Breaking New Ground

Reconnecting People with The Brecks

Photo: Nick Ford

Photo: Nick Ford

Wildlife Recorders of Tomorrow - Call for Volunteers

Help us build a picture of wildlife in the Brecks


Are you interested in monitoring wildlife?  Live close to the Brecks or visit regularly?  


Norfolk’s Environmental Records Centre (Norfolk Biodiversity Information Service - NBIS) is looking for new volunteers to help record the distinctive biodiversity of Breckland, which studies have already shown is a nationally and internationally important hotspot for rarities.   


The “Wildlife Recorders of Tomorrow” project is part of the “Breaking New Ground Landscape Partnership scheme” (supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund) and will provide wide-scale monitoring of wildlife which is important for detecting underlying changes to the biodiversity of the area.


Whether you’re a complete beginner or a seasoned surveyor, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved with lots of support and training.


Biodiversity Information Officer with NBIS, Sam Neal said: “All you need is enthusiasm!  We can provide training in species identification, or you may just want to tell us what you’ve seen whilst out walking in the area.”  


Volunteers can choose from three levels depending on their interest, time availability and expertise:

  1. 1.    beginners will be given training and encouragement to get started;
  2. 2.    species surveillance volunteers will help with monitoring at a number of important wildlife sites in the Brecks;
  3. 3.    river corridor volunteers will survey a stretch of the Little Ouse river for invasive non-native species


To find out more, please register your interest by email, or visit the NBIS stand at the Charles Burrell Centre Open Day on Sunday 6th September from 10am – 3pm, Staniforth Road, Thetford, IP24 3LH. 


Breckland is one of the driest places in England with sandy soils and a ‘continental’ climate which experiences extremes of temperature. Previous studies by the University of East Anglia have shown that the area is a hotspot for biodiversity with a huge variety of species identified.  In 2010 the university and a team of 200 naturalists collated nearly 1million records with over 12,000 species represented, of which over 2,000 are priorities for conservation in Breckland.  The study showed how fragile their survival is, with habitat fragmentation, climate change and nitrogen deposition all risk factors.


New monitoring by Wildlife Recorders of Tomorrow will play a key part in developing strategies to ensure the long-term survival of all components of this unique ecosystem.  We do hope you can help.


To learn more about "Wildlife Recorders of Tomorrow" visit their Project Page here.