Thursday, 14 June 2012

Record, Research, Respond! – Biological recording in a changing world at BBC Gardeners’ World Live 2012

CEH is back at the BBC Gardeners’ World and Good Food Show at the NEC in Birmingham this year, hoping to encourage the gardeners and food lovers amongst you to get involved in biological recording. Scientists will also be on hand to explain more about how the records sent in by volunteers get used for scientific research and in policy making.  The show opened on Wednesday 13 June and runs until Sunday 17 June, so still plenty of time to come along for a visit!

Biological recording in a changing world - the CEH stand!

The UK probably has the best recorded flora and fauna of any country in the world. Much of this is down to the invaluable inputs of amateur recorders. Everyone can contribute records of things they see during their everyday lives, from butterflies and bees to flies and fleas – websites and mobile phone apps are making the process even quicker!

Insect specimens can be viewed up close and under the microscope

Biological records submitted are used to form initial distribution maps. The first national atlas was the Atlas of the British Flora, published 50 years ago in 1962 – members of the Botanical Society of the British Isles (BSBI) are at our Gardeners’ World stand to explain more about this ground-breaking publication and the legacy it created, as well as chat more generally about topics such as wildflowers.

Members of the BSBI were at the stand discussing wildflowers and
historical botany recording.

Scientists at CEH and other research institutes use this wealth of biological data within research projects that look to develop answers to the complex environmental issues facing the planet. Scientists from two such projects, the Conker Tree Science Leaf Watch and the UK Ladybird Survey, are on the stand to discuss their own experiences while our displays of heathland plants in decline and urban plants on the increase represent some of the environmental changes that have been detected thanks to biological records.

Cream-spot ladybird larva under the microscope.

Scientific discoveries help to inform, conserve
and restore the environment

Please pop by for a visit to learn more and play biodiversity Jenga! The stand is number GFW3 in Hall 19 of the NEC.

Postscript: added 27 June 2012

We were delighted with the wonderful response and interest from visitors to the stand over the five days of the show. What's more, our stand won a Highly Commended award from the organisers! You can view lots more photos on our Flickr set (link below).

Additional information

Posted by Paulette Burns

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