Sunday, 25 October 2015

Progress in Recording for the New Atlas

As the season winds down I thought it worth a quick review of where VC31 and 64 stand with regard to the objectives of the BSBI Atlas 2020 project. There are only four seasons left to record for the Atlas, so now is a good time to look at successes to date and requirements going forward.

VC31 is in good shape, and essentially work here is done to meet minimum requirements for the New Atlas. This is not to say more records aren't of value - lets try and exceed minimum requirements - but we have the luxury of going where the whim takes us without an emphasis on "square-bashing".

The following map taken from my VC page on the BSBI database website clearly shows the good performance in VC31 since 2000. The map on the right illustrates how thoroughly hectads have been re-surveyed - the paler the squares the more thorough the re-recording. The map on the left shows level of survey effort by tetrad - the darker the colour the more survey effort has been applied. The latter map amply illustrates the effects of bias towards the home patches of active recorders, and the honeypot effects associated with places like Woodwalton Fen and Paxton Pits.

So thinking ahead, while we can be satisfied in a job well done, the maps together suggest that "white" tetrads need a visit as these have not been recorded post-2000, and that there is a need for more recording on the fringes of the VC.

This situation in VC64 is also relatively favourable, but given this is a much larger county there is still a definite need for square-bashing in locations away from the main areas of interest for the most active local recorders and recording societies.

The map on the left again shows which hectads are relatively better recorded, and there is a clear need to target the larger dark red hectads on the fringes of the VC. The map on the right shows clear hotspots of recording activity focussed on my recent areas of interest as well as Wharfedale, the Washburn valley, Bowland and the Leeds/Bradford conurbation. Note the hectads with no or only few recently recorded tetrads.

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