Barnsley Biodiversity Trust.  Barnsley Biodiversity Action Plan. Last Updated January 2018

Records of wildlife species and where they have been seen are important, particularly in places where they feed, roost, nest or are found because of the nature of the site. They help identify the places and wildlife species that need conservation and protection.

This page has information on biological records and Barnsley Biological Records Centre.

It includes how to send in records and how to ask for records and information from Barnsley Biological Record Centre

A record needs either the scientific name and/or the common name of the species identified. If you are not sure then do not guess; you can give a generic name like oak if you do not know the actual species.

Use a name for the place that can be recognised by looking at a map or better still use a map grid reference; a 100 metre square - six-figure - reference helps produce more detailed records but a four-figure reference (1 km square) is still useful.

The date of the sighting (approximate date if actual date not possible) and the name of the observer are also required. If someone else identified the species then this can be added.

The numbers of the species seen, its distribution across the site, the type of habitat the species was seen in, behaviour such as feeding, nesting, etc and the methods you used for recording, may also be added as a comment.

Records are often set out in a table or spreadsheet like this:

Scientific name
[if known]

Common name


Grid ref
[6-figure preferred]






Passer domesticus

House Sparrow

Church St

SE 247033


R E Korda

Pair nesting in eaves of house.

Bellis perennis


Penistone rec ground

SE 243032


R E Korda

In flower. Abundant in amenity grassland where grass not mown

Dendrocopos major

Great spotted woodpecker

Barnsley Locke Park

SE 3405


A Guy

BBRC from photo.

Male moving from tree to tree in top corner of park near tower

Quercus sp.


Silkstone Fall Woods

SE 2905


A Guy

Abundant. Scattered throughout deciduous woodland north of A628

Records of wildlife sightings and places with notable habitats are used by a wide range of people, including naturalists, students, schools, conservation bodies, land owners, developers and ecology consultants.

As well as being of general interest, these biological records are used for finding out how widespread different species are and whether they are increasing or decreasing in numbers.

Records help identify the need for conservation and appropriate land management and are referred to when planning authorities are considering planning applications and changes of use of sites.

Sheffield City Council Ecology Unit runs Barnsley Biological Records Centre (BBRC) on behalf of Barnsley Council.

Records are stored in a database (RECORDER 6) from which they can be retrieved and exported to a geographic information system (GIS) for distribution maps.

Barnsley Council’s Biodiversity Officer, Trevor Mayne, is responsible for the BBRC.

A steering group for the BBRC includes recorders, naturalists and conservation bodies.

How to:

What?    The name of the species

Where?  The place where the species was seen or found.

When?   The date of the observation

Who?     The name of the observer / person identifying the species

How to send in your records to the Barnsley Record Centre.

You can send in records to Barnsley Biological Records Centre.

Email: Phone: 0114 2500500.

Post: Barnsley Biological Records Centre, c/o Sheffield CC Ecology Unit, Parks and Countryside Service, 3rd Floor, West Wing, Moorfoot, Sheffield, S1 4PL.

How to ask for records:

You can ask for records from Barnsley Biological Records Centre.

Email: Phone: 0114 2500500.

Post: c/o above address. There is a charge for commercial use.

Barnsley Council’s Biodiversity Officer, Trevor Mayne, can be contacted about Barnsley Biological Record Centre:
Phone: 01226 772646 or Email:

This table is available as a downloadable spreadsheet for entering your records.

How to record wildlife sightings

The basic requirement of a good record are:

Barnsley Biological Records Centre keeps these records. It was set up in 2011 by Barnsley Council and since then over 250,000 records have been collected from local naturalists, ecologists, and others.

A biological record comes from an observation by someone of a particular species at a specific place on a given date.

Species are usually recorded by sight; however records can also be obtained by noting birds calls, counting nests of harvest mice, checking small mammal traps, and other surveying methods.

Information about sensitive species such as badgers, rare nesting birds, and rare plants is carefully controlled.

Online images or ispotnature can help identify species.

We welcome comments
Email address not public.

Help extend the records held by BBRC by joining in these initiatives:

Remember not to disturb or harm the birds, animals or plants that you find.

In many cases this would be against the law.

Help to find a 4 figure or 6 figure grid reference using an online map or postcode can be found at: gridreferencefinder


Barnsley Biological Record Centre now has over 250,000 records.

Records are always welcome - why not contribute?