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Learn how to submit a record

Step 1: Select a recording form or survey

To record a single species record in one location use the Enter a single record form
To record multiple species at one location use the Enter a list of records form
Or choose one of our species-specific surveys from the menu

Step 2: Your details

One of the most frequently overlooked components of a record is the ‘who’ section. For records to be verified we need to know who created the record.

On the first part of the recording form, we ask for a name and an email address. This allows experts to get in contact if they need to ask you more about your sighting. However, if you create an account on this website these details will be filled in for you automatically. 

Step 3: Date

‘When’? This part is fairly self-explanatory and a date can be simply selected by clicking on the box and using the interactive calendar.  

Step 4: Species Entry

‘What’ did you see? (see image below) As you start typing a species name either in Latin or English an auto-complete species dictionary will start offering you suggestions. When you see the species you want to input; click the species.

Don’t just type in a species name and press enter as there are many similar names that could be selected in error if you do this! 

example of species autofill


If you have not managed to identify your specimen to species level it is quite acceptable to record it at the level of confidence you have achieved. The form will accept just genus and family names. If you are entering a genus or family name it is best to enter the recognised Latin/scientific name for this group rather than a common name e.g. ruby tailed wasp (as this may select a specific species associated with this name rather than the genus or family).

Step 5: Observation details

Work your way through the form filling out and selecting as much information as you can. The Identified By field is very important, if an expert helped you make your ID then it is important to put their name in here. This adds extra confidence to your record and will help it become verified. The Comment field is also very important, use it to add contextual information to your sighting i.e. observed behaviour or location details, and to detail any keys or guides you used to reach your ID. This particularly helps verification on difficult to ID species where experts need to know how you came to your conclusion.

Step 6: Photos and Sensitivity

The best way to add value to your record is to submit a photo of the species in question. This will help experts confirm and verify your sighting. If you have multiple photos please upload the ones that show the diagnostic features of your species best (e.g. the face or legs of a drone hoverfly). Consult your key and show photos of the features that helped you come up with your determination.

Records can be flagged as sensitive. All records that are created on the website are publically viewable, so for certain threatened or sensitive species, you may want to obscure the publically viewable resolution of the record. Select from the drop-down the amount you would like to blur your record by. If you are uncertain whether to obscure a record it is best to ask an expert from that field.

Step 7: Location 

‘Where’ was it? On the next tab, the Site Name field is a name for the location. To Generate a spatial reference simply click on the google map interface. As you click on the map a grid reference is selected (the maps can also be changed to show aerial photography) and a help dialogue encourages you to further refine your grid reference by clicking on the map again. You can keep doing this until you have selected a 10m square. 

example of location page

You can record to whatever resolution you like or that you feel is most appropriate for what you saw. For example, birds flying overhead in the distance could be recorded at 100m resolution especially if you’re not 100% sure of their exact location over the ground.

On the map you can take advantage of tools to zoom or pan the map and clicking the plus sign on the right-hand side allows you to select the backdrop map. Also in the top right are tools to select a grid reference or go full screen.

Step 8: Final record information

After defining a location you can add more contextual information to your record.  

The Habitat selection field is not compulsory but allows you to define a broad habitat type then a fine grain habitat type e.g. Grassland > Dry grasslands including chalk grassland. This helps our understanding of your records and shows if species are occurring in expected (or unexpected) habitat types.

The Overall Comment is found on the forms that allow multiple entries in one location and refers to all the records you are submitting for that location. For example, it could include more information about the place you made the sightings. e.g. found in marginal vegetation next to pond.

Step 9: Press Submit

When you are happy with your record(s) and confident that you have supplied all the information you can press submit.

If you created the records as a registered user you can also go back and make changes to your records at a later date and add further information or extra photos etc...