The Generation Gap

Still a little too cool and early for even the Large Red, but it won’t be long now. My reason for posting is the recent BDS Recorders Meeting in Surrey on March 19th.

This was the first meeting I’ve personally attended and, as well as being able to put faces to names. it’s given me a lot of food for thought. Once everyone was seated it was obvious there was a bias towards the older generation. Although I’m getting a bit long in the tooth myself there does appear to be an ‘old school’ exclusivity prevalent.

Some might argue an interest in the natural world only develops when you’re mature enough not to have the time constraints of education, careers and procreation. Others, including the younger generation, may blame the lack of opportunities and resources to pursue their interests.

There is no doubt that formative education is geared more towards career development than vocational environmental concerns, although an increasing sympathy and understanding of our planet and the hazards we face has raised awareness more than ever before.

What better time to raise awareness of dragonflies and their importance in an eco-system? Why should butterflies take all the glory? No offence to the butterfly, magnificent creature that it is, but, as pointed out by one of the audience, if you’re looking for more sex and violence rather than costume dramas then the dragonfly fits the bill.

A post-meeting chat over a pint with a friend who also attended revealed a tightly-packed regime which gave little time for ‘networking’. From what I observed these brief moments of sociability allowed attendees to relax and breathe. Rather than filling the meeting with one talk straight after another a better option would be to allow more time to connect.

The main premise of the meeting was geared towards recording with an initial talk by David Hepper outlining recent improvements and methods which will simplify recording, and in turn incorporate local records into the global  database.

irecord app

By far the most user-friendly of these is the new irecord service which allows anyone to contribute records – even in the field – with the help of the useful mobile app. I urge everyone with a smartphone to download the app and start using it this season. A move away from the traditional notebooks and spreadsheets may help to allow a younger generation to get involved.

On the subject of recording David Murdock has approached me to help with Hazeley Heath east of Basingstoke. This is an under-recorded site within the same catchment as Warren Heath and Bramshill Common, and should share many of the same species. Ideally a transect during May, late June/early July and late August/early September should give a broad outline of species present.

If you are local to Hazeley Heath and can help please let me know.

Here’s to a splendid new season!