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Welcome to the Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre

Species records: 7,128,980

January species of the month: Hemp-agrimony Plume, Adaina microdactyla

Hemp-agrimony Plume, <i>Adaina microdactyla</i>

There are 44 species of members of the Pterophoridae or Plume Moth family that occur in the UK of which 30 have been recorded in Sussex. The smallest of these is the Hemp Agrimony Plume Adaina microdactyla, although not rare it isn’t a commonly recorded species and is one that is believed to be on the increase in Sussex.

More »

Upcoming recording events:

31 January: Sussex Bat Group - Bats and Artificial Lighting

Events Calendar »

Welcome to the website of the Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre, one of the many local environmental record centres situated around the UK. We provide environmental information services encompassing biodiversity, geodiversity and other aspects of Sussex’s natural capital. We cover the two counties of East and West Sussex, including Brighton & Hove, in South East England. We are a small but dedicated team of environmental data managers, naturalists and IT specialists.

The Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre is managed as a partnership project, hosted by the Sussex Wildlife Trust. Our partners include local planning authorities, government agencies, conservation bodies and other organisations which need access to up-to-date biodiversity information, such as water companies.

Sussex has a vibrant and energetic biological recording community with many independent recording groups and societies. By strengthening relationships with these groups, and the wider network of naturalists, ecologists and recording schemes active in Sussex, the Record Centre facilitates sharing of ever-greater amounts of biodiversity data.

Upcoming recording events:

31 January: Sussex Bat Group - Bats and Artificial Lighting

Events Calendar »

Species records: 7,128,980

January species of the month: Hemp-agrimony Plume, Adaina microdactyla

Hemp-agrimony Plume, <i>Adaina microdactyla</i>

There are 44 species of members of the Pterophoridae or Plume Moth family that occur in the UK of which 30 have been recorded in Sussex. The smallest of these is the Hemp Agrimony Plume Adaina microdactyla, although not rare it isn’t a commonly recorded species and is one that is believed to be on the increase in Sussex.

More »

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Latest news

Booking is now open for the 30th Sussex Biological Recorders’ Seminar!

12 December 2018

Seminar Invite 2019
Seminar Invite 2019

Join us from 9:30 am on Saturday 16th February 2019 at Oathall Community College, Haywards Heath for a day of talks and chat.

We’ve got some great speakers lined up this year: Steph Miles and Jenny Peach from Royal Botanical Gardens Kew will be talking about UK seed conservation, and Bjorn Beckmann, from the Biological Records Centre at CEH, along with local entomologist Ralph Hobbs, will be telling us all about grasshopper recording in Sussex and across the UK.

We’ll also have local mycologist Martin Allison speaking about the fungi of Lullington Heath; Brad Scott and Sue Rubinstein, from the South East Group of the British Bryological Society, on the Sussex bryophyte atlas; Fran Southgate from Sussex Wildlife Trust with an update on Sussex Otters; and John Arnott, a volunteer with Chichester Harbour Conservancy, talking about the Seals of Chichester Harbour - the only breeding population of Common Seals in the eastern side of the English Channel.

Emma Sherlock from The Earthworm Society of Great Britain is coming to give an insight into recording earthworms in the UK, and Henri Brocklebank, from Sussex Wildlife Trust, and Dan Watkins, from the Sussex Local Wildlife Sites Initiative, will be giving us an update on a new partnership project focusing on Sussex Local Wildlife Sites.

We’re very pleased that Tony Whitbread, organiser of the first ever seminar in 1990, will also be joining us and sharing his thoughts on 30 years of the Sussex Biological Recorders’ Seminar and the impact that biological recording has had on nature conservation in our county.

There will be the usual stalls from local recording groups and societies and a plentiful supply of tea and biscuits! We’re asking for £4 to attend, and an optional £8.95 if you’d like the delicious vegetarian buffet provided by Veg Out catering.

You can book your tickets online - please email loismayhew@sussexwt.org.uk if you have any questions.

We hope to see you there!

 

‘Wild about Portsmouth’ - how a HLF project could reveal new biological records for Sussex

27 November 2018

HLF Guermonprez moths

A drawer of Noctuid moths from the Guermonprez collection

HLF Guermonprez Herbarium

A specimen of Centaurea scabiosa from the HLF Guermonprez Herbarium

HLF Guermonprez moths

A drawer of Noctuid moths from the Guermonprez collection

HLF Guermonprez Herbarium

A specimen of Centaurea scabiosa from the HLF Guermonprez Herbarium

In March 2018 Portsmouth City Council was awarded a £79,700 grant to deliver the ‘Wild about Portsmouth’ project, aimed at raising the profile of the city’s Natural History Collection, which had been without a curator for over 10 years.

The project has enabled the development of natural history advocates and a team of volunteers to work on and promote the collection, as well as engaging with people in a variety of ways, from family activities to specialist workshops.

Since May 2018, work has been made to gain an overview of the collections, appoint volunteers and an assistant (starting in January 2019) and sharing newly found collections knowledge with local and national societies.

The largest and most important collection is that amassed by HLF Guermonprez (1858-1924) who lived in Bognor Regis between 1892 - 1924. This collection was transferred to Portsmouth Museums in the 1970s where it is held in Trust.

HLF Guermonprez was an avid collector, and the scope of his collection certainly reflects his enthusiasm for Natural History. He confined most of this collecting to Bognor Regis and the counties of West and East Sussex, recording where and when he found each specimen. Although some of his work is mentioned in publications such as the Flora of Sussex (1937) and the occasional entomological journal, many of Guermonprez’s collections remain under recorded.

 

Sussex biological specimens held in Portsmouth’s Museums

Plants
There are about 9,000 plants collected by Guermonprez in the herbarium. To date 3142 have been identified as collected from Sussex. Other collections with Sussex specimens include the A W Westrup Herbarium, which contains 153 sheets of plants from Sussex, and the John Jenkins Herbarium.

Entomology Collection
The majority of the collection are Lepidoptera and mainly from the Guermonprez Collection. Work has started on cataloguing the moth collection and a first analysis of the 561 records forwarded to Bob Foreman has shown ‘new spots on the map’. It is hoped that once the new ‘Insect Room’ is up and running, the moths and their data can be checked and added to the moth records for Sussex.

Taxidermy
There are about 800 taxidermy specimens in the Guermonprez Collection. Of these 116 are birds listed as being from Sussex over a date range of 1851 - 1925. The specimens from the mid-19th century, although part of the Guermonprez Collection, were previously in the Knight Collection. There are also a few small mammals collected in West Sussex.

Access to the Collections
At present the herbarium is the easiest collection to access and volunteers have been the key to organising the collection into taxonomic order. The insect collections are currently awaiting relocation so that they can be accessed more easily. They will be moved to their new location by the end of January 2019 and, once in place, it is hoped to appoint entomology volunteers to work through the insect collections and catalogue them.

By the end of the project in 2020 it is anticipated that the collections will be more readily available for consultation. Cataloguing projects will be driven by data requests and national recording schemes so that data can be shared more efficiently.

To arrange a visit to view the collections please contact the Curator of Natural History, Christine Taylor by email Christine.taylor@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Christine Taylor
Curator of Natural History, Portsmouth Museums

Portsmouth City Council

 

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