Data for Nature team shortlisted for NBN Award

We are delighted to confirm that the volunteers and staff involved in our National Lottery Heritage Fund supported project, Data for Nature, have been shortlisted for the NBN Group Award for Wildlife Recording 2019.

The National Biodiversity Network (NBN) is keen to recognise significant achievement and celebrate success in wildlife recording and information sharing.  The awards scheme set up in 2015 aims to recognise people or organisations that are making outstanding contributions to wildlife recording and improving our understanding of the natural world.

The Data for Nature project was launched in response to Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trusts ‘Sheffield State of Nature Report’ which highlighted the need for high quality ecological data in the area. Thanks to a grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the project team have undertaken a thorough review of the Trust’s surveying and monitoring procedures and has moved to a more systematic approach using a spatial grid system as part of an adaptive monitoring framework.

Volunteers have been carrying out a range of monitoring on SRWT nature reserves, covering several different taxa including Odonata, birds, mammals, plants, bryophytes and amphibians and have produced over 1000 new biological records in twelve months.  In addition, the team have compiled over 15,000 historic records, filling a gap of understanding on SRWT’s nature reserves and enabling the Trust to assess historic change more effectively. These records will also be fed into the NBN database, the NBN Atlas, which is shared by ecologists across the country and used to inform national policy decisions about nature and the environment.

Pete Tomlin, Data for Nature Senior Data Management & Monitoring Officer at Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust, said:

“We are incredibly grateful to our dedicated team of volunteers that have already given over 2000 hours of their time to the project.  Being shortlisted for such a prestigious award is real recognition of the contribution the group have made to wildlife recording and information sharing.”

David Renwick, Director, England: North, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “The importance of capturing data is often underestimated but is crucial to monitoring species and habitats. Its great to hear this project has been shortlisted for the NBN award, recognising the significance of the work that is taking place, thanks to support from National Lottery players.”

“Looking after nature and helping people to understand its importance has never been more urgent and will be a major focus for The National Lottery Heritage Fund moving forward. The importance of data is essential to getting a clear picture of species and habitats, and thanks to National Lottery players this species recording site will make it easier to bring together the valuable information that citizen scientists and ecologists alike collect.”

The winners of the Awards for Wildlife Recording 2019 will be announced during a special ceremony at the NBN annual conference on Wednesday 13 November in Nottingham.