Whilst we are all confined for large amounts of our time to our home and garden due to the coronavirus outbreak, we would like to invite all our local wildlife recorders across Ayrshire and Dumfries & Galloway to join us in the Wildlife at Home Challenge to record house and garden species, and we will be offering online support to help you identify and log the species where you live. Any wildlife counts, no matter how common or widespread, as long as it’s wild or naturalised (no planted garden species please). This includes mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, bees, butterflies, bugs, beetles, spiders, slugs, snails, mosses, lichens, fungi and flowers.
The Wildlife at Home Challenge uses the iRecord online recording tools for sharing and storing all records submitted. You will need to register for iRecord or be an existing iRecord user to take part – see the instructions below. Or you can see the adjacent videos for a guide on how to do this.
Please email us if you require further help or support with taking part in the Challenge.
If you have joined the activity and are logged into iRecord, click the following links to add your records
You can record wildlife inside your house and in your garden, or any wildlife that you observe from your house or garden. Please follow current government guidelines at all times.
Important note: We recommend you DO NOT use your full postal address as the location when submitting records on iRecord, as this will be visible for other logged-in users to see. Instead, use street names, village names or names of wider areas. Similarly, you may choose to record using a broader four-figure grid reference rather than a detailed six-figure grid reference. Please email us if you require further advice on how to set this up.
As an extra incentive, we will be offering prizes! We have not quite worked out what they will be yet (don’t expect luxury yachts), or how we will get them to you, but during the course of the Wildlife at Home Challenge, we will award prizes for the busiest recorders, the total number of records and species recorded, records of unusual species, good wildlife photos and anything else which we think deserves a prize.
Prize winners will be listed on this website. If you are signed up to our newsletter, we will also notify prize-winners by email.
It is always best to seek help with identification before submitting your records whenever possible. But even if you are not 100% sure about your identification, you can still submit your records via iRecord; the recording form has the option to state your confidence level and an option to attach photographs. Many (but not all) species groups are followed by experts who may be able to verify your records, or correct your ID if you have made a mistake. Even the most experienced recorders make mistakes and it is nothing to worry about!
Please do not submit records of unidentified wildlife on iRecord. To help with identification, there are various online resources, including iSpot. If you are a Faecbook user, there are a number of Facebook groups related to specific taxonomic groups where you can post photos and request assistance with ID (e.g. Hoverflies, Bees, Wasps and Ants). You can also email us with your queries and photos and we will do our best to help.
Any records you submit via iRecord (either through our Wildlife at Home Challenge entry forms , through iRecord general forms or through the iRecord smartphone app ) are shared with local environmental records centres and national recording schemes and societies. There is no need to submit the record separately to the county recorder or to SWSEIC.
If you are an iRecord app user, you can add the Wildlife at Home Challenge activity to your smartphone/tablet app. Go to the iRecord website and log in – you must use the same login details as you use in the app on your phone/tablet. Then click on the link in action 2 above and join the activity. When you go to the app on your smartphone, click on ‘activities’ icon and select the ‘Wildlife at Home Challenge’ activity as your active recording form (you may need to refresh the list if it does not show straight away). The activities icon will turn blue to show an activity is active. Enter records as normal – they will be added to the Wildlife at Home Challenge activity. Please remember to turn off the activity if you plan to add records from away from your home.
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