UK Awards to celebrate biological recording and information sharing

The National Biodiversity Network wants to recognise significant achievement and celebrate success in biological recording and information sharing. The NBN Secretariat has therefore established a new national award scheme in partnership with the Biological Records Centre and the National Forum for Biological Recording. These awards will be made annually to individuals, groups of people or organisations that are making outstanding contributions to biological recording and improving our understanding of the natural world.

Nominations are now closed 

The inaugural 2015 awards sponsored by Swarovski Optik UK will be presented at a special ceremony on the first evening of the NBN Conference on Thursday 19th November 2015, at the Merchant Taylor’s Hall, Central York.
(Entry to the awards ceremony is automatically included in the price of a conference ticket and transport from the Conference to the Merchant Taylor’s Hall will be provided.)
The nomination form can be downloaded here 

(The form is an editable PDF, which can be saved and submitted electronically or printed and posted as a hardcopy)

 Completed applications should be sent to

Award Categories

Terrestrial and freshwater:

  • Gilbert White youth award
  • Gilbert White adult award

  Marine and coastal:

  • David Robertson youth award
  • David Robertson adult award

  Gilbert White Gilbert White (1720 – 1793) is remembered in these awards because his name is synonymous with biological recording. He was one of the first English naturalists to make careful observations of his surroundings and record these observations in a systematic way. He transformed the way we look at the natural world and is recognised as one of the fathers of ecology.
  David Robertson David Robertson (1806–1896) was a Scottish naturalist who founded the University Marine Biological Station at Millport, which opened in 1897.  Millport Marine Biological Station closed in 2013, but reopened in 2014 as Millport Field Centre thanks to the Field Studies Council.

Eligibility and criteria
Eligibility for both categories:

  • Youth awards will be given to a person (or group) not yet 18 years of age on 30th July 2015.
  • Adult awards will be given to a person, group or organisation.

The awards committee will consider the significance of the contribution (voluntary or otherwise) made to biological recording and/or improving our understanding of the UK’s biodiversity. This could include filling geographic or taxonomic gaps in our knowledge, encouraging and facilitating participation, verifying records, teaching or mentoring recorders, or creating and sharing tools and resources to support biological recording. 

  • Nominations may be made by anyone (including people and organisations that are not Network members).
  • Individuals, groups of people or entire organisations are eligible for the awards.
  • Nominations can be made for more than one person

Closing date and winners

Nominations closed on Wednesday 30th September 2015.
Successful nominees will be notified by the end of October and invited to attend the awards ceremony.

Further information 

  • The National Biodiversity Network will make the awards annually (usually at the time of the NBN Conference).
  • The NBN Secretariat will appoint an awards committee to decide the winners each year. This will include the Chair of the NBN Board of Trustees, the NBN Patron (Earl of Selborne), a representative of any sponsoring organisation, the CEO of the NBN and representatives of the Biological Records Centre and National Forum for Biological Recording.


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