Introduction to recording

SERC encourages recording of wildlife and welcomes records of all species. The majority of records come to SERC via specialist groups and societies; and becoming a member is an excellent way to get involved with wildlife recording. However, even if you’re new to recording you can easily make useful records and send them to us direct.

Here’s what to do

  • Note down a few simple details of what was seen where and when and by who, e.g. Kingfisher; River Tone in Taunton by Debenhams; Harriet Smith; 15 October 2009.
  • Be as precise as possible, if the details are too vague we won't be able to make use of the record.
  • Tips on making records and identification, can be found here.
  • Read our useful guide - A Helping Hand for Biological Recorders

Who - Provide your full name and contact details; this helps us distinguish between different recorders and enables us to check details if necessary.
What - Give the scientific name if you can, or the standard common name.
If you don’t know the exact species please be as specific as possible about what you’ve seen, for example ‘pipistrelle bat’, ‘newt’, ‘Rosa sp.’'
Where – Give a grid reference and a location name if you can, otherwise please provide a good description to help us assign an accurate grid reference. If sending in records for your garden please give the full address including post code.
An excellent web-based tool 'Grab a Grid Reference', developed by the Bedfordshire Natural History Society, enables you to easily assign a grid reference yourself based on Ordnance Survey maps and aerial photographs.
When - Ideally give an exact date, however the month and year, or a date range, is sufficient.

  • Provide any other relevant information such as, the type of record, number, sex, or stage.
  • Send the details to SERC via the website form, by email, by post or over the phone; assistance is available for submitting large batches of records electronically, more details here.

SERC is interested in all records - please don't assume that we already know. Records of rarities are always useful and can aid conservation efforts, but equally important are records of widespread species. All records can be useful for plotting the distributions of species both locally and nationally, and for detecting trends.