Bookings Now Open for TWIC Spring Conference!
Farming and Biodiversity in Scotland – An Essential Partnership
Date: Sat 29 April 2017, 10:00 - 16:30
Location: Brunton Hall, Musselburgh, East Lothian (EH21 6AA)
Details: Talks will highlight the diversity of wildlife found on farmland - from soil organisms through to wildflowers, birds and mammals - and how this interest can be managed.
There will also be two talks from previous speakers to update us on their projects. Download the programme
here [PDF, 80.9 KB] and the flyer
here [PDF, 2.97 MB].
Cost: FREE, including buffet lunch, but booking is essential as numbers will be limited. To book, please visit
Getting there: For information on how to find the venue, including public transport options please visit The Brunton website.
With thanks to Caledonian Conservation Ltd. for sponsoring lunch.
Posted: March 14th 2017.
TWIC AGM and talk
The TWIC AGM that is to take place on Wednesday 1 March in The George Washington Browne Room Edinburgh Central Library at 6.30pm is followed by a talk by Enya O'Reilly of Edinburgh Napier University on
"The many uses of biological records: analysis of long-term trends in East Lothian's birds using Wetland Bird Survey data". Non-members welcome and can also take opportunity to become members if they wish,
cost £5. Please arrive in plenty of time as we will be starting at 6.30pm prompt.
Posted: February 28th 2017.
We are currently advertising two volunteering roles at TWIC:
Public Survey Assistant (Scottish Spider Search)
A volunteer is required to support TWIC’s new wildlife survey, the Scottish Spider Search – a project supported by the British Arachnological
Society, Buglife and Caledonian Conservation Ltd. and part funded by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).
The volunteer will be responsible for organising the distribution of survey postcards, processing data and publicising the survey online.
We are looking for a volunteer to commit a minimum of 1 day per week, ideally for 6 months (we can be flexible with length of time). Applicants must have an organised approach to work, be a competent user of
Microsoft office packages especially Excel and have the ability to work well as part of a small team. An ecology-related degree or equivalent experience would be an advantage, but training will be provided.
CVs should be sent to Natalie Harmsworth, Records Ecologist, email@example.com or phone 01875 825968 for a chat.
Applications should be received no later than March 31st.
You can download the job description and person specification here.
A volunteer is required to support TWIC’s Phase 1 Habitat digitisation project. The volunteer will be responsible for the digitisation of habitat data and the extraction of species data from
Scottish Wildlife Trust's Local Wildlife Site survey files in Stirling, Clackmannanshire and Falkirk areas.
We are looking for a volunteer to commit a minimum of 1 day per week. Applicants must have experience of using GIS software (preferably ArcGIS) and the ability to work well as part of a small team.
An ecology-related degree or equivalent experience would be an advantage, but training will be provided.
CVs should be sent to Steve Hannah, GIS and Data Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01875 825968 for a chat.
You can download the job description and person specification here.
Posted: February 28th 2017.
2016 recipients of the Bob Saville Award: Brian & Sandy Coppins. Photo: Natalie Harmsworth.
TWIC Autumn 2016 Conference Report
The Autumn Conference was held on Saturday 26th November 2016 at Bo’ness Town Hall and was attended by 61 people. The programme of talks focussed on the marine theme – from examples of citizen
science and recording initiatives to more applied aspects of ecology – with a brief detour to launch the Scottish Spider Search before lunch!
The calibre of speakers was very high and they provided both interesting and entertaining talks. 2016 marked 25 years since the inception of TWIC's predecessor organisation “Wildlife Insite” in 1991 and
TWIC Manager, Graeme Wilson, provided a potted history of TWIC during his talk. Another highlight of the day was the presentation of the Bob Saville award, which this year was awarded to Brian and Sandy
Coppins (pictured) for their huge contribution to the recording of lichens in Scotland and their generosity in giving their time in supporting and educating new lichenologists.
