Slide Slide Slide Bloody Nosed Beetle © Gary Hedges Slide Fox cubs recorded in 2016 © Terry Middleton Cumbria has 24 UK priority habitats making it the most biodiverse in county in England Slide Hoverfly Arctophila superbiens 2016 first record in Cumbria for 3 years © Gary Hedges Slide Young recorders at Eycott Hill NR Bioblitz 2016 © CWT

Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre

The Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre at Tullie House Museum, Carlisle keeps wildlife information for the county of Cumbria. Tullie House Museum, in its role as a local natural history museum, has collected and disseminated records of wildlife in Cumbria since its inception in 1893. From the early 1990s the Museum has developed a computerised database of species and habitat records in Cumbria and has taken the central role in providing a local biodiversity data service for the county. This role was restyled as Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre (CBDC) in 2010, a not-for-profit organisation hosted by Tullie House Museum and advised by local stakeholders.
Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre
Cumbria Biodiversity Data CentreThursday, July 23rd, 2020 at 5:30pm
Field voles (Microtus agrestis) and bank voles (Myodes glareolus)

Between April and September every year the CBDC receives a large number of records for field and bank voles. There are currently around 600 records per species many for multiple individuals, with the earliest bank vole record dating back to 1887! These species have very similar appearances and it can be difficult to tell them apart, but there are a few tricks to identifying them with the voles having morphological and behavioural differences that can be spotted.

Bank voles are often more visible and active, commonly seen climbing, with a preferred diet of blackberries and hazelnuts. They can be found in variety of habitats such as woodlands, hedgerows and gardens, they are widespread in the UK though absent from many smaller islands. They can be distinguished from field voles by the size of their tail which is 50% of their body size, as well as, their larger eyes and redder fur colouration.

Field voles are difficult to spot as they stay close to the ground moving quickly through small paths, they are found mainly in grassland, heath and moorland. They are found throughout the UK and are one of the most common mammals in the UK. In terms of their difference in appearance to bank voles field voles have a greyer coloration and smaller eyes with their tail only 30% if their body size.

Both of these species are an important prey item for a number of owl species with field voles alone making up 45% of a barn owls diet! They are also great feed for barn owl young. Dissecting owl pellets can be a great way to identify small mammal species in your area, through skull identification, field and bank voles can be distinguished by their teeth.

For more information on barn owl pellet dissection and identifying mammals follow this link;

Below a comparison of field and bank voles, as well as a photo of some barn owl chicks from a recent record.
Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre
Cumbria Biodiversity Data CentreWednesday, July 8th, 2020 at 2:38pm
Swifts- Apus apus!

Last week was Swift awareness week and it reminded us of Bryan Yorke's talk at the 2016 Recorders conference.

Bryan spoke about Swifts in the Community, a conservation project active in South Cumbria and North Lancashire, recording Swifts and their nesting locations. He described a fantastic way to help Swifts in your local area. For more information follow this link to their website:

Swifts depend on humans for suitable nesting sites that they loyally return to each year, however buildings have changed and are often not suitable for swifts to nest, leading to a 40% decline in the UK swift population in the last 20 years.

• Swifts are the fastest flying bird at level flight at around 60mph, covering around 500 miles a day.
• Swifts only stop flight to nest, normally they would even sleep in flight drifting safely at around 10,00 feet.
• Young Swifts can enter semi-hibernation due to the sporadic feeding they receive, while their parents catch hundred of insects in a large ball that they carry with them in their mouth.

French photographer Jean- Francois Cornuet uses slow motion film to study how swifts, preen, scratch and live their lives on the wing.
Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre
COMMON SWIFT - In flight grooming - FIGURE 37 : Behavioural dataset
French version : This video is part of a 24 video series illustrating the figures in the paper: “Contribution of slow motion vid...
Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre
Cumbria Biodiversity Data CentreWednesday, July 1st, 2020 at 3:30pm
Taking photos of butterflies can be difficult sometimes, but this could be a new method worth trying out! This is a small tortoiseshell and was recorded on the 23rd of June as part of the Get Cumbria Buzzing project.

Please comment bellow a picture of your non-human recording partner!

For more information on Get Cumbria Buzzing follow this link:

Plus here is a helpful guide from Get Cumbria Buzzing on pollinators in Cumbria:
Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre
Cumbria Biodiversity Data CentreTuesday, June 30th, 2020 at 11:19am
Help Get Cumbria Buzzing record as many butterflies as possible TOMORROW (1 july). Take pictures of the different butterflies you see in the garden or when out on a walk, perhaps over the course of an hour or over the whole day, and we will identify them for you!

Then simply upload your pictures onto iNaturalist.
To do this download the iNaturalist app (available via Google Play or App Store) or sign up here
Then, all you need to do is:
1. Create an account
2. Go to Projects, and find ‘Get Cumbria Buzzing’
3. Join ‘Get Cumbria Buzzing project
4. Check out the help videos and information
5. Start taking photos on your phone and upload them onto to iNaturalist. The website will try to identify the images once uploaded.

Get Cumbria Buzzing’s experts will be at hand to verify your recordings between 9.30am-4.30pm, however feel free to upload your photos at any point during the day. The idea is to record as many different butterflies as possible. If you upload images outside this time, don’t worry your records will still count, and we will verify them as soon as we can!
Your records will contribute valuable data to local and national biodiversity record centres. With your help we will be able to create the first Cumbrian Pollinator Atlas and will be able to track insect populations and movements. This valuable information will help inform us on the best ways to support pollinators across the county.

For more information, please email

Thanks to the #NationalLotteryPlayer and support from the #NationalLotteryHeritageFund @HeritageFundNOR, #HighwaysEngland @highwaysenglandofficial, @cumbriafoundation #thankyouccf and @Allerdaleborough @tesco @SolwayAONB Rees Jeffreys Road Fund
This activity is part of ‘Get Cumbria Buzzing!’ Project. Head to these webpages for more information:…/get-cumbria_recording-the-buzzzi…/

Photo credit: David Longshaw
Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre
Cumbria Biodiversity Data CentreTuesday, June 23rd, 2020 at 5:02pm
The May issue of the National Forum of Biological Recording newsletter, is available and looking for contributors for the next issue! See the issue below, for more information.

It also contains information on the NBN awards for wildlife recording, which are looking for nominations for 2020, before 27th of July. So, if you know someone that is a passionate recorder then go check out the different criteria for the 5 awards and get nominating.
Friday, July 17th, 2020 at 7:51am
I am very happy to let you know that my book
'The Fresh and the Salt. The Story of the Solway'
will be published by the wonderful @BirlinnBooks in early September.
And thank you, @MarkCocker2 & @david_gange, for your very kind words.
CumbriaBDC photo
Monday, July 6th, 2020 at 6:58am
‘We’re Good to Go’ and we've taken all necessary steps to keep visitors and staff safe. We're excited to announce a phased reopening from Wed 8 July.
@ace_national @EmperorHadrian @DiscoverCarlisl @LakeDistrictPR #GoodToGo #VisitBritain #VisitEngland
CumbriaBDC photo
Friday, July 3rd, 2020 at 6:07am
Young mudshrimps Corophium are growing & moulting right now; a friend once described the piles of cast exoskeletons as 'like snow-drifts' along the shore. Not quite such dramatic nos. here but I was thrilled to find them - the long antennae are clearly seen CumbriaBDC photo
Thursday, June 25th, 2020 at 5:41am
Two Fabulous Pollinators for Cumbria Recording the Buzz Project. Chrysolina oricalcia (l) & Chrysolina polita (r). Both GB red listed. @CumbriaBDC @TullieHouse @cumbriawildlife @_NFBR @insectweek CumbriaBDC photo