One of the aims of OPAL is to provide support to people already involved in biological recording and to provide an accessible way into wildlife recording for those new to it. To address this, OPAL funded the UK’s National Biodiversity Network to develop Indicia, a toolkit for building wildlife recording websites. It was this that was used to develop the website for the university.
The website, hosted by SEI, provides a place for people already looking for wildlife (such as in student projects) to record their sightings and also aims to get more people looking at the wildlife around them.
Creating this central repository for records also provides us information on the biodiversity present on our campus and allows us to track changes over time, for example as the new Heslington East campus matures. Records are also passed onto the iRecord website (www.brc.ac.uk/irecord), a national wildlife recording website. Here records are verified by experts and passed onto national recording schemes, where they are used in conservation decision-making and research.