A full conference report can be downloaded from here.
Posted: January 25th 2017. Updated February 28th 2017.
BRISC & GNHS Bursaries 2017
BRISC (Biological Recording in Scotland) and GNHS (Glasgow Natural History Society) are together offering 6 bursaries towards attending a training course in natural history field studies.
The bursaries will be for up to £200 or 75% of the cost of the course, whichever is lowest.
- Bursaries are open to anyone living in Scotland.
- Courses must be chosen from the taxonomic courses listed under the Field Studies Council (FSC) Professional Development Programmes (see
www.field-studies-council.org) or similar professional
development courses run by academic institutions. Please note that NVC courses are not eligible for the bursary.
- Courses should be completed before 31 October 2017.
- BRISC and GNHS are keen to ensure that any biological records gathered are mobilised to the Atlas of Living Scotland or NBN Gateway, through local record centres, local data hubs or online
recording schemes depending on what is available. We are also keen to encourage the sharing of skills with colleagues and others. We are particularly interested in applications for courses where
the species/group has a lack of taxonomic expertise, and/or geographic areas where records are limited.
- The successful candidates are required to write a short article (300-400 words) on their course experience for BRISC Recorder News and/or the GNHS Newsletter. £30 of each bursary will be held
back until receipt of the relevant article.
- Successful candidates will be given a year’s free membership with BRISC and/or GNHS, and will be invited to give a short presentation at the annual BRISC Conference.
All applications should be submitted to email@example.com by 31 January 2017
Download the application form here (Word document, 2 pages, 67 KB).
Posted: January 17th 2017.
Students studying bryophytes. Photo courtesy of Mike Beard.
Bookings Now Open for TWIC Autumn Conference!
Recording at Siccar Point. Photo courtesy of Jackie Stewart.
Sea Change? A Conference on Marine Recording and Conservation
Date: Saturday 26th November, 10:30 - 16:30
Location: Bo’ness Town hall, Falkirk (EH51 9NJ).
Details: Talks will highlight some of the excellent work undertaken by marine recording schemes and citizen science projects
to improve knowledge of marine species in our area as well as some of the challenges associated with managing and conserving marine biodiversity. Download the programme
here. A flier can be downloaded here.
Cost: FREE, including buffet lunch, but booking is essential as numbers will be limited. To book, please visit our
Getting there: The nearest train station is at Linlithgow and from there it is a short trip on the bus (Bus No. 45) to Bo'ness.
There is also free on-street parking adjacent to the venue.
Posted: September 16th 2016. Updated October 10th 2016
Small Mammal Workshop, Harestanes (Scottish Borders)– 15 October 2016
When: Sat 15 Oct, 10:00 – 16:00
Where: Harestanes Visotor Centre, near Ancrum, Scottish Borders
Description: For all who want to learn small mammal ID and surveying skills or refresh their knowledge. Day will involve checking Longworth traps for live captures and hedgehog tunnels for foot prints, classroom
sessions looking at ID features of mice, vole (except water vole which is a workshop in itself!), shrews, mole and hedgehog and a session on owl pellet dissection focusing on small mammal skull and lower jaw ID.
Requirements: Bring a packed lunch or use the café for food and wear appropriate clothing and sturdy footwear for outdoor session.
Booking essential: Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your details if you would like to attend.
Posted: October 4th 2016.
Photograph courtesy of Teyl de Bordes
Introduction to Wildlife Recording Workshop
TWIC's Manager, Graeme, will be leading a practical 1 day workshop covering the essentials of wildlife recording at Paxton House, 5 miles west of Berwick, on 1 October. The workshop will include outdoor
recording sessions so please bring suitable outdoor clothing. No previous experience or equipment necessary. Either bring a packed lunch or there is a café at Paxton House.
Times: 10:30 - 15:30. Ages: 16 to adult.
Cost: Free. Booking essential, for further information and to book email email@example.com.
Posted: September 27th 2016.
It is with great sadness that we heard of the passing of Ray Murray, SOC Borders Recorder. He suffered a fatal heart attack on Saturday when on holiday in Peru with his wife Sheila. He had been the
Borders Recorder since 1978 and will be sadly missed, not just in the birding community but in the wider recording community. His contribution to recording was marked by TWIC in 2013 with the presentation
of the Bob Saville Award which he was delighted to receive. Our thoughts are with Sheila and all of Ray's family and friends at this sad time.
Posted: September 19th 2016.
TWIC has surpassed the two million records mark in its database! The 2,000,000th record was a Dusky Brocade moth, supplied to TWIC by Mark Cubitt as part of Butterfly Conservation’s National Moth Recording Scheme
Vice-County 84 (West Lothian) Dataset. We’d like to thank all our recorders and partners for their support, recording efforts and for sharing your records with us.
Posted: June 20th 2016.
Dusky Brocade in Vice-County 84. Photo courtesy of Mark Cubitt.
NEW Edinburgh Biodiversity Action Plan 2016-18
The new Edinburgh Biodiversity Action Plan was officially launched on Wednesday at a celebration event at Holyrood Park Education Centre.
The plan sets out local conservation priorities for Edinburgh for the next 3 years. TWIC is one of the partners involved in delivering the plan
and has a key role to play in the collation and dissemination of species monitoring data. Sarah Eno (TWIC Chair) attended the launch event on
Wednesday. Sarah said "It was excellent to hear about the great work being undertaken to conserve Edinburgh's important habitats and species.
A highlight for me was the guided walk with Historic Environment Scotland's Ranger, Matt McCabe in Holyrood Park to see at first hand how the site is
being managed for the Endangered and UKBAP Priority Species, Purple Milk Vetch (Astragalus danicus) and reintroducted populations of Maiden Pink
The Edinburgh Biodiversity Action Plan 2016-18 can be downloaded by following this link: http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/biodiversity
Posted: May 27th 2016
SWT & TWIC: Mammal ID & Surveying Course - 11 June 2016
When: Sat 11 June, 10:00 – 16:00
Where: Ben Cleuch Centre, Tillicoultry
Description: For all who want to learn mammal ID and surveying skills or refresh their knowledge. This is a joint event between the Central Scotland Mammal Group,
The Wildlife Information Centre and Lothians and Borders Mammal Group (LaBMaG).
Requirements: Bring a packed lunch and sturdy footwear for outdoor session.
Booking essential: Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your details if you would like to attend.
Posted: May 25th 2016. Updated 10th June 2016.
Bumblebee Workshop, Vogrie Country Park (Midlothian)– 5 July 2016
Beginners bumblebee identification training: this is an opportunity to learn about the ecology and identification of common bumblebee species. Run by Helen Dickinson, Bumblebee Conservation Trust Surveys
and Volunteer Officer, learn how to identify our most common bumblebees and how to take part in the national bumblebee monitoring scheme BeeWalk. The day will be split into indoor and outdoor sessions.
Teas/coffees will be provided. Please bring suitable outdoor clothing and a packed lunch.
Times: 10:00 - 15:30. Cost: Free. Booking essential.
The workshop is now FULLY BOOKED.
Posted: May 17th 2016. Updated June 13th 2016.
Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust's New Great Crested Newt Detectives Project
Delegates attending the TWIC Spring conference held in Galashiels last weekend will have heard a talk by ARC’s Scottish Project Officer, Pete Minting, on a new project called Great Crested Newt Detectives.
This exciting new project has been made possible by funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Scottish Natural Heritage.
For more information on the project, please download a PDF copy of the press release here.
Posted: May 6th 2016
Introduction to Wildlife Recording Workshop - 28 May 2016
Make your wildlife observations count!
TWIC's Ecologist will be leading a practical 1 day workshop covering
the essentials of wildlife recording at St Ronans Wells Visitor Centre, Innerleithen on May 28th. The workshop will include an outdoor
identification session in the afternoon. No previous
experience or equipment necessary. Please
bring suitable outdoor clothing and a
Times: 10:30 - 15:30. Ages: 16 to adult.
Cost: Free. Booking
essential, for further information and to book telephone 01835 830306
or email Harestanes@scotborders.gov.uk.
Posted: April 29th 2016
Photograph courtesy of David Long
1st of April marks BIG changes for TWIC!
It is 25 years since what was to become TWIC was formed in 1991 and covered just the Lothians. We have really grown in that time and continue to grow because as of 1st April 2016 TWIC is not just the Local Environmental Record Centre for the Lothians and Borders but also for Falkirk, Stirling, Clackmannanshire and most of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. This is extremely exciting for us and due to the work of both staff and volunteers we have added 259,043 to our database for the new area we cover which means we are able to offer services to more local authorities, consultants and voluntary organisations as well as students and recorders. Remember we only charge for commercial work so that we can be a more sustainable organisation and support the biological recording community through events and training. Keep your eyes peeled for news of our first training workshop in our new area that is already in the planning stage and please feel free to contact us if you wish to contribute records of any sort.
Posted: April 1st 2016
Staff changes at TWIC
It is with mixed emotions we said goodbye to Christine Johnston on 31st March after nearly four years working for TWIC, first as part time Data Processer and then also taking on the Scottish Biodiversity Information Forum (SBIF) Co-ordinator post that TWIC hosted. Prior to being employed by TWIC Christine had been volunteering with us for quite a while. Although we are sad to see her depart we are also pleased at where she is headed. TWIC will no longer be hosting the SBIF post as the funding is being transferred to the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Trust and they are also contributing to the post to make a new full time NBN Scottish Liaison Officer post starting on 1st April. This is fantastic news for all involved in the biological data community and TWIC is proud of the part we have played in this coming about. We wish Christine all the best in her new post and look forward to seeing developments in Scotland, especially with the Atlas of Living Scotland (www.als.scot)
Of course with Christine moving on to take up a full time post we are also losing her from her Data Processor post. However Jackie Stewart, TWIC’s other Data Processor, is increasing her days to 4 days a week which will ensure we are able to continue our current level of data processing.
Posted: April 1st 2016
Bookings now open for TWIC Spring Conference!
TWIC’s Spring Conference will take place on Saturday 30th April, 10 am to 4 pm at the MacArts Centre, Galashiels. The theme of the conference is “Tools and technologies to assist biological recording” and we will aim to showcase a variety of resources available, from iSpot and online recording to new sensor technologies such as eDNA. The conference will provide opportunities to find out about wildlife recording initiatives across the region – including information on how to get involved - and live demonstrations of BirdTrack and iRecord over the lunch break. Entrance is free and includes a buffet lunch, but booking is essential. To book follow this link to Eventbrite to our online booking form.
Deadline for bookings is Wednesday 27th April 2016.
Posted: March 18th 2016
Photograph courtesy of Rebecca Brassey
Small Mammal Workshop - 26th March 2016
TWIC will be hosting a Small Mammals workshop with the Lothian and Borders Mammal Group (LaBMaG) at Vogrie Country Park on Saturday 26th March. The workshop will be led by Graeme Wilson and David Dodds and will cover Longworth trapping, other small mammal monitoring methods such as field vole signs and owl pellet analysis. No previous experience or equipment necessary. The workshop is now full.
Posted: March 11th 2016
Frank Bowles: Obituary
We were saddened to hear of the passing of Frank Bowles recently. Frank was instrumental in sitting up the Lothian Amphibian and Reptile Group (LARG) and promoting amphibians and reptiles throughout Scotland.
Attached is further information about Frank, which was written by the former secretary of LARG, Peter Leach. Download the PDF here.
Posted: January 5th 2016