What is RECORD?
RECORD is the Local Biological Records Centre serving Cheshire, Halton, Warrington and Wirral – ‘The Cheshire Region’. This centre provides a local facility for the storage, validation and usage of Cheshire based biological data under the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) project.
RECORD brings biological recording, the needs of the community, and a range of organisations together as a ‘one-stop’ information resource for organisations and individuals alike.
RECORD has been running for over 10 years and is one of, if not the, most established local records centre in the UK. By using the RODIS system to store all our records, we can gain better access to Cheshire’s badger data as well as being able to update it and have a safe place to store badger records so they can be used for maximum gain. Badger issues that arise through Development can be flagged up early and the necessary steps put into place if the information is there.
Can anyone log in and see the locations of setts?
No – you can log into the RODIS system and search for badger data but it will only show up at a resolution of 10km sq. Our committee will however have access to detailed records as and when needed.
How do consultants get access to data?
By doing what they do now and pay for a data search in relation to a given site. This is carried out by one of the record staff. The consultancy will then be provided with any badger data that comes up as well as other protected species data such as great crested newts or bats. The RECORD staff have shown their commitment to the process and have agreed to work closely with us to ensure it works for both sides.
What are the benefits of this system?
For us, and you the members, this enables us all to have an active roll in protecting our badgers and up-dating information which is vitally important. A variety of setts (eg main, outlier) in a territory can be used during the course of a year, with new latrine sites and of course the road casualties occurring that may tell us that there is a sett in the area.
All records are relevant, so we are urging you to start recording all your badger data and anything else you may see – it is easy! If you don’t have access to a computer, we can post out forms and your data can be added. Have you seen a road casualty? Please enter it onto the system as it might be in and area we are monitoring or it could provide new information as to the movements of badgers in an area. If you have seen badger feeding signs, caught them on camera- all this can be entered into the system.
Right from the formation of Wirral & Cheshire Badger Group, protecting badgers has been our goal and data on the whereabouts of badgers is key to this. Please support the group by logging onto RODIS and imputing what you see.
If you want a lesson in how to use the system please just ask!
There are guidance tips on the record website.
Get Recording! Use RODIS
By Eric Fletcher, RECORD Manager.
RODIS is the online data input system developed by RECORD in 2006. From its humble beginnings as a tool for our data-keying volunteers it has blossomed into a fully-fledged online wildlife recording system that has seen reviewers raving from Cornwall to Ulster and Cardiff. It would seem that RODIS has caught the attention of specialist recorders, data managers and first time recorders giving it almost universal appeal.
RODIS was borne out of necessity; there was a real need to develop a system that was easily accessible and wasn’t too complicated so that anyone could use it. As time has gone on the system has undergone a prolonged period of testing and development absorbing ideas from many users. This organic process of development has resulted in a system that is both functional and easy to use.
As with most recording programs RODIS had to work around the basic record; (What was seen? Who saw it? Where did they see it? When did they see it?). However don’t let this fool you into thinking that RODIS is just a recording form, there is so much more to it.
So how does it work? Sign in and away you go!!
Species RODIS uses the fully searchable species dictionary from the Recorder Database as well as the online NBN species dictionary to ensure recorders are able to work to the latest, current taxonomic standards. For those of you who aren’t so keen on Latin the dictionaries hold all common names too so you won’t need to spell out Garrulus glandarius when you want to enter a record of Jay!
Photographs In addition to the species dictionaries, and to aid identification, there is the added luxury of a Flikr search facility that will allow you to look at photographs of the species you’ve seen. So when you have come in from a rainy day out you can sit down and just double-check those more difficult spots of the day!
Grid references When it comes time to enter your grid reference you need not worry about digging out a paper map and trying to figure out where you were. You can use our map systems and locations database to fill in the grid reference for you. The addition of Google maps means you really can look into your own back garden to record everything you’ve seen. If you aren’t sure how to find your house just use the search box in the top left of the map screen to enter your post-code and Google maps focus straight in on that area. If you’re still not sure just click on the satellite imagery and you can see specific trees and even your back door step!
When you have found what you are looking for you can just click on the map to generate the grid reference and then click on the ‘Insert Grid Reference’ button and the data is entered for you, map reading has never been so easy!
Add in the date using the calendar function and the name of the person who created the record and there you have it, you’ve
entered a record into our system.
Lots of records? If you have a lot of data to enter and this method seems a little time consuming don’t worry; RODIS has an answer to that! RODIS has a facility whereby you can choose any fields in which you would like to retain information. Therefore if you are entering records for a site where the only information which changes, for each record, is the species name then click the ‘Sticky’ check boxes for all of the other fields and all you have to do is list the species recorded there.
We are always looking to improve RODIS with input from users, so if you are interested in helping develop a recording package to suit your needs please try it out and let us know what you think; it is important to us that we have a system that suits your requirements as well as our own. RODIS is available through the RECORD website: www.RECORD-LRC.co.uk.