FSC BioLinks consultation report: analysis of the FSC BioLinks development phase consultation from April 2016 to January 2017.
The Field Studies Council (FSC) has a 70-year tradition of training and resource development for taxonomic identification skills. FSC BioLinks is a new FSC project which will bring together existing volunteers, with skills in biological recording and identification, and new volunteers. The aim is to unite them in a community with a shared vision and sense of purpose by providing training and learning opportunities. This in turn will increase the quality of biodiversity data being submitted to the national biodiversity datasets and develop individuals as more highly skilled biodiversity volunteers. Funding was secured from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for a development phase of one year during 2016 and this report is a summary of the information gathered during consultations carried out during this period. The aim of the consultations undertaken during the development phase was to: (i) identify focus species groups and (ii) identify suitable locations. In addition, the consultation also investigated other topics that would be useful when designing the project activity plan for the delivery phase of the project. This included regionally specific considerations; volunteer motivations, development and satisfaction; biological recording event and identification courses; digital resources and technology; and existing provision from other providers and relevant projects/initiatives.