Recording in Oxfordshire

This page is a collection of resources and information to assist local recorders. Several points for all recorders and prospective recorders of vascular plants and charophytes:
  • Records for the vice county of Oxfordshire should be sent to the county recorder, David Morris (see below for instructions).
  • It would be greatly appreciated if all local botanists actively collecting records in the county could make their activity known via email ( or telephone (07846567839). This is in order to determine recorder coverage of the county for such projects as the BSBI Atlas 2020. It is also just nice to get to know ones colleagues.
  • Finally, please don't hesitate to get in touch if you are in need of any form of support, e.g. starting out recording, contacts for local botanical groups, use of the BSBI referees for critical plants (the BSBI should cover cost of P&P of specimens).
Bryophyte records for V.C. 23 should be sent to the county recorder Oli Pescot via email.

Atlas 2020

At present most of the recording effort in the county is directed toward the BSBI Atlas 2020 project. This is an update of Atlas 2000 and the pioneering 1962 atlas, and recording will continue until the end of the 2019 season. See the dedicated Atlas 2020 page for progress with this project in Oxfordshire.

If you would like to contribute or find out more then please get in touch. The project webpage hosts some excellent guidance on where and what to record, and this is recommended reading for anyone planning recording for the Atlas.

Submission of Records

Vascular plant and charophyte records for vice county 23 (Oxfordshire) can be submitted in one of three ways:
  1. By emailing a spreadsheet of records to David Morris. Please use the template downloadable from here - instructions are provided. The spreadsheet is set up to facilitate importation of records into Mapmate and can perform basic validation checks, most importantly check scientific names. English names and synonyms are not recognised. 
  2. By exporting records from Mapmate and emailing the result to David Morris.
  3. By using iRecord, the Biological Record Centre’s online record submission system. iRecord and developments thereof are likely to become the preferred means of submission over the coming years while Mapmate becomes increasingly obsolete. iRecord has the advantage that one can submit records in the field via a ‘smart phone’ or tablet and is easy to use once one is registered. Of course, a mobile internet connection is required. Records submitted via iRecord will automatically be sent to the county recorder to validate and once verified will be included in the BSBI database. iRecord records are also visible to other organsations such as Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre (TVERC).
Records submitted to the county recorder will contribute to all BSBI projects and will also be shared with TVERC and potentially other third parties. If you do not want your data shared with third parties or would like it restricted in some way then please indicate this in your records.

BSBI Distribution Datbase

The BSBI's records are held in a central database, the Distribution Database (DDb). It currently holds over 35 million records. Access to the DDb is restricted, but all local recorders are entitled to use it for recording purposes. The powerful and simple to use queries are very useful for planning and analysing recording, and access to the DDb is also a good way to see that your records have been faithfully uploaded and to check for errors (though only the county recorder has editing and verification rights). Please get in touch if you would like access to the DDb.

Recording Card

A checklist optimised to recording in Oxfordshire consisting of abbreviated scientific names is available from the BSBI here. This is best printed on thick paper or card. If you are thinking of recording and would find a card helpful then I can provide you with a batch - just email me your postal address.

County Boundary

The recording unit of Oxfordshire, vice county 23, is smaller than the modern county of Oxfordshire – see the map below. Specific grid references can be checked using the VC lookup tool. GIS users can download the vice county boundaries in ESRI or MapInfo formats from here. If you are unsure of where the county boundary runs through your recording area then please get in touch and detailed maps can be provided. Oxfordshire needs all the records it can get - we wouldn't want you unwittingly recording in Northamptonshire. The southern boundary of V.C. 23 is formed of the Thames and so is, except around Oxford, unambiguous.

1 comment:

  1. Great idea, look forward to seeing the blog develop.