Become a Wildlife Recorder

Why should I record wildlife?

Hopefully, the reason is as simple as you like seeing wildlife! Noting down what you see can give an added incentive to go on that evening walk, or help you to notice events in the natural world that you hadn’t paid attention to before.

BRERC needs to know about the common wildlife you see regularly, as well as all the rare, difficult things that only experts can identify.

If nobody tells us about the wildlife that lives in their area, nobody will know it is there.

And because our data gets used for all sorts of purposes – from planning decisions to species conservation – it is important that we have records BEFORE someone starts asking for them.

Therefore, your observations can make a real difference in building up a better picture of wildlife in the West of England area.

Is it difficult to record wildlife?

Wildlife recording doesn’t have to be complicated!

We only need to know FOUR things to make a record of your observation:

  • WHAT you saw
  • WHERE you saw it
  • WHEN you saw it
  • WHO you are

So remember WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHO – and try and be as detailed as possible!

How do I let BRERC know what I have seen?

There are many ways to submit a record to BRERC; you can choose the best method for you.

You can download and print our recording forms, and return them to us by post.

Or save a recording form or spreadsheet to your computer, and e-mail it back to us.

To quickly tell us about one sighting, just send a normal e-mail to – remember to include WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHO

For the keen recorder, you can create an account on our online recording website, and build up a picture of your own records over time.

Any dos and don’ts?

DO use a good location description; Blaise Estate, 100 yards from Stratford Mill is better than just ‘Blaise Estate’

DON’T just say ‘My garden’ – you know where your garden is, but nobody else does!

DO try and provide a grid reference as well as a location description - there are grid reference finder tools online, and you can even get grid ref apps for your smartphone. See our Online Tools and Mapping page for further information.

DON’T worry if you can’t provide a grid reference – as long as you’ve provided a good location description, we can work it out.

DON’T worry if you can’t remember the exact date when you saw something. We can accept vague dates such as ‘February 2019’.

DON’T duplicate data by sending the same record to several different sources. BRERC has policies and procedures for sharing data with other organisations. If you want to ensure that your data gets shared with the most people, and used for the most purposes, sending it to BRERC is usually the best option.

Anything else I should consider?

Records can sometimes take a while to go onto our database. BRERC has to prioritise entry of records that are recently recorded, or considered important – such as bat roosts, Badger setts and Great Crested Newts.

This means other data may make its way onto the database more slowly. BRERC is constantly working to develop new systems and procedures to process more data, more quickly, whilst retaining the accuracy that is so important to us.

For more information about how we look after your personal data, see our Privacy Notice.