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Sussex biological recording news

Welcome to February's newsletter, our first for 2020! It's been a particularly wet start to the year, but we've got lots of news for you to read in the dry and get you ready for the recording year ahead. If you've got some spare time this year to get involved in a recording group, we've put together requests for help below. All recording groups bwelcome new members, so if there's a group you've been meaning to join - make this the year! You can find a list of Sussex groups on the SxBRC website (and if your group is missing please let us know!). 

Happy reading!  

- The SxBRC Team 

2019 Adastra publication now online!

We're delighted to present the 2019 Adastra publication, created by the Sussex biological recording community and put together by SxBRC. You can read this year's edition online, with species group updates including a bumper update on Auchenorrhyncha, all the latest on Sussex Spiders, a lovely feature article on Kelp and much much more!   
News roundup from the Sussex Biological Recorders' Seminar
Thanks so much to everyone that attended the 31st Sussex Biological Recorders' Seminar on 15th February. If you didn't make it, you can read our round-up of the day on the SxBRC news page.

Here are some links to resources and events mentioned through the day that you might be interested in:
  • If you were inspired by Dr. Matthew Shepherd’s talk on soil biodiversity, you can join the Soil Biodiversity UK facebook group or take a look at the website. FSC are also running a course lead by Matthew Shepherd, Peter Shaw, Felicity Crotty in May - details on the FSC website
  • If you’d like to get involved in recording at Moulsecoomb Forest Garden you can get In touch via their website, or follow them on twitter or instagram
  • If you enjoyed John Walters talk on the Heath Potter Wasp you can visit his website, which has videos and more of his beautiful illustrations, and follow him on twitter.
  • If you’d like more details on the Barn Owl Study Group, this is available via the SOS website: and more information on SOS's survey programme is available under the 'surveys' tab too (including the SOS Marsh Tit survey there are still 1km squares for)
  • The Sussex Bee and Wasp Recording Group group has 4 field meetings a year, you can find out more about these from James Power via emailing
  • Pevensey Farmers Group are running a bioblitz for recorders on the 6th June at Herstmonceux Castle from 10am to 5pm. If you'd like to attend or know more, contact Evan Jones on
  • University of Sussex and Brighton University are co-ordinating this year’s City Nature Challenge for the Brighton and Lewes Biosphere, for more information on how to join in or host an event take a look on the Nature2020 website
  • If you were enthused by Graeme Lyons talk on Spiders and want to start recording our eight-legged friends, Sussex Wildlife Trust are running an Introduction to Spiders course on 19th June lead by Graeme himself!
And a few requests from this years Adastra publication that are worth another mention:
Image credit: Clare Blencowe
Sussex Botanical Recording Society Launch 'Plant of the week'!

If you're planning to learn more about Sussex plants this year, SBRS have started a handy new weekly feature starting with the more common plants in Sussex. These include handy ID tips, distribution maps and information from the Flora of Sussex - everything you need to get started with plants! 

Image credit: Kevin Widdowson/SBRS
Species of the month: Pseudoscorpions

Gerald Legg has written a wonderful species of the month feature on Pseudoscorpions for this month, with some great tips on how to find them and where to get I.D resources.

We'd love more pseudoscorpion records in the SxBRC database!

Image credit: Gerald Legg
Local News

Sussex Botanical Recording Society have written up the results of the New Year Plant Hunt

Sussex Wildlife Trust Shoresearch dates are now available online - the first date is Tuesday 21st April at Saltdean. If you've never gone along before and would like an idea of what you might see, you can read more about what they found in 2019 in their newsletter. 

Nominations are now open for the 2020 David Streeter Award for Natural History in Sussex 

Biological Recording Events and Opportunities 

RHS Wisley are looking for a Slugs Count volunteer one day a week to help with the day-to-day running of the project and processing slugs 

2020 FSC Biolinks courses are now available to book - many are only £5 and a great way to start learning a new taxonomic group! 

Applications for the BTO Young Bird Observatory Volunteers programme is now open 


National News

The UK Beetle Recording website now has an updated index for The Coleopterist journal  

The British Lichen Society now has an Excel Cladonia key on the website to help with the identification of this tricky genus

BTO have published their 4th Population estimates of birds in Great Britain and the United Kingdom

Two new species of fungus gnat have been recorded in the Scottish Highlands 
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