Volunteering

We have a team of volunteers who give up some of their time to help us with a number of our tasks for the EYE project.

 

What are you currently doing in the EYE project?

I am transcribing a log book created at Druridge Pools Nature Reserve in 1991 by the Northumberland Wildlife Trust wardens.

Can you tell us a bit more about the records you are entering?

The maximum number of species visiting the site was recorded on a daily basis throughout 1991. The log book shows the breeding patterns of the waders and waterfowl over the spring and summer months.

Has it improved your knowledge or helped you in any way? If so how?

I now have a good impression of how these birds are using Druridge Pools throughout the year. I have learnt which species can be regularly found on our coastline and also the rare birds which visit the reserve.

Why did you decide to volunteer for EYE?

I am passionate about natural history and I wanted to learn more about the region’s biodiversity. The EYE Project will create a unique legacy for future generations which is capturing valuable information about our environment.

What are you currently doing in the EYE project?

I am working as a Data Management Assistant, volunteering about 4 hours of my time each week.

Can you tell us a bit more about the records you are entering?

I am entering an important botanical hay meadow survey of the area around Alston in the North Pennines. It contains information about a number of sites with a unique range of wild flowers.

Has it improved your knowledge or helped you in any way? If so how?

I am doing a PhD in grassland plant diversity, researching hay meadows growing along roadside verges. This volunteer role allowed me to select the sort of data I could enter, so I chose botanical records. I have learnt all the common and scientific names of the hay meadow species as they have been keyed in, which has been an invaluable aid for my PhD and for plant identification in general.

Why did you decide to volunteer for EYE?

I volunteer with the Newcastle University Conservation Society undertaking outdoor conservation tasks, and I have an interest in species recording and surveying. It seemed an excellent idea to gain experience working with a database to complement the field experience. I understand the importance of accurate species recording and the EYE Project caught my attention straight away. I am very glad that I’ve become involved in this project and I really enjoy it.

We currently have three roles for volunteers:

Role 1: Data Management Assistant

To build up our database of wildlife records for the North East Environmental Data Hub, volunteers are entering many of the records that we only have on paper into a computer system. This means that they will be in a form which can be used much more easily by conservationists planning for the future of the natural environment.

 

Role 2: Archive Researcher

As well as working with modern records, the North East has a wealth of historical sources. Many of these contain information about wildlife sightings from 100 or 200 years ago. Volunteers are picking out this information from sources such as the Tyneside, one of the early groups from the Natural History Society of Northumbria. This will allow us to discover how wildlife has changed over time.

Role 3: Fieldwork and Events Assistant

This role takes the form of a series of training sessions based around gaining knowledge in species identification, recording techniques and how to lead wildlife walks.