Let us know what wildlife you've seen by sending in your 'biological records'. A biological record is a record of a particular species, at a particular place, at a particular time. To make sure records are useful, each needs a few key pieces of information:

What is it?

What is it?

Species (or taxon)

Normally we’d like to know the species or (if you are able to identify it) subspecies if applicable. But we recognise that it’s not always easy to identify to species level. You could enter the genus (first part of the scientific name) or in some cases an ‘aggregate’. An aggregate means it’s any one of a group of similar-looking species. It’s important to get the identification correct – do not guess! However you do not need to be an expert to be a wildlife recorder as there is plenty of help available.
>More info on species ID.

Where is it?

Where is it?

Grid Reference and Location

Tell us where you have recorded the species. Ideally this should be done by providing both a grid reference (e.g. SJ407707) and a Location Description (e.g. Chester Zoo Nature Reserve). You can find the grid reference using a mobile phone app, our own MapApp or the internet. The more digits (numbers) within the grid reference, the more accurate it is. We prefer to receive observations with at least a 6-figure grid reference if possible.
>More info on grid references.

When was it?

When was it?


Let us know the date of the observation. If you saw something twice in one day in the same place, record it only once. If you see the same thing the next day or in a different place, you can record it again. A precise date is best (e.g. 27/07/21) but you can use a vague date if you have to (e.g. July 2021) if you're not sure.

What was it?

Who are you?

Observer and Determiner

It’s important to know who you are. This ensures that if we need to check anything about the record we can get in touch with you. If you’re not able to ID it yourself but someone else can, add them as the 'Determiner'. If you identified it yourself, add your name as both ‘Observer’ and ‘Determiner’. We only share your name with others when neccessary - please see our Terms of use to find out more.

How many?

How many?


This refers to how many you have seen in one place at any one time. If you’re able to count, record the number seen, or use an abundance scale (for example the DAFOR scale for plants which scores from ‘Dominant’ to ‘Rare’). General descriptions such as ‘Many’ are not very helpful as everyone will have a different notion of how many this is! If you’re not able to count don’t worry – a record is just as valid if you just record ‘present’ to let us know it’s there, without adding an abundance.

Sex and/or Stage

Male or female? Which life stage?

Sex and/or Stage

This information is not essential, but add it in if you know it. Stage refers to the life stage, for example ‘Adult’, ‘Juvenile’, ‘Dead’ or for a plant ‘Flowering’, ‘In Leaf’. You can add both the sex and the stage, e.g. ‘Adult Female’ or one or the other. Don’t put more than one sex or stage into one record – if you saw an adult and a juvenile or a male and a female, these need to be separate records.

Record Type

How was it recorded?

Record Type (or Method)

If you've seen something, you can record this as a 'Sighting'. However evidence is just as important as sightings - for example, you could record ‘Faeces’, a ‘Footprint’, a ‘Mole Hill’ or a ‘Gall’. If you used any equipment add this here too; for example you might have used a moth trap or a net to catch invertebrates. If you're not sure what Record Type has been used, you can leave this as 'Not provided'.

RECORD - Local Environmental Records Centre,
Cedar House,
Caughall Road,

01244 383749
Charity number: 1095859
Company number: 04046886
VAT number: 455 8632 62

An ALERC member

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