Invertebrate Challenge

Our aims are:
  • To develop volunteer invertebrate recorders who are knowledgeable and confident to accurately record invertebrates
  • To increase the numbers of invertebrate recorders in Shropshire and the surrounding area
  • To raise the profile of the role of invertebrates as indicators of healthy bio-diverse habitats

Evidence for this project grew out of the now completed Biodiversity Training Project (BTP). This was another Heritage Lottery Funded (HLF) project based at the Field Studies Council that ran between 2006 and 2010. It ran 206 events, trained 849 people and produced around 40,000 biological records during its tenure.

The BTP covered a wide range of training subjects however the invertebrate courses that ran (whilst well attended) didn't necessarily lead to an increase in biological records. The reasons for this were;

  • lack of long term support available
  • no mentoring by expert recorders
  • limited access to the specialist equipment needed

This project is therefore designed to fill that gap by providing not only training but access to specialist identification keys, use of stereo microscopes and other equipment. Our tutors will also be mentors to support learning in between training events where possible.

As well as supporting invertebrate study we are working with the Shropshire Ecological Data Network (SEDN) to continue building Shropshire's virtual local record centre. Our project officer Pete Boardman is the SEDN invertebrate tsar and manages the invertebrate database. Events over the next three years will support that work.

Many thanks to our funders; The Heritage Lottery Fund, The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, The Jean Jackson Charitable Trust, The Clive Tate Memorial Fund, Shropshire Council and the Field Studies Council.