The FSC BioLinks Project

BioLinks logo

FSC BioLinks is an exciting new biodiversity project for FSC, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, running from 2018 to 2022 inclusive. 

BioLinks is all about invertebrate identification!  It will bring together new volunteers with existing volunteers who have skills in invertebrate identification and recording. The aim is to build and strengthen the biological recording community by providing training, learning opportunities and digitial tools for people involved in biological recording and those that wish to become involved.  Training opportunities will be given at all levels from beginner to expert, allowing people to progress and consolidate their skills and experience.  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. 

The project will focus 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 invertebrate 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.

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 BioLinks project.

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

Sue Townsend

Biodiversity Learning Manager - Sue Townsend

Sue Townsend heads up the Biodiversity Team at FSC head office where she has overall responsibility for biodiversity projects such as BioLinks. BioLinks is the latest of a series of biodiversity projects initiated by Sue including the Biodiversity Training Project, Invertebrate Challenge, Biodiversity Fellows and Tomorrow's Biodiversity. Sue has some 30 years experience and service with FSC, 18 of which were spent as the Head of Centre at Preston Montford where she maintained and enhanced its reputation for delivering high-quality natural history courses. Together with Sarah Whild, Sue created the post-graduate courses in Biological Recording, a partnership between the FSC, BSBI and Birmingham University and continues to manage FSC's relationship with the programme (which now runs in association with Manchester Metropolitan University).  She plays a key  role in other biodiversity training and accreditation initiatives including FISC and Identiplant and in managing the network of associate tutors delivering FSC's natural history courses up and down the country.

email: s.townsend@field-studies-council.org 
correspondence: FSC Head Office, Preston Montford, Montford Bridge, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England, SY4 1HW

Keiron BrownBioLinks Project Manager - Keiron Brown

Keiron manages the FSC BioLinks project with the aim of inspiring amateur naturalists to take up the identification and recording of invertebrate groups that are often forgotten and rarely recorded. 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 university and went on to volunteer on soil biodiversity research projects at the Natural History Museum (London). This included sorting samples of invertebrates to order level and sampling invertebrates across the New Forest in Hampshire and the Malaysian rainforests of Borneo.

email: k.brown@field-studies-council.org 
correspondence: FSC Head Office, Preston Montford, Montford Bridge, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England, SY4 1HW

Charlie BellBioLinks Project Officer - Dr Charlie Bell 

Charlie Bell joined the FSC in Feb 2015 to work on the Tomorrow's Biodiversity project. She now works as the FSC BioLinks Project Officer in the West Midlands. Charlie's background is in conservation and ecology, and her varied interests range from chalk stream ecology and management through to birds, moths, springtails, earthworms, spiders & harvestmen! She is Membership Officer for the Earthworm Society of Britain.

email: c.bell@field-studies-council.org 
phone: 01743 852125 
correspondence: FSC Head Office, Preston Montford, Montford Bridge, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England, SY4 1HW

Rich BurkmarBioLinks Digital Development Officer - Dr Richard Burkmar

Rich Burkmar is an ecologist and technologist managing the digital aspects of the BioLinks project. He joined the FSC in 2013 to manage the Tomorrow's Biodiversity project. He has wide-ranging interests in natural history and is Lancashire &Cheshire area organiser for the British Arachnological Society's Spider Recording Scheme. He is particularly interested in the use of technology by biological recorders and previous roles have included Managing the Local Record Centre in Merseyside & Coordinating the North Merseyside Local Biodiversity Action Plan. He is an experienced GIS application developer and the author of the FSC TomBio QGIS Plugin – a  QGIS extension for biological recorders, initially developed under the FSC Tomorrow's Biodiversity project and now supported by FSC BioLinks. He also continues to develop the FSC Identikit for Biolinks (which started as the 'FSC ID Framework' under Tomorrow's Biodiversity).

email: r.burkmar@field-studies-council.org 
correspondence: FSC Head Office, Preston Montford, Montford Bridge, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England, SY4 1HW