Everything we do is made possible due to the support and input of an extensive network of volunteers throughout Merseyside. We rely on volunteer groups, amateur naturalists and volunteer recorders as well as citizen scientists. From novice to life-long naturalist, who share their wildlife information with us. We rely on volunteer experts, who may have spent a life-time studying a particular species, to check and assure the quality of data. Data that may then be used by volunteer conservationists or organisations to implement conservation action or carry our further research to give us a better understanding to the natural environment.

Underpinning our operations Merseyside BioBank relies on office based volunteers, the Volunteer Biological Records Officer (VBRO), to help ensure that we continue to be able to capture and standardise those data so they can be used to their fullest potential through our links to the wider National Biodiversity Network and local decision taking and forward planning process.

Merseyside BioBank would not exist without the support of hundreds of volunteers and the support of the naturalist community. From enthusiastic members of the public to university students and expert amateur naturalists they have a variety of background including volunteer membership of natural history organisations and professional bodies. Whoever they are and wherever they are from we simply could not function without them.

Volunteering with us can also be an excellent way to develop career skills, pursue your interests and take the first steps towards joining the extensive network of naturalists and naturalist groups locally and nationally.

Beyond the support of local and naturalist groups and individuals, there are several established ways people can volunteer directly with Merseyside BioBank. These include;

Volunteer Biological Records Officer – Records Harvesting

  • Our ‘bread and butter’ is data and biological records are sent to us in a great variety of formats. This information has to be checked, extracted and reformatted so that it is suitable for use and can be imported into the main database. The Records Harvesting volunteer is our primary office based volunteering role.
  • Without volunteers carrying out this activity the species database is no longer being updated with as much information, particularly priority species data from planning or research, and there is an increasing risk that decisions are based on out of date evidence.
  • This role makes for useful work experience for individuals looking to develop I.T. and computing skills, gain experience in an office environment and learn to recognise and interpret information in technical reports. Requires an eye for detail!

Volunteer Biological Records Officer – GIS

  • Running parallel the need for species data is a developing recognition for the need to have standardised habitat information. For this we need volunteers to capture habitat information to high data quality standards, using recognised survey methodology and GIS software.
  • This data is then used to supplement district scale datasets ensuring that we keep as up to date as possible on the changing status of local habitat telling us what is rare and what is under threat.
  • This is a technical role and volunteers will gain experience in an office based environment, general I.T. and computing as well as training on basic G.I.S. Volunteers are encouraged to develop the role along their own interests.

Field Naturalist (Biological Recorder)

We work with a network of local naturalists, enthusiasts and volunteer recorders based in and around Merseyside who recognise the value of working with the LERC to promote the sharing of knowledge and skills among the membership, to enhancing learning around their own specialist interests and develop excellent recording skills. By working with the LERC, biological recorders ensure that their wildlife records are put to immediate use locally. 

Volunteer Projects Officer (VPO)

The VPO role has been developed to accommodate individuals or groups that want to carry out biological recording or related projects in North Merseyside and in association with the LERC. To date this has included people carrying out PTES funded projects, Shore searches and most often university dissertations or projects.