About the project

Do you know what wildlife makes its home in your back garden? Do you see wildlife when you are out for a walk? Did you know that sharing your sightings with others can help conservation? The Where’s Wildlife in Ayrshire project will engage with people throughout Ayrshire and encourage them to get involved in learning about their local wildlife, recording sightings and collecting information about where different plants and animals live. It will work with local wildlife enthusiasts of all abilities – beginners and experts – and help to create a focal point for local environmental data.

You don’t have to be a wildlife expert or have any formal training to take part in wildlife recording, simply send us what you see! Even if you are unsure of what you saw, send in the record and experts on hand through the project will help you identify the species. Just give it a go!

A key part of the project will focus on training communities and individuals to gather information about local wildlife. Over the next two years the project will be running a programme of events throughout Ayrshire which will provide people with new skills that focus on getting communities and individuals out identifying and recording wildlife in their area. Courses will run throughout the spring and summer months covering reptiles, butterflies and dragonflies.

Not only will the project seek to get people out recording, but it will also help to mobilise past records for Ayrshire, which have been untouched for years. As part of the project we have already managed to access over 30,000 records for Ayrshire from an old Recorder 2002 database, which we are gradually re-importing into Recorder 6.  The project has also recruited a volunteer to assist with digitising paper records lurking in the vaults of the Scottish Wildlife Trust. It is an exciting time for the Where’s Wildlife in Ayrshire project, and we are well on target to hit our aim of mobilising 100,000 records!

Making it happen…

The Where’s Wildlife in Ayrshire project is hosted by Southern Uplands Partnership, a not-for-profit organisation and registered charity.

The project was launched in October 2016 and helps to extend the coverage of local environmental records centres across Scotland. The need for a local repository of environmental information in Ayrshire was recognised by many Ayrshire partners, and highlighted in the Ayrshire Local Biodiversity Action Plan.  The opportunity to work closely with the already established neighbouring Dumfries and Galloway Environmental Resources Centre was explored, and led to the development of the project in 2016. Initially a two-year project operating until September 2018, we hope to continue to work throughout Ayrshire thereafter in partnership with local organisations to develop and support the network of biological recorders and to make valuable information about the local environment widely available.

The project is funded by The Scottish Government and the European Union Ayrshire LEADER 2014-2020 programme, the Heritage Lottery Fund, and East, North and South Ayrshire councils.

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SUP is registered in Scotland as a company limited by guarantee with charitable status. Registered address: The Southern Uplands Partnership, Studio 2, Lindean Mill, Galashiels, TD1 3PE. Company No. SC200827 / Charity No. SCO29475

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