The Field Studies Council, FSC, has been awarded a National Lottery grant of £1.23 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for their exciting new BioLinks project.
Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, BioLinks will support, signpost and mentor existing and new natural historians who volunteer their time. This will help them to help them to become more proficient biological recorders. It will provide more taxonomic training for underrepresented species, especially those that are difficult to identify. Species focused on will include beetles, snails, true flies, ants and wasps.
FSC aims to involve existing and new biological recorders in the project, hoping to extend not only the number of active natural history observers but also increase their age range and diversity. Over the five year project BioLinks will work across the West Midlands region and London and South East to engage with 2,500 volunteers, delivering 480 training courses and 33 events.
During our consultation phase we listened and found volunteers wanted more structured learning and BioLinks will help both beginners and experts to make progress in their ability to identify and understand invertebrates.
Events will include community bioblitzes, visits to national collections, volunteer celebration events and knowledge sharing events. They will be offered free or at a heavily subsidised rate to ensure cost is not a barrier to participation.
FSC, the organisation that will deliver BioLinks, is an environmental education charity with a 74-year history of inspiring and teaching people about the natural world.
Sue Townsend, FSC Biodiversity Manager said: “Receiving this support from the National Lottery is fantastic news for FSC and the whole sector. Having more active, skilled biological recorders will increase the quality of biodiversity data being submitted to our national biodiversity datasets which help inform decisions over the conservation of our natural world.”
Vanessa Harbar, Head of HLF West Midlands, said: “With this support from National Lottery players, BioLinks can strengthen biological recording data and engage a younger generation with the UK’s valuable natural heritage. We’re delighted to support this project in providing fantastic volunteer and learning opportunities and developing new resources for the future.”
Read our previous articles about the BioLinks project.