What we do
For centuries amateur naturalists in the UK have been contributing to scientific knowledge by recording their wildlife observations. However, with increasing biodiversity loss, species data by volunteers has become ever more important. The State of Nature 2019 report includes data gathered through two successful North Pennines AONB Partnership projects, WildWatch North Pennines and Cold-blooded and Spineless. Evidence and reports of this kind help to inform decisions about land management and conservation.
The WildWatch North Pennines and Cold-blooded and Spineless projects have demonstrated to us the importance people attach to their connection with wildlife and the reward that they get from learning new skills. WildWatch North Pennines generated over 20,000 records inspired by 130 training events and Cold-blooded and Spineless enabled naturalists to specialise in invertebrate identification. The project has added at least 9,000 new records to databases where little data previously existed. Providing identification training and field practice opportunities are key to fuelling volunteer motivation and promoting data quality. Three new wildlife groups and an invertebrate champions network support ongoing interest in wildlife recording in the North Pennines as part of these projects’ legacy.