Welcome to the Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre



Anania funebris at Latterbarrow. (c)MR



Pharmacis fusconebulosa. (c)SH



Dicallomera fascelina at North Walney. (c)SH



Adscita geryon at Helbeck. (c)SH


Who are they?

Cumbria Moth Group is a growing ‘unofficial’ recording group of moth enthusiasts from around the County. The group is made up of some of the county’s most prolific Wildlife Recorders. Some members record moths >200 days per year and can contribute 100+ records from a single night’s light trapping in peak season. In 2015, 180 different people made at least 1 record of a moth in Cumbria. Although most moth recording is undertaken in the comfort of a recorder’s garden using a light trap, many recorders regularly team up to uncover the species found away from the garden in a range of habitats and under-recorded spots around the county. Members also help in monitoring rarities using methods without light traps, such as searches for caterpillars to monitor the populations of the Red Data Book species, Netted Carpet Moth Eustroma reticulatum. Some experienced recorders are involved in public, Natural History Society or Butterfly Conservation ‘moth night’ events, where typically light traps are set-up over white sheets and you wait to see what arrives as night falls. This is one of the ways in which recorders pass on some of their knowledge and get others fascinated, and before long, hooked on Moths!

An active Yahoo forum is used to share news of recent catches and events, as well as other moth-related topics. The forum is also a place to come for helpful advice on identification from experienced moth recorders in the area, and is regularly supported by national experts. Anybody interested in Moths in Cumbria is welcome to join the facebook group. For the past few years, VC69 and VC70 moth record verifier, Liz Still, has produced an annual report for the Birds and Wildlife in Cumbria Publication, reviewing the past years most significant records.

In winter 2013, Cumbria Moth Group had their first meeting in Penrith where ideas for developing the group in the future were discussed and plans for 2014, such as a target species to record and locations to host a ‘national moth night’ event were initiated.

How do I get involved?

If you’re completely new to moths, it is advisable to attend a ‘moth night’ to see if moth trapping is a hobby you’d like to take-up. You are also now able to borrow a moth trap from CBDC and Cumbria Moth Group for upto 2 weeks at a time free of charge in return for joining the Cumbria Moth Group Facebook Group (also free of charge) before investing in any equipment or identification guides. If you’ve passed this stage and you’re starting to identify moths (day or night flying), it’s time you joined the Cumbria Moth Group Facebook Group where you can start sharing your results, link up with others hunt moths in different sites and get the identification support you may need with some of the more difficult species. Experienced moth recorders are ofcourse also able to borrow the moth trap in order to enhance their recording capabilities.

Where do I send my Moth records?

One of the easiest ways to records moths, especially from light trap survey is by using this specially designed MS Excel spreadsheet, where you can make use of the short cut facility to speedy enter your records and avoid errors in species names etc.

Whether you collate your records in a spreadsheet, Mapmate or another method please then send all you moth records to CBDC via our standards routes; email (recordingofficer@cbdc.org.uk), RODIS or post. Please refer to the Send us Records page for more details. If you recorded a moth within the Cumbrian boundary but inside VC65 (North-West Yorkshire), you are advised to pass on your records to either CBDC, who will pass on a copy to Charles Fletcher (NMRS VC65 Recorder), or directly to Charles Fletcher: chfletcher@btinternet.com

What will CBDC do with my Moth records?

CBDC is the National Moth Recording Scheme’s Vice County Coordinator for VC69 (Westmoorland with North Lancashire) and VC70 (Cumberland). CBDC are responsible for collating all macro moth records from these geographical areas. Once records for the year have been collated, they are sent to Liz Still for verification. At this stage you could be contacted in a process to make sure all records are accurate. Once verified, all macro moth records are sent annually to the NMRS hub at Butterfly Conservation Head Quarters, East Lulworth. Here, they are incorporated in the national dataset and used to provide knowledge and evidence in order to ultimately help conserve moths and other wildlife at international, national, and local levels. A copy of all Cumbrian moth records is also kept at CBDC where it has many uses such as; providing information to conservation organisations and Local Authorities e.g. Local Planning Authorities to help them protect important sites for protected moth species, and regional and national recording schemes try to uncover and understand changes in species status and distributions over time related to changes in land use and climate change etc. Your records are also uploaded to the National Biodiversity Network Gateway, where you can view distribution maps of all moth species recorded in Cumbria and UK wide. 

Moth websites of neighbouring counties 

Lancashire Moth:  http://www.lancashiremoths.co.uk

Dumfries and Galloway Moths: http://www.dgmoths.org.uk

Northumberland Moths: http://www.northumberlandmoths.org.uk

 Yorkshire Moths: http://www.yorkshiremoths.info

Key links to more information about Moths