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 CentreTuesday, November 20th, 2018 at 10:55pm
Species of the Week...

This week’s species of the week comes from April who is the in charge of the LOST project which looks at the lake districts Atlantic Woodlands and all the lichens, mosses and liverworts they contain. She is also the North West representative for AFON which the UK’s youth nature network is.

Peltigera leucophlebia is a bright green foliose lichen, that can be found across Cumbria inhabiting base rich substrates. The fungus of P. leucophlebia forms a symbiotic partnership with a green alga and a cyanobacterium (blue-green alga). The green algae is found throughout the body of the lichen and the blue-green algae is localised into structures called cephalodea, which can be seen without a hand lens.

Image: April Windle Twitter: @aprilwindle
Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre
Cumbria Biodiversity Data CentreMonday, November 19th, 2018 at 2:46am
This weekend was the Mountain Festival in Kendal, which is a large celebration of the outdoors and adventure.

The festival has a strong focus on Climbing so I thought I would talk about a Cumbrian climber who is linked to the CBDC and the Tullie house collection, Jim Birkett. Not only was he a pioneer in the climbing world he also was an avid wildlife recorder, in fact his passion for climbing came from him climbing up to bird nests as a kid to see what was there. He was an avid birder his whole life and was licensed to protect peregrine nests.

This lead to his strong friendship with Derek Ratcliffe, internationally renowned naturalist who figured out the link between DDT and birds eggs using the Tullie House collection. Ratcliffe and Birkett would correspond regularly, Birkett would often send lists of his sighting to Ratcliffe and keep Ratcliffe updated on the wildlife in Cumbria. He also had skills as a botanist and would update Ratcliffe on different plants he found on rockfaces, in our collection we still have a herbarium sheet (plant specimen) collected from Humphreys Head, by Derek Ratcliffe and Jim Birkett. They would go on to work together on a lot of projects throughout their life’s, Birkett was a contributor to Ratcliffe’s book on Peregrines, and Birkett would write to Ratcliffe asking for information about new routes he wanted to climb, height, rock type etc.

Jim Birkett’s love for wildlife and dedication to climbing is a testament to him as a hero for Cumbria and all it contains. So, all recorders today are following in the footsteps of countless fantastic naturalists, and you could easily be one of them so please click the link below to see what it involves and start recording!

Images below:

A photo from our Ratcliffe archive showing a two female Peregrine’s at a nesting site in Cumbria and their eggs, this site was also was recorded being used by Ravens and Golden eagles.

A photo of a peregrine on a telegraph pole from this year on the 18th of February along the Solway, by James Hughes.
Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre
Cumbria Biodiversity Data CentreSaturday, November 10th, 2018 at 6:27am
That's a wrap on The Recorders Conference 2018! We had a fantastic day with many interesting talks on a wide variety of different organisations, project and species. We want to thank all that came, those that gave excellent talks and all that contributed to a great day.

Also a big thanks to all our recorders those that came and those who couldn't make it, you make what we do possible and are fantastic!
Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre
Cumbria Biodiversity Data CentreWednesday, November 7th, 2018 at 3:51am
Species of the week this week is the European hedgehog, which should all be heading off to hibernation around now.

Hedgehogs are one of the few mammals that ‘truly’ hibernate meaning they don’t sleep, but rather drop their core body temperature and enter a state called torpor where they reduce all body functions to save energy. This is very different to a grey squirrel who do appear to hibernate but really, they just sleep a lot.

Hedgehogs are one of the more recognisable UK mammals, and they tend to prefer gardens to more rural habitats which can put them in harm’s way particularly around bonfire night (hopefully you all had fun but kept wildlife in mind). European hedgehogs as the name suggest can be found across most of Europe, including the Channel Islands where on two of the islands 25% of the hedgehog population are ‘blonde’ (leucistic) due to a recessive gene and a small gene pool.

The European hedgehog is in trouble in the UK as it is in decline across the UK and here in Cumbria population density is a lot lower than most other areas of the UK. Some theories think that the decline could be due to pesticides that kills off insects that the hedgehog relies on for food. Unfortunately, though there are many factors that could be blamed for the decline and so far, we cannot pinpoint the direct cause if there even is one cause. So, all we can do is continue to monitor population levels and gather more information so that we can continue to try and find an answer to the problem.
Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre
Cumbria Biodiversity Data CentreMonday, November 5th, 2018 at 5:57am
As the recorders conference is almost upon us, I thought I would tell you all about what a recorder is and what they do.
The name ‘Recorder’ is given to the all the people that go and gather data and record wildlife that they see. This data is then given to us and we process it and then add it to our database, that way the data can be accessed and used to understand biodiversity in Cumbria. Recording wildlife can be done by anyone they just need to record species they see and provide as much information as possible to improve the quality of the record for example: Where did they see it? What is it? When did they see it? Who saw it and was anyone else there to see it? How many did they see? Any information on what it was doing? Did they get any proof e.g picture?

The information that we gather from all our recorders contributes to the conservation and our understanding of Cumbria and the lake district. For example, we recently used this data to create maps to look at our Atlantic Woodlands (the lake districts rainforest) where they are and where they could be. This information can be found on our website and was created from data gathered by our recorders and LOST who went out and collected information on different plant indicator species. This information can then be used to understand what plant species we have, what we want more of and how this affects different animal species.

So, becoming a recorder is a great way to contribute to science and the future of biodiversity in Cumbria, it is also fun. So, for more information on doing some of your own recording follow the links below and sign up to come to our recorders conference, its free and there will be lots of interesting talks on wildlife in Cumbria.

Species recording sheet I recommend printing the species recording sheet out and taking it with you on outings so you can get the hang of recording and as a reminder of what information is needed for a quality record. :

Recorders conference sign up: https: //

Thank you Rachel Owen for the great picture of a Yellow Stagshorn fungus, spotted at High Stand plantation near Wetheral.
Saturday, November 10th, 2018 at 3:21am
A huge thank you to all that attended The Recorders Conference 2018! What a fantastic day with many great talks about recording in Cumbria and different projects from all over the country. See you all again next year!
CumbriaBDC photo
Monday, November 5th, 2018 at 10:25pm
If you have popped into Tullie House recently you may have seen the Woodrow Wilson exhibit. Where the Cumbrian Biodiversity Data Centre gets a shout out as the oldest biological records centre! CumbriaBDC photo
Monday, November 5th, 2018 at 10:13pm
Exciting news! North West England now has a @AFONature group. If your under the age of 30, live in the NW and love #nature then this is the perfect opportunity for you! PLEASE share far and wide #AFON CumbriaBDC photo
Monday, October 29th, 2018 at 8:07pm
This is one of four events around the @lakedistrictnpa to explore what World Heritage Status means to the people who live and work in Cumbria. Come and tell us what you think! (Booking is essential.) Thanks to @Lake District @lakesfoundation and @theRSAorg for funding. CumbriaBDC photo
Friday, September 14th, 2018 at 1:21am
Felltop fungi growing in association with the Dwarf Willow on Eel Crag, Cumbria last week. The Cep (Boletus edulis), Mountain Grisette (Amanita nivalis), Fly Agaric (A. muscaria) and Russula renidens @LostFoundFungi CumbriaBDC photo