At the recent Recorders Conference we were asked a number of questions about NatureSpot. More...
Most of this information (and lots more) is on our Frequently Asked Questions page - https://www.naturespot.org.uk/FAQs - but for added clarity here are the answers. Let us know if you have any further questions.
Destination of records - what happens to my records?
NatureSpot’s website is linked to iRecord, operated by the Biological Records Centre (BRC) as part of the work of the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH), so all NatureSpot records automatically flow into the national iRecord database. iRecord shares its data with national recording schemes and with the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) who create distribution maps, as shown on NatureSpot. NatureSpot also shares its data with Leicestershire & Rutland Records Centre (LRERC), and also with all our County Recorders.
Does LRERC share the data it receives from other sources, i.e. directly from recorders, with NatureSpot?
LRERC shares data from all sources with the County Recorders. NatureSpot has access to ORCA, the LRERC database, so we can view all records but these are not integrated into the NatureSpot database so don't appear on our maps.
Are the maps on NatureSpot only a subset of the known data for Leicestershire and Rutland?
While we don't have all the VC55 records in the NatureSpot database, we do display the NBN maps which show records by tetrad. In theory this should give a good idea of the known distribution but it relies on NBN having all the records. A few national recording schemes don't currently submit data to NBN, though this may change. So for most taxa the NatureSpot maps do give you a good idea of overall record knowledge, but there are some gaps. LRERC has recently sent all its verified data to NBN (where there is permission from the dataset owner) - about a million records. This will be updated annually.
How do you recommend recording common species?
There is a danger that species perceived as common are not recorded, so we would not know if their status changes (House Sparrows are a good example - they were at one time removed from the BTO's recording list as they were thought to be too common to matter). Our general advice is to record a species once for any location once a year. This ensures that any search/filter of records for that site will include that species. In the wider countryside/urban area then either one record per tetrad or possibly monad is probably sufficient. Having lots of records for common species is a good thing - it proves it really is (still) common! How would we know without the data? So as a general approach, try to record all the species you can recognise on a site once each year.