Cumbria Invertebrate Group

If there was a Cumbria Invertebrate Group, would you join?

Cumbria has various natural history interest groups – Bat group, Fungus group, Botany group, Amphibian and Reptile group etc – there is no group organising field trips specifically for invertebrates. There is a facebook group for Cumbria Insects and Invertebrates but the contributors are either interested members looking for IDs or observations made by the more knowledgeable. What is needed is a co-ordinated mixed group of people interested in the local invertebrate fauna whether county recorders or people who wish to learn about particular invertebrate groups, with special emphasis on field trips.

A suggested model

Main aims of the group:

  1. to advance knowledge of invertebrates in the region in order to promote their conservation. The emphasis should be on sharing knowledge and learning from each other whilst carrying out surveys of some of the region’s best sites.
  2. documentation of sites and species of conservation importance in Cumbria.
  3. to act as a central coordinating body for invertebrate study in the county and to provide a forum for discussion and cooperation between specialists with varying interests across the invertebrate groups.
  4. to provide a local source of advice on invertebrate conservation matters to CWT and other organisations.
  5. training of inexperienced recorders, primarily through help and encouragement within the bounds of the capabilities and resources of the invertebrate group membership.
  6. To promote interest in and sympathy for the county’s smaller fauna.

A combination of field meetings plus indoor meetings. The field meetings could be held monthly across the field season, typically beginning in April or May, and finishing in October. They should be held on a Saturday or Sunday with perhaps a midweek evening meeting in June and July. It may be possible to organise joint field meetings with national bodies such as the Conchological Society, BENHS, BMIG etc. Potential sites could include nature reserves, SSSIs, private landowners requesting surveys, members of the group suggesting likely productive sites, etc. Surveys could form part of wider national surveys.

An indoor/online meeting held in November to give a roundup of the season’s meetings and to discuss possible venues and leaders for the following season. A second indoor meeting in March to firm up the forthcoming season’s meetings and allow members to do short digital presentations of any unusual finds.

Production of a digital newsletter in April in time for the new field season. This would consist of a brief introduction, a list of forthcoming field meetings (with leader details, meeting point and reasons for visit), brief reports from the previous season, reports from national bodies that have held meetings in the area (e.g. Conchological Society, BENHS, BMIG etc). This would require a volunteer editor from the membership. Circulation could be organised by CBDC.

Records – the leader of each field meeting would be responsible for collating all the attendees’ records and forwarding them to CBDC with a copy going to the owner of the site visited, be it Wildlife Trust, private owner or other. The leader would also write a short report for the newsletter.

It is important to stress that the invertebrate group is very much a volunteer group, open to all with an interest in invertebrates and their conservation. There is no membership fee as people are either members of county or regional societies or the Wildlife Trust, or both, and non-members are assumed to be potential members who will join these organisations as their interests in invertebrate recording and conservation are cultivated through membership of the group. It may be that there is a hard core of say ten or a dozen active members and many more non-active members who are just interested.

If you are interested in joining such a group please contact: David Scott-Langley.