Frequently asked questions

Who are Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust?

Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust is a registered charity and works with the local community towards a better future for wildlife, people and the green spaces we all love. We are also part of a national network of 46 Wildlife Trusts, working together for a better deal for nature and people locally and in the wider world. Find out more about us on our website.

Why do we need to collect biological records?

In 2018 we published the Sheffield State of Nature report which highlighted the importance of good quality ecological data. One of the key recommendations of the report was to improve our capacity for collecting, storing, processing and analysing biological records. Nature Counts was developed up as part of the Data for Nature Project in 2019.

How are your biological records licensed?

Records submitted to Nature Counts are covered under the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC license which means if they are reused they must be attributed by giving appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. Your records may not be used for commercial purposes. Please read our full terms and conditions for more information.

What do we do with your records?

Your records are hosted by the Biological Records Centre (BRC). We have a dataset in the BRC data ‘warehouse’. Our data is hosted alongside other Indicia-based recording schemes such as iRecord. Our full dataset is periodically uploaded to the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas. The NBN Atlas is an online tool that educates and informs people about the natural world. You can view our dataset on the NBN Atlas here.

How do my records contribute to ecological and conservation research?

Your records are used by reserve managers at Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust to help understand the ecology of our reserves. What species we find in our reserves will impact how we choose to manage our sites. Your records also contribute to national scale research such as the State of Nature reports.

Do my records get verified?

If you submit a record with a photograph, your record will be sent to an expert of that taxonomic group through the iRecord verification system. If that expert agrees with your species identification they will accept the identification. Read more about verification on the iRecord website.

Why does Nature Counts feel similar to iRecord?

Nature Counts is a recording website run by Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust that is built using open source recording software called Indicia. If you are familiar with biological recording then you might have heard of iRecord which is also built with Indicia so you will notice some similarities.

I already use iRecord, should I submit my records to Nature Counts too?

Submitting records through Nature Counts means your records will be easier to access by Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust staff. Therefore, our staff are more likely to use your records to help local wildlife. Records submitted through iRecord and Nature Counts are both hosted in the BRC warehouse so there is no need to submit records to both Nature Counts and iRecord. If you are a long-time user of iRecord then we recognise you’d want to have all your records in one place so you can look at your species list. We can access records on our nature reserves that have been submitted through iRecord by any user.

I already use iNaturalist, should I submit my records to Nature Counts too?

If you submitted records to both iNaturalist and Nature Counts you might be duplicating records. We can access records in iNaturalist however we can make the best use of your records for aiding wildlife and conservation if you submit your records to Nature Counts or iRecord. iNaturalist has been recognised as a useful resource for biological records and there are trials of incorporating iNaturalist records into the NBN Atlas which you can read about here.