Essex Wildlife Trust Biological Records Centre has been awarded funding from the NBN Trust to digitise the data from the Environment Agency on riverine habitats in Essex. This funding is part of a larger bid to the Government's Release of Data Fund, which aims to tackle the so called "Data - Deficit Disorder" whereby lack of knowledge about the natural world leads to undervaluing of natural resources, and bad decision making when considering ecological impacts. It is expected that 500,000 species records from over 5000 discrete taxa, will be digitised from the 15 datasets chosen to receive funding.
This funding is particularly important to us as it allows us to digitise historic data that will be relevent and useful to our current partnership work with the Environment Agency and Biodiversity Project under the Catchment Restoration Fund. We recently undertook surveys of several river catchmentsin Essex and the historic data we will digitise under the Release of Data Fund will enable us to compare our recent surveys to the historic data of these catchments and highlight any changes that have occurred. The results of our current work are already available on the Essex Rivers Hub website so now we will have historic data to show how our rivers change over time.
The project is due to be completed by 31st March 2015
More information can be found on the NBN website