Award-winning wildlife toolkit goes live


Norfolk Wildlife Trust has today [25th January 2011] launched its award-winning wildlife surveying toolkit online, meaning a wealth of invaluable recording resources can now be accessed at the click of a mouse.

It has taken three years' work and the input of 70 experts to create Putting local wildlife on the map, a comprehensive guide to wildlife surveying techniques aimed at individuals and community groups. The toolkit has been refined through a series of trial surveys in three areas across Norfolk (Saxlingham Nethergate, Briston and Melton Constable) and is now available, in its entirety, on the NWT website.

The hard copy of the toolkit, described by members of the public who have already used it as a "brilliant resource", was produced last April in partnership with Norfolk Biodiversity Information Services (NBIS) and generously financed by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The toolkit also received a Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) Norfolk Award on 11th November.

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The NWT survey toolkit covers many varied aspects of natural history (screenshot: Norfolk Wildlife Trust).

Gemma Walker, one of the toolkit's main authors and compiler, said: "With Putting local wildlife on the map now available online, we hope that people will get out and survey their local wildlife in 2011. In its online form, the toolkit becomes an ever-changing resource which continually updates and improves as information is added by those using it. This means that, with its fantastic number of recreational researchers, Norfolk is at the forefront of grassroots wildlife study. However, the resources included in the toolkit are equally relevant and useful for surveys across the UK."

Brendan Joyce, NWT Director, added: "This toolkit will help people keep records of their local wildlife in ways which can help future conservation. Local wildlife needs a helping hand; if we are not aware of what is there it's all too easy to lose precious sites or species without anyone noticing."

Mark Cocker, nature writer and naturalist, said: "There is a tendency to assume that our most meaningful efforts for wildlife conservation are always national in scope and undertaken by professionals. But I believe that Norfolk Wildlife Trust's wonderful new toolkit empowers us to take action in the most important place. It also helps us to record and celebrate the most important kind of wildlife — the animals and plants that live right next door. Putting local wildlife on the map will help to make neighbours of us all."

Written by: Norfolk Wildlife Trust