New project aims to supersize our understanding of Sheffield and Rotherham’s wildlife

Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust are delighted to announce the launch of a new project, ‘More Data for Nature’, aimed at understanding biodiversity trends across a landscape scale, addressing one of the key recommendations of the Sheffield State of Nature report: to close gaps in the city’s ecological data.

Following on from the successful ‘Data for Nature’ project, which focussed on developing a robust monitoring scheme for the Trust’s nature reserves, this new project will work to expand Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trusts monitoring scheme to measure biodiversity at a landscape scale.

Thanks to a £127,800 grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, and a further £15,000 from the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts, the ‘More Data for Nature’ project will work with local groups to monitor their wildlife sites, and collaborate with other Wildlife Trusts from around the country to develop a framework for assessing biodiversity across a landscape scale.

The Trust will be working to identify potential local sites for inclusion in the project and would be interested in hearing from organisations such as ‘friends of’ groups or local land owners who are keen to develop monitoring for their area.

The Trust is also recruiting enthusiastic local people to join a network of regular volunteers who will carry out activities such as bird surveys and habitat condition assessments. In-depth training in monitoring techniques, data management and analysis will be provided by the Trust to help volunteers develop the ecological and surveying skills necessary for these voluntary roles.

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

“We are delighted to have received funding for our More Data for Nature project, which will enable us to develop a monitoring scheme to assess how nature is faring across Sheffield and Rotherham. We look forward to working with local groups to help them monitor their sites, and to collaborating with other Wildlife Trusts and conservation organisations, across the country, to develop a landscape scale monitoring framework”.

“We are grateful to The National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts for providing the funding to carry out this important work, and of course to our fantastic volunteers who are working on the project, collecting the all-important data.”

David Renwick, Director of England, North at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:

“The importance of capturing data is often overlooked but it has a huge role to play in monitoring species and habitats and giving us a clear picture of how our native flora and fauna are faring. We are thrilled to have awarded funding to Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust in their drive to capture crucial data relating to the habitats and species on a much larger scale than they have ever done before.

Thanks to National Lottery players this new project will build on Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust’s existing work in this field, and ensure that vital data can be used to inform future conservation efforts in giving our natural heritage the support it needs. With their already established monitoring framework the Trust can now take this innovation to the next level and use it for the safeguarding of the UK’s wonderful wildlife and nature.”

If you are interested in volunteering with More Data for Nature, please visit https://www.wildsheffield.com/getinvolved/volunteer/