Free downloadable resources
These online resources have been collated to help you run your BioBlitz event. All are free, open source and optional and we have grouped them into themes – use the menu on the right of the page to navigate. If you know of any additional resources that may be useful to have on here do let us know.
NEW: Let’s Talk About Data
Recording wildlife is a great British tradition stretching back to the 1700s and the days of Gilbert White. In the 21st Century, recording in the UK is still a triumph of public contribution to our collective knowledge of the natural world. Devoted volunteers and enthusiasts generate vast databanks supporting environmental policy, research and practice with baseline data for thousands of native and non-native UK species.
As threats to UK wildlife mount, the need to grow the evidence base for effective conservation becomes increasingly vital. We need effective communications tools to be able to share this amazing energy and support an accessible, well informed recording culture.
This will help to ensure that all new and existing recorders receive the support and motivation to collect and contribute high quality, useable data as standard.
The Natural History Consortium have been working with the partners of the National Biodiversity Network to develop new resources for individual recorders, organisations and BioBlitzers to communicate about wildlife recording. Let’s talk about data!
1. Guide to Running a BioBlitz
A BioBlitzers best friend, this guide covers all of the basics for running a BioBlitz event from initial planning to advice for on the day; all illustrated with case studies from BioBlitzes across the UK. The Guide often refers to the more detailed supplementary resources and materials below.
The Guide was written in 2013 by a partnership of organisations heavily involved in BioBlitz and adapted from the original guide written as part of the OPAL project in 2010.
2. Collecting Species Records
Making Your Records Count
This is our 2 page guide to making sure that the data you collect at your BioBlitz makes a valid and valuable contribution to local and national data sets
Data Recording Sheet
Download and print these blank data recording sheets to record the species you find on your BioBlitz! They include all the standard info needed to submit a valid species record.
BioBlitz Species Data – Where should it go?
This 2 page guide to managing your BioBlitz data disentangles the complex world of biological recording to make sure that the data you collect gets to where it will be the most useful. Originally a handout for a workshop at the BioBlitz Conference 2014, big thanks to Martin Harvey from The Open University for producing this resource
Contacting your Local Records Centre
Your Local Environmental Records Centre (LRC) may be able to help you with data management and is the preferred place for all of your records to end up as it is where the data will be most easily accessed and used locally. Contact your LRC through the Association of Local Environmental Records Centres (ALERC)
If you don’t have an LRC near you you may want to submit your records directly to the National Biodiversity Network Gateway (NBN Gateway) using the free online programme iRecord.
3. Engaging people
Beyond BioBlitz: a gateway into citizen science
This is a brief 3 page guide to the theory behind engaging people at a BioBlitz with practical guidance on how to manage your messaging to the varied audiences that attend these events. Well worth a read!
BioBlitz newsletter mailing list
We produce a monthly e-newsletter about wildlife recording and citizen science aimed at BioBlitz visitors, promoting ways they can get involved in wildlife recording. Please print off a copy of this sign up sheet and sign people up at your event – you can send the completed sheets back to us by post or digitally. – NOTE: This is a separate list from the mailing list of event organisers.
In order to monitor the impact of BioBlitz events it is important that we collect as much feedback from visitors and volunteers as possible. Please print off some of these feedback survey forms and collect data from your event visitors and we’ll even do all the number crunching for you. You can send completed forms to us by post or digitally. A good target is to get 10% of your visitor audience to fill in a form.
- Click here to download the survey form
- Click here to download a guidance sheet on how to collect data at an event
4. Working with Volunteers
Volunteers will be the front line of your BioBlitz and the first point of contact with event visitors so it is vital that they know what they are talking about.
This introduction to BioBlitz is aimed at volunteers detailing the basic principles of wildlife recording and top tips for engaging with the public.Please download and send these around your volunteers in advance and have a few printouts for them to refer to on the day.
5. Identifying species
In order to collect species records you need to be able to identify the species you find. For many taxonomic groups this is easier said than done but there is help at hand.
Local naturalists will often be delighted to take part in your BioBlitz identifying specimens and/or leading walks and activities. (Be aware that different naturalists will have different comfort zones so don’t pressure people into leading public activities if they aren’t confident doing so.) The greater the diversity of expertise you have at your event, the more species you’ll be able to identify and record.
To find naturalists contact your local naturalists club or society, your local Wildlife Trust and the science department of any local Universities. Many naturalists have a lot of requests to get involved in BioBlitzes so get in there early and don’t be offended if they can’t make your event.
If you don’t have the expertise there on the day to identify a particular specimen, take a photo and upload it to iSpot where an online community of naturalists will look through and see if they can identify it. iSpot can even set you up a special tag for your event.
If you are struggling to find anyone out there who can ID your specimen It is well worth pursuing further as you might have found something really interesting! There are a plethora of online keys that you can work your way through listed on regular BioBlitzer Richard Comont’s excellent blog.
6. Event Paperwork
Risk Assessment Template
Please note that this is a template with suggested risks and outcomes and intended as a guide only. Please complete a rigorous assessment taking account of all of the specifics of your event, site and activities. For further advice/info, please contact your local authority
7. BioBlitz Branding
Many BioBlitz events use their own branding but the NHC have had some branding design kindly donated by the Institute of Physics Publishing back in 2009 that we have made open source to be used by anyone running a BioBlitz event.Our only brand guideline is to keep the image proportions the same when resizing the image as otherwise it will stretch and skew.
Avon Wildlife Trust
Bath & North East Somerset Council
BBC Natural History Unit
Bristol City Council
Bristol Zoo Gardens
University of Bath
University of Bristol
University of the West of England
Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust
The Natural History Consortium is a charitable collaboration between these member organisations.
Engaging people with the natural world through collaborative action. Reg Charity 1123432