Duties of Regional Recorders
Regional Recorders are appointed by the Recording Secretary on behalf of the Conservation & Recording Committee. The Recording Secretary will at intervals notify the Committee of vacant positions and ask for advice on suitable people.
Each Regional Recorder is responsible for a different part of Britain or Ireland. Typically, a region consists of a vice-county or a pair of vice-counties but in thinly populated areas a larger geographical unit may be employed.
The principal role of Regional Recorders is to receive and/or validate distributional data (species and site records) collected in their region by individual bryological recorders and, where required and with these recorders’ approval, to forward records at intervals (e.g. at the end of each year) to the Recording Secretary for eventual inclusion in the BBS database. Regional Recorders should also make efforts to engage as record verifiers with new platforms for online recording, such as iRecord, which is run by the Biological Records Centre, as such sites will ultimately reduce the effort required by the Society’s voluntary officers in processing and formatting data received by other means.
The Regional Recorder is also expected to:
- become familiar with the region’s bryophyte flora so that particularly interesting records can be recognised, and doubtful ones questioned;
- liaise with and encourage members active in their region, e.g. by organising local forays, offering advice on determinations, etc.;
- make his/her existence known to local representatives of the relevant national conservation body (e.g. Natural England, Natural Resources Wales, Scottish Natural Heritage etc.), local Wildlife Trust and any others (e.g. museum) with an interested in biological recording in the region; be aware of existing regional herbaria and, where possible, encourage their continuation and/or future development; and
- ensure that the Recording Secretary is made aware of any local flora projects in the region.
Regional Recorders should normally receive records from recorders on BBS standard cards or in the standard Excel spreadsheet format. Many members are using electronic media to enter and store their own records, however, data exported and supplied to the Recording Secretary would ideally match the output columns of the standard Excel format, as these correspond to the available fields within the BBS database.
Mark Hill, updated by Oliver Pescott and Sharon Pilkington (December 2020)