County Mapped Flora Digitisation Project Volunteer

The Warwickshire Biological Records Centre (WBRC) is the most comprehensive data bank of species and habitat records in Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull. Data entry is ongoing by WBRC staff and volunteers to transfer paper and electronical records into Recorder (biological recording software).

New volunteers are needed to help the WBRC with delivering the digitisation of the Vice County 38 Mapped Flora Files.

Birmingham Natural History Society and the Botany Department of the University of Birmingham were co-sponsors of the Vice County 38 Mapped Flora survey when it began in 1950. This was a co-operative study, involving a team of amateur and professional botanists in many hours of field work over 15 years and a book of computerised distribution maps was published in 1971. This was the first ever computerised flora in the world and was also featured in the New Scientist journal in 1972. Although the results of this survey work were summarised and published in computerised distribution maps in the book, the original paper records have never been entered in a currently accessible database in the detail they are needed today. It is estimated that data files contain approximately 175,000 records.

With the generous support of the Birmingham Natural History Society, WBRC are now organising a project for the digitisation of these significant county files. Volunteers are needed to help WBRC to scan the files and enter the records into the WBRC database so these records can be used in current distribution maps in order to monitor landscape and environmental change over the recent decades in Vice County 38.

Volunteers will receive training to interpret botanical scientific names with the use of identification guides and internet resources, use Recorder 6 and Geographical Information Systems (QGIS). Other learning opportunities may be available e.g. surveys, planning site visits, ecological reports.

Volunteering Time: Full-time or part-time. Ideally minimum 4 week placement (full-time) or volunteering 1-2 days weekly over 2 months. 9 month university placements also available.


  • An interest in botany and nature conservation.
  • Familiarity with biological recording and botanical scientific names would be advantageous but not essential.
  • Willingness to interpret handwritten notes. Please note only the scientific name is listed in the paper files.
  • Willingness to use and develop  IT skills (Recorder 6 and QGIS)

Note: Some standing work involved (when scanning files).

Benefits: This is a good opportunity to become familiar with biological recording and mapping software (Recorder 6 and QGIS), botanical nomenclature and identification. Additional training and learning opportunities (such as planning ecology, habitat and protected species surveys) may be available depending on your interests and time you can spend volunteering.

Travelling Expenses: Covered up to £5 per day for public transport or parking tickets.

How to Apply

If you would like to find out more and for an application form contact Mariya Tarnavska.

Email: or

Tel: 01926 412471


Please mention when applying for this job!

Key Information


Warwickshire Biological Records Centre, Warwickshire County Council


Fixed Term, Temporary


Full Time, Part Time


Entry Level, Graduate, Mid Level, Senior


Biodiversity, Ecology, Nature & Wildlife


Warwick, United Kingdom

Application Deadline:

Not specified, apply soon.

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