity skills offered by teachers and students has declined over the past 50 years.  The commitment within schools and universities to whole- organism biology is continuing to decline.  Systematic monographs have transitioned through AIDGAP keys to fold out charts for identification. We published over 150,00 publications in 2013 - 96% were fold-out charts.  The current identification resource ‘landscape’ is becoming much more complex – including the exponential growth in electronic and social media Where we are now: A changing customer base

13  Much of the existing capacity for biodiversity training is project-related with external funding streams eg HLF, DEFRA  Letting the market prevail has led to a significant shift in the balance of identification courses as compared to other strands eg geography/ environmental science etc. Where we are now: Challenges to biological recording as part of FSC business

14 Our Vision Partnership Work with all players in the recording community to ensure recorders are supported in the development of skills for identification and data submission. Products Provide resources and support for tutors Deliver identification training and mentoring Develop identification resources Consider how identification leads to records Review Role out new resources Monitor recording success

15 How we aim to get there: Recent FSC biodiversity projects Biodiversity Training Project  Heritage Lottery Fund  2006-2010 Invertebrate Challenge  Heritage Lottery Fund  2011-2014 Biodiversity Fellowship  Defra Fund for Biodiversity in the Voluntary Sector  2013-2014 Tomorrow’s Biodiversity  Esmée Fairbairn Foundation  2013-2018 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

16 How we aim to get there: Invertebrate Challenge Medium to high level training  Followed on from Biodiversity Training Project  Produced ten new Shropshire county recorders - Araneae, Collembola, Orthoptera, Coleoptera, Diptera (several groups), Odonata, Lepidoptera (micro-moths), terrestrial Hemiptera (two recorders), aquatic Hemiptera  Four had no taxonomic experience in the group for which they’ve become county recorder prior to BTP & Invertebrate Challenge Much more than ID training  Regular working meetings at Preston Montford  Continued support from taxonomic experts  Five new Shropshire atlases: shieldbugs, craneflies, aculeate hymenoptera, micro-moths and longhorn beeltes  Annual conference (Shropshire Ento Day) – 70+ people  ‘Official’ newsletter

17 How we aim to get there: Biodiversity Fellowship ID training delivery  FSC in partnership with recording schemes & societies  Subsidised training on under recorded taxa  75 courses – mixture of 1 day and 2-3 day  250 People attended one or more course Supporting people  450 People signed up to be ‘FSC biodiversity fellows’  120 Joined a facebook group  Mentoring and support  Continuing engagement

18 How we aim to get there: Biodiversity Fellowship Do you feel more confident to make accurate identifications & records since your involvement in Bio.fells? Records Identifications Please estimate how many records you have submitted in 2013 as a result of Bio.fells training Total: 13,598 Mean for each of 116 respondents who attended a course: 117 Mean for each of 64 respondents who had actually submitted records: 212

19 How we aim to get there: Tomorrow’s Biodiversity Research and Consultation  Two year research & consultation (plus pilots)  Focus on under-resourced taxa and habitats that have potential in biodiversity monitoring  Identify gaps in identification and monitoring skills & resources Training & support  Years 3-5 of project with early pilots  ID / protocol training & support network Resources  Provide new resources (e.g. AIDGAP)  Investigate and pilot multiple delivery platforms 

20 How we aim to get there: Joining the dots Biodiversity Fellowship Biodiversity Training Project Invertebrate Challenge Tomorrow’s Biodiversity Future Projects FSC Natural History courses NBN Gateway & iRecord National Scheme & Societies and County Recorders Volunteers & citizen scientists National agencies Local Record Centres Emerging - iSpot, Flickr, ipternity, facebook, Twitter MMU / FSC / BSBI MSc


22 FSC will...  Continue to support field naturalists  Seek partners/supporters in individuals, societies and agencies  Promote field identification skills in all our customer groups  Actively encourage identifications to lead to accurate records  Develop further strategies to ensure submission of data to NBN

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