About iRecord

Key Features

  • Record all the wildlife you see
  • Securely store and keep track of your records
  • Benefit from automatic data checks and review by experts
  • Share your sightings with the recording community
  • Explore dynamic maps, reports and graphs of your data
  • Explore data shared by other recorders in your area and/or for species groups you are interested in
  • Contribute to science and conservation


iRecord is a website for sharing wildlife observations, including associated photos – you can register quickly and for free. Once you’ve registered, you can add your own biological records for other to see, and you can see what has been recorded by others. Your data will be kept secure and will be regularly backed up. Automatic checks will be applied to your observations to help spot potential errors, and experts can review your sightings. All wildlife sightings for non-sensitive species are shared with other users and will be made available to National Recording Schemes, Local Record Centres and Vice County Recorders (VCRs).

The goal of iRecord is to make it easier for wildlife sightings to be collated, checked by experts and made available to support research and decision-making at local and national levels.

Why have we developed this site?

We have developed this site to support online collection and collation of high quality biological recording data.  The site is built around the individual recorder who can manage and share their wildlife sightings with other recorders, and make a contribution to conservation and science at local and national scales.  We have also developed this site to provide a centralised system for species experts to review data for their taxonomic groups and geographic area.  To support them in this role, we have integrated automated validation and verification rules from NBN Record Cleaner into the system, enabling them to quickly identify any unusual and potentially incorrect records.

How does it work?

iRecord has been developed using Indicia, an open-source and free toolkit for making it relatively easy to build websites for biological recording.  A key component of Indicia is a data warehouse that is a spatially-enabled, relational database to provide secure, standardised, rapid data input and reporting facilities.  iRecord data, and data from many other Indicia implementations, is held within an Indicia warehouse hosted at the Biological Records Centre on behalf of the recording community.

What are our plans for future development?

We are committed to making a user-friendly and enjoyable website for contributing wildlife sightings.  We welcome feedback on your experiences from using the site, and suggestions for further improvements.  We already have plans for the following enhancements:

  • Automatic sychronisation with the UK Species Inventory (NBN/NHM Species Dictionary)
  • Enhancement to the site messaging system
  • Incorporation of additional NBN Record Cleaner rule sets
  • Data synchronisation with other online and desktop systems, including iSpot, BirdTrack, Marine Sightings Network, Recorder and MapMate.

Data integration

iRecord incorporates  observations from other Indicia websites and smartphone applications developed by partner organizations who agree to share data. In this way, Indicia-based websites and applications can be targeted to specific audiences with their own promotion and project ownership.  Indicia websites may have a local focus or more specific goals using specific methodologies.  Each Indicia website uses the same underlying data structure and so can be readily integrated and summarised across species groups and geographic areas.  For example, iRecord provides users with dynamic reports, maps and charts and shares data collected by the following collaborating websites:

Data accessibility

iRecord data are stored in a secure database, are archived daily and accessible to anyone via the website.  Records entered into the iRecord website will also be made available to relevant individuals and organisation(s), e.g. Vice County Recorders, Recording Schemes and Societies, Local Record Centres and the Archive for Marine Species and Habitats Data (DASSH), at full capture resolution to enable verification and sharing via the NBN Gateway.   Wherever possible, verified data will be made freely publicly available, with the exception of sensitive records, and with full acknowledgement of relevant organisation(s) providing verification input.  For some taxon groups, data will be automatically supplied from iRecord to the NBN Gateway on behalf of National Recording Schemes.  For other schemes, data from iRecord will be collated alongside other datasets before being made available to the NBN Gateway.  iRecord aims to supplement existing routes of data flow to the NBN Gateway, and the preferred route of data flow will be estabilshed on a case-by-case basis with the relevant organisