Charlie Bell's blog

If you wish to live and thrive...

In 2017 Lesley Lancaster attended all three levels of Tom.bio spider ID courses: 'Learn to Love Spiders', 'Field ID of Spiders' and 'Spider ID With Microscopes'.  Read her account of her 'spider journey' here!

Darwin's Garden earthworm weekend

Sampling for earthworms in Doctors Field, ShrewsburyDarwin had a lifelong fascination with earthworms. A cartoon of the elderly Darwin shows him, deep in thought, with a large earthworm suspended like a question mark above him.  So it was a definite thrill to be setting out for a day of earthworm hunting in Darwin’s childhood garden, where the young Charles discovered and honed his fascination with the natural world.

Rewilding and recording - Knepp Estate

Meadows of fleabane at KneppA couple of weeks ago the Tom.bio team (myself and Rich Burkmar), plus FSC Biodiversity Manager Sue Townsend and Biodiversity trainee Sue Loughran, were lucky enough to spend a few magical days at Knepp Castle estate in West Sussex.  

Read on for more...

Ento Day 2016 reviewed

Ento Day 2016Well it's 24 hours since Shropshire Ento Day 2016 began, and I'm still buzzing (pardon the pun)! Couldn't make it? Read our summary of the day here.

The Shropshire Cranefly Atlas has landed!

N Jones, licensed under Creative CommonsWe're delighted to report that FSC has a new publication - 'Shropshire Craneflies'. As well as being an up-to-date cranefly distribution atlas for Shropshire, it also includes a set of identification keys to the 245 taxa recorded in the county. Read more....

Solitary bee week - a review

The team photo!As we've all had cause to observe lately, a week is a long time in politics. But not, it turns out, when learning about solitary bees...

2016 UK Awards for Biological Recording & Information Sharing

Do you know an outstanding biological recorder or group? Why not nominate them for a UK Award? In their second year, these national awards have been set up by the National Biodiversity Network in partnership with the Biological Records Centre and the National Forum for Biological Recording and are generously sponsored by Swarovski Optik UK. They seek to recognise significant achievement and to celebrate success in biological recording.

The value of museum collections

Engaging butterfly collection at World Museum Liverpool.  C BellMuseum collections are an invaluable tool for taxonomists and biological recorders alike. As well as being invaluable, they are often under-valued and under-used. We should cherish and value our museum collections - and their curators - especially when so many of them are under increasing pressure.

Build Your Own LED Moth Trap - guest blog by Paul Palmer

Garden tiger moth.  C BellReturning to moth recording after a gap of too many years to count, I took a fancy to build a cheap, lightweight moth trap to use at a favourite nearby locality, Rutland Water. Reducing the cost to a minimum soon became an expensive additional aspect to my hobby.

Head in the (word) clouds

Tom.bio training courses Wordle I have a feeling I'm arriving a little late to the word cloud party. But this week I've discovered the wonderful world of wordle (try saying that out loud a few times!) and it seems I can't get enough of it!

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