BioLinks is an upcoming Field Studies Council biodiversity project which received development phase funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. A further application has been made to take the project forward and, if successful, work could start in 2018.
BioLinks is an exciting new project for FSC which will bring together existing volunteers with skills in biological recording and identification, and new volunteers. The aim is to unite them in a community with a shared vision and sense of purpose by providing training and learning opportunities. This in turn will increase the quality of invertebrate species data being submitted to our national biodiversity datasets and develop individuals as more highly skilled biodiversity volunteers.
A public and sector consultation was undertaken during the development phase of the project and involved:
- 326 individual responses to the BioLinks online survey.
- 11 public consultation workshops attended by a total of 85 participants.
- 56 stakeholder consultations, involving 85 different individuals.
- 49 responses from site managers to the BioLinks site manager survey.
Following all the feedback, the results of the consultation are presented in the FSC BioLinks Consultation Report (Jan 2017)
The BioLinks project will look for opportunities to bring biodiversity training to both South East England and the West Midlands, filling gaps in current provision and adding value to existing schemes by working as a partner with other biodiversity organisations (such as Local Environmental Records Centres, national and local recording schemes and natural history societies). The proposed FSC BioLinks Development Plan for Training Provision (Jan 2017) details how the project aims to bring a comprehensive and detailed structure to the invertebrate groups that will be the focus of the project. It also outlines the learning pathways for volunteers, which can be found on page 5 of the document.