New publication helps North West LRCs to promote their services
The NBN Trust and the Local Records Centres in North West England recently completed a project to raise awareness of the services provided by LRCs and of the need to incorporate biodiversity data into spatial planning and land management decisions at a local and regional level.
One of the outcomes of this project was an interactive advocacy document aimed at biodiversity data users in the public sector. It explains the relevant environmental legislation and showcases LRC services using real data search outputs based on the professional standards defined under the ALERC accreditation system. This document is available to download here.
The document also demonstrates the wider social and economic benefits provided by Local Records Centres. Case studies illustrate how LRC services have helped to enhance the local environment by attracting funding, improving decision making and engaging the public in recording and conserving wildlife. These examples are brought to life by quotes from local people who have benefited from LRC services, from consultants and planners to conservation groups and school children.
Local Records Centres’ capacity to engage and support local volunteers enables them to deliver cost-effective data services to Local Authorities and public bodies while helping to achieve Big Society objectives. This valuable mechanism for mobilising high quality data can only be maintained if it is supported by all the users who rely on it, so it is hoped that the document will help LRCs to secure this support from local partner organisations.
The advocacy document is already being used by the North West Local Records Centres to promote their services to new and existing data users, and has been publicised to the wider LRC community via the ALERC forum.
This project was funded by Defra under the 2008-2011 contract and formed part of the North West Pilot, a collaborative venture between the NBN Trust, Natural England and the five LRCs in North West England: Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre, Greater Manchester Local Record Centre, Lancashire Environment Record Network, Merseyside BioBank and RECORD, the Biological Records Centre serving Cheshire, Halton, Warrington and Wirral.