Log wildlife sightings to aid conservation

Animal lovers in Sheffield and Rotherham are being urged to record sightings of local wildlife as part of a new conservation project entitled Living Landscapes.

Sightings can be logged at WildWalks, a new online recording centre set up by Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust.

The system can hold details of plants and animals across the county, helping the trust target areas where wildlife may need support.

Users can log in to the system at www.wildlifetrusts.org/wildwalks where walks around landscapes or nature reserves can be created or selected from existing recommendations.

Wildlife sightings can be recorded while out enjoying a walk, and logged afterwards.

There are currently more than 300 locations to choose from – places where the trust is managing land for wildlife or helping other landowners to do the same.

By involving members of the local community in taking on repeated walks, trust workers will develop a better understanding of existing wildlife populations in the area and how they are responding to conservation work.

Trust officer Laura Boyles said: “Recording sightings of wildlife will help us to map it and, over time, monitor how it changes.

“Members of our local community, whether expert recorders or keen amateurs, will be able to help us better target our landscape-scale conservation efforts in areas where we are working, sometimes with partners, to try to secure nature’s recovery. We’re keen to hear from regular walkers and wildlife enthusiasts about this new resource.”

She urged walkers: “Enjoy time spent in our wonderful and wildlife-rich living landscapes and don’t forget to take a notepad or camera with you. Any and all sightings you can record, whether common or rare, are important to us.”

The trust believes the project is a different way of thinking about how land is managed for wildlife.