FSC BioLinks

BioLinks logo

FSC BioLinks is an exciting biodiversity project for the Field Studies Council running from 2018 to 2022 inclusive. 

FSC BioLinks is all about invertebrate identification. Invertebrates provide us with many useful ecosystem services, like pollination and decomposition, which we cannot survive without but their numbers are declining. Few people know how to identify or record invertebrates meaning their is a lack of data so conservationists are struggling to fully understand where, when, how or why they're declining.  We provide learning opportunities to help people develop their invertebrate identification (ID) and recording skills. 

National Lottery Heritage Fund logo

FSC BioLinks is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Field Studies Council and Esmee Fairbairn Foundation. More information regarding the learning opportunities, the project team and published plans and reports from the project can be found below. 

Young adults at carding Mill

Learning opportunities
This project provides subsidised training courses, learning opportunities and digital tools focussed on invertebrate identification for anyone involved or interested in biological recording, to build and strengthen the community.  Training opportunities will be given at all levels from beginner to expert, allowing people to develop their identification skills.  The training and digital tools will increase the quality and quantity of invertebrate species data being submitted to our national biodiversity datasets and our understanding of those data, which will help conservationists prioritise their efforts. 

The project focuses on two regions – the West Midlands and the South East.  In the West Midlands the Bishops Wood and Preston Montford FSC field centres will be further developed as hubs for this sort of ID training and in the South East, centres in the London Region but especially FSC Bushy Park will be developed as training hubs.  Training will also be provided at other non-FSC locations within the two regions as opportunities arise, building new relationships between the FSC and various partners, as well as reaching new audiences.

Meet our team

Keiron Brown

FSC BioLinks Project Manager - Keiron Brown
Keiron manages the FSC BioLinks project (and co-ordinates the South East training programme) with the aim of inspiring amateur naturalists to take up the identification and recording of invertebrate groups that are often forgotten. In his spare time he is an active member, and trustee, of the London Natural History Society and is the national recorder for earthworms (running the National Earthworm Recording Scheme on behalf of the Earthworm Society of Britain). He first became interested in invertebrates during a field-based entomology module at Newcastle University and went on to volunteer on soil biodiversity research projects at the Natural History Museum (London). This included sorting samples of invertebrates from the New Forest in Hampshire and the Malaysian rainforests of Borneo
email: k.brown@field-studies-council.org 

Holly Dillon Project Assistant

FSC BioLinks Project Officer (West Midlands) - Holly Dillon 
Holly is a conservation biologist. She's had a keen interest in invertebrates since a child and took this further whilst studying for her Masters, focusing on decomposer species and their roles in maintaining ecosystem function for her research.  She joined the team in 2018 as a trainee, moving on to become Project Assistant at the start of 2019 and then quickly progressed to this Project Officer role. Holly co-ordinates the BioLinks West Midlands training programme, our Natural History Live series and all of our webinars so please get in touch with her if you have any questions regarding these courses and events. 
email: h.dillon@field-studies-council.org 

Digital Development Manager - Charles Roper Charles Roper
Charles is a designer, programmer and digital strategist. He has worked as a freelance web designer and teacher, and spent 13 years at the Sussex Biodiversity Centre, first as Biodiversity Records Officer, then later as Technical Lead. He is currently on secondment from digital services within FSC where he manages a small digital development team. He specialises in bringing together design, technology, and people to create usable, inclusive digital products, and has worked or consulted on numerous projects in the biodiversity sector, including iRecord, The Flora of Sussex, Recorder, the NBN Atlas, and long-term management of the Sussex biodiversity records database.
email: c.roper@field-studies-council.org

FSC BioLinks Project PDF downloads

PDFFSC BioLinks Consultation Report. This document summarises the consultation carried out as part of the second phase application process of the FSC BioLinks project.

PDFFSC BioLinks Development Plan for Training Provision. This document formed part of the second phase application of the FSC BioLinks project. 

Contact the team
Email: BioLinks@field-studies-council.org
Phone: 01743 852100 
Address: FSC Head Office, Preston Montford, Montford Bridge, Shrewsbury, Shropshire. SY14 1HW