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Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

Winners of the 2016 UK Awards for Biological Recording and Information Sharing announced

The winners of the second UK Awards for Biological Recording and Information Sharing were announced at the National Museums Scotland in Edinburgh during an evening ceremony on Thursday 17 November 2016.

These awards have been developed by the National Biodiversity Network, the National Forum for Biological Recording and the Biological Records Centre and are sponsored by Swarovski Optik UK.  Their intention is to recognise and celebrate the outstanding contributions made to biological recording by adults and young people, which is helping to improve our understanding of the UK’s wildlife. 

Field Studies Council (FSC) are proud to have been sponsors for one of the awards.

Chris Wood is the winner of the David Robertson adult award for recording marine and coastal wildlife.  He said:

“I have been fascinated by the underwater world ever since I stuck my head under it with a mask and snorkel in the Channel Islands as a ten year old. Moving on from snorkel to SCUBA was a natural progression at University and I have been diving, both in the UK and overseas, ever since.  

“What is special about UK diving is the diversity. You can move from cold water arctic species in deep Scottish sea lochs to the southerly species in the relatively balmy south-west of England.”  


Jordan Havell is the winner of the David Robertson youth award for recording marine and coastal wildlife. He said:

“I enjoy recording wildlife as it gets me out on the coast on a very regular basis. I feel it’s important to record what I see to help with the National databases.

“I want to work with Marine wildlife so recording different species and marine habitats helps expand my own knowledge of understanding what is there and any changes that occur.”


Richard Comont is the winner of the Gilbert White adult award for recording terrestrial and freshwater wildlife.  He said:

“The main reason that I spend my spare time doing biological recording is the endless fascination of how much there is to find, even on your own doorstep.  Wildlife isn't just lions and tigers and elephants, and nature isn't confined to tropical rainforests or the plains of the Serengeti, it's all around us.   

“Biological records also have the power to inform about what's happening to our world - from the effects of the spread of the Harlequin ladybird to the impacts of global warming.  They're a window into the world of wildlife for those who aren't out looking - and the best way we have of demonstrating when something needs to be done.”


George Garnett is the winner of the Gilbert White youth award for recording terrestrial and freshwater wildlife.  He said:

“I love biological recording because not only is it a great excuse to get outside and look at plants; it is also vital for helping others appreciate and conserve nature in the future.

“For me, the beauty of biological recording is the combined impact of everyone's records which are vital for our understanding of the natural world and the effect us humans have on it.”

George is an FSC Young Darwin Scholar, who benefitted from this initiative to support future generations of 'Darwins'. Find out more about the Young Darwin Scholarship.


Essex Wildlife Trust River Wardens are the winners of the Lynne Farrell group award for biological recording. Mary Tayler, one of the River Wardens said:

“We particularly enjoy improving our knowledge, using scientific methodology in the sampling process, accurately identifying species.  The river fly monitoring and recording allows us to contribute to a much larger picture as part of a national scheme, making us feel a small cog but part of a very big wheel. 

“Each of the river wardens have benefitted from increasing knowledge, awareness and the value of biological recording, collectively we have benefited from sharing individual skills and friendship.” 


Caledonian Conservation Ltd is the winner of the 2016 John Sawyer NBN Open Data award. Chris Cathrine, their Director (Ecology) said:

“We are all deeply honoured that Caledonian Conservation Ltd has been selected for the John Sawyer Award.  Caledonian Conservation Ltd is dedicated to ensuring as much of our biodiversity data is publicly available as possible within legal restrictions, and the NBN Gateway is the perfect platform for this. 

“It's so important that everyone is able to learn about the wildlife in their local area for their own enjoyment and to ensure there is a sense of ownership leading to a desire to protect biodiversity for future generations. 

“It is also essential that biodiversity data is available to academia and governments to monitor trends, and to professional ecologists designing habitat management plans or undertaking Ecological Impact Assessments for developments.  We hope that in future sharing of biodiversity data openly and at high resolution will be standard practice.”


Professor Michael Hassell, Chairman of the National Biodiversity Network said:

“The painstaking work that individual and groups of biological recorders undertake over many years is all too often not publically recognised.  We wanted to correct that, and celebrate the outstanding contributions that British biological recorders have made to improving our understanding of wildlife in the UK.”

Peter Antoniou, Country Manager, UK & Rep of Ireland of Swarovski Optik UK said: 

“Swarovski Optik UK is very proud to be sponsoring these awards.  Our brand embodies superior precision and uncompromising quality, which are characteristics that the best biological recorders share.  Our products help make observing nature a joy, allowing people to see the unseen.”


The prizes for the David Robertson awards for marine and coastal recording are sponsored by Paramo Directional Clothing.  The prizes for the Gilbert White awards for terrestrial and freshwater recording are sponsored by Swarovski Optik UK, and the prize for the Lynne Farrell group award for biological recording is sponsored by the Field Studies Council.                

NBN-awards -2016 (2)

Tuesday, December 20, 2016