The Tees Valley Wildlife Recorders Conference, was a great success. The conference, organised in Partnership with the Environment Records Information Centre North East (ERIC) and the Cleveland Naturalists, was held at Salthome Visitor centre on the 25 April 2015. We were overbooked – 54 people attended, which was a tight squeeze in a room with a maximum capacity of 50!
“The conference is a celebration of the diverse wildlife of the Tees Valley and an opportunity for people to find out how they can get involved with watching wildlife and recording it” says Katherine Pinnock, of ERIC.
The day kicked off with an introduction from Katherine Pinnock on why recording wildlife is so important for conservation and how ERIC, the Tees Valley Wildlife Trust and the Naturalists groups can help. A breakdown of the technology which was resolved by Sue Antrobus having a back up laptop, gave Kate Bartram an opportunity to promote the newly launched East Cleveland Coastal Flower project. This was followed by Joyce Scott who described her adventures as an amateur naturalist. Her photography of the life of rocky shores of the Cleveland Coast delighted the delegates. Keith Bowey made a compelling case for the power of the website Ispotnature and how it can be used to help people identify the wildlife that they see.
Coffee time was a buzz of activity and a valuable opportunity for people to find out what members of other Friends and wildlife groups are doing. Amy Carrick described the results surveys that she has coordinated for the Tees Valley Wildlife Trust on water voles in the Tees Valley. Nests and Nestlings and Predators was the subject of Geoff Myers presentation, Geoff has been monitoring nests across the Tees Valley for many years as part of the Nest Recording Scheme that is coordinated the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO). His patience and commitment to this work has rewarded him with many beautiful experiences and photographs.
After Lunch Sue Antrobus stressed the value of detailed studies on single species, using cowslips as an example. Ian Bond followed with a thought provoking presentation on mammals in the Trees Valley in terms of what we do know, what we don’t know, what we know we don’t know and what we don’t know if we know… Sarah Barry concluded the conference with an update on the new East Cleveland Bat project and the Wings of the Tees Project.
Feedback forms were very positive and as the conference was so popular it will be held on an annual basis and we are searching for a larger venue for April 2016 so that more people can take part.
…Really enjoyed the day at the recording conference… I thought that all the talks were of a really high standard and the day simply flew by.
Vic Fairbrother, Cleveland Naturalists
…On behalf of me and Elizabeth, I would like to thank you organising and running such an inspiring conference at Saltholme yesterday. It was really good to meet with and be inspired by such knowledgeable speakers.
Alan Liddle, Friends of Stainton and Thornton Green Spaces
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