Forth Nature Counts

#Back And Forth#Ifli Wide#Recording Celebrating

The Inner Forth is a fantastic area for wildlife. Between 2014 and 2018, over 1,000 people took part in the Forth Nature Counts project by attending free wildlife identification workshops, signing up as volunteer Nature Recorders and walking one of our six Survey Walks, or by generating new wildlife records and adding them to the Inner Forth Nature Counts form on iRecord. All of this activity has helped to build understanding of the diversity, abundance and spread of plants and animals that are found in this landscapeThe project came to a close at the end of March 2018, but you can still take part. Read on to find out how!

  • Help to make your wildlife sightings count: Sign up to use the Forth Nature Counts iRecord form and submit your records from anywhere in the UK.
  • Help to record locally scarce or under recorded species by downloading the month by month target species to record poster from the 'documents' section of this page. Once you spot a species, add it to the Forth Nature Counts iRecord form.
  • Try wildlife recording using a transect: download one of the six Survey Walks from the documents section of this page, visit the site and add your wildlife records to the Forth Nature Counts iRecord form
  • Looking for something more? If you are looking for species information, the two Local Biological Records Centres that operate in the Inner Forth area may be of interest to you. Visit the websites for The Wildlife Information Centre or Fife Nature Records Centre. Alternatively you can visit the NBN Atlas Scotland, 'a gateway to learning about the natural world', to browse and search species and habitat data from Scotland, look up organisations who record and contribute data and see or add photographs of flora and fauna. If you are looking for wider information about the environment in Scotland, Scotland's environment web is a wealth of information. For training courses and volunteering opportunities, many organisations such as those listed on this download run workshops, training days and look for volunteers to participate in a range of ways. In addition, it's always worth checking out the many environmental or conservation focused websites that advertise opportunities such as environmentjob and Countryside Jobs Service.

From Source to Resource conference, February 2018, Alloa.

On Saturday 10th February 2018, 'From Source to Resource: Making Biological Records Count' took place at Alloa Academy. Attended by seventy wildlife and recording enthusiasts, volunteers and practitioners, this free conference mixed short talks with break-out sessions and a stalls area. Throughout the day tips and skills were shared and all attendees heard updates from figures in the world of biological recording and citizen science. Some of the slides from the day are available to download below.Source to Resource Conference Poster (reduced size)


Speakers: Download slides from these five conference talks here

  • Dr Mark Eaton (RSPB Centre for Conservation Science), Assessing the state of nature: past, present and future
  • Dr Scott Shanks (Buglife Scotland), Biological Recording: The key to conservation
  • Natalie Harmsworth (The Wildlife Information Centre), Record Verification: A key step in the data flow pathway
  • Ross McIlwrath (TCV / Butterfly Conservation Scotland), Micro Moths: An Under-Recording Problem
  • Ellen Wilson (RSPB / Scottish Biodiversity Information Forum), SBIF Review Update               

Break-out sessions:

  • AM/1, Mammal Tracks & Signs, John Haddow (Auritus Wildlife Consultancy) slides not available.
  • AM/2, Seaweeds in the Edinburgh shoreline, Aroa Sampedro-Fernandez (TCV/RBGE) slides not available. 
  • AM/3, An overview of the diversity of Scottish solitary bees & hoverflies, Suzanne Burgess (Buglife Scotland) slides available here.
  • AM/4, Guided birding to RSPB Black Devon Wetlands, Allison Leonard & Ami Kirkbright (RSPB Scotland). outdoor session.
  • PM/1, Using iRecord to simplify recording & verification of wildlife records, Scott Shanks (Buglife Scotland) slides available here.
  • PM/2, Introduction to Bryophytes, Julie Smith & Gordon Rothero (British Bryological Society) slides not available. 
  • PM/3, What lurks beneath at Black Devon, Kirsty Grant & Ally Lemon (Buglife Scotland) outdoor session that used the OPAL water survey
  • PM/4, How to record: for beginners, Graeme Wilson & Natalie Harmsworth (TWIC) outdoor session.

Wildlife Survey and Identification Skills Workshops

The posters below give a flavour of the 106 free workshops that ran during the four years of Forth Nature Counts. Thank you to all those who led and attended workshops, we hope that you had fun, picked up new skills and have since been out recording wildlife in your local area!

Forth Nature Counts 2017 wildlife identification workshops poster 2016 Forth Nature Counts wildlife identification workshops posterForth Nature Counts 2015 wildlife identification workshops poster

Making a Wildlife Record - Forth Nature Counts on iRecord

If you make any nature records in the Inner Forth area, or across the UK (and you are not already submitting them to the NBN via other means) then give the Inner Forth iRecord form a go and share it with anyone else who might be interested! Enter your records (what, when, where) at:

If you are new to iRecord or wildlife recording, please download our tips sheet with three easy suggestions to get started with wildlife recording and take a look at our handy 'iRecord, How To? guide from the documents section below.

If you plan to regularly record, then we suggest you create a free account on iRecord. This means you can explore the records you generate and look at what other people have recorded in your local area.

For recording out-and-about you can download the iRecord app, but remember to log in from a computer first and select 'enter Inner Forth records' as one of your activities, and link it to your app!

Between September 2014 and March 2018 an amazing 13,625 records of 1,540 species from 45 taxon groups were added to our iRecord page. Thanks to the 102 people who have used this form to submit records!


Forth Nature is being counted! Summary of activity between May 2014 & September 2016:

Forth Nature Counts in 2015, a review...

In September 2014 we launched the Inner Forth Nature Counts form on iRecord, ready for wildlife records to be inputted over the winter months. Over the next 12 months volunteers added a fantastic 4,615 wildlife records covering 518 species. 79.7% of records were inputted using our form, rather than the standard iRecord interface.

In 2015 we ran sixteen free wildlife ID workshops for 144 attendees. Workshops covered wading birds, fungi, wildflowers, invertebrates and trees. The evaluation forms collected gave us some areas to improve on (toilets and the occasional cramped room), but also showed that the sessions were enjoyable, the workshop leads hugely knowledgable and personable and that attendees were keen for more.

We also launched Survey Walks on five IFLI sites with the aim of offering volunteers the opportunity to improve their ID skills and get to know an IFLI project site in all seasons. Our volunteers have been fantastic and have generated many of the records inputted to our iRecord page. We hope they will stay involved with us next year and know that many are picking up new skills.

A huge thank you to everyone who has taken part, to our volunteers, workshop leads, attendees, and everyone who has shared a wildlife sighting with us. 

If you have a question about this project, please contact Kate Fuller, IFLI Community Engagement Officer on 01324 831 568 or