Kent and Medway Biological Records Centre

Data Capture: Out in the Field

A biological record is information on the location and status of habitats and species. Biological records are used by planners, local authorities, ecological consultants and conservation organisations, so it's important to provide accurate information. This section of the website introduces you to some of the main methods of data capture:

Data Collation: Displaying and Sharing Records

Observing species in situ is one half of recording. The other half is deciding how to display the data you've collected. Regardless of why you record, everyone needs to display the records they have clearly. This is particularly important if you plan to share your records with others.

This section will explain a few methods you can use to display your data. As a Records Centre we will take data in any form (as long as it contains the 4 W's) however some formats suit us more than others. This section includes data collation advice both for those who'd prefer to use a computer and those who prefer more traditional methods.


The main benefits of using a computer to store you records are:
  • Safety - storing data on a computer and backing it up regularly is the best way to reduce the chances that of the data getting lost or damaged.
  • Sharing data - Having records stored on a computer means they can be easily shared with recording groups LRCs and others.
  • Information can be easily queried. Even simple computer software will allow you to query your data - how many fox records you have, for instance.

In this part of the website we give tips and advice on various ways of collating your records using a computer, including the following:

On Paper

We don't prejudice against computer-phobes. We appreciate records in whatever format they take! These ideas are great if you don't have a computer, but they can also be used to encourage children to draw for instance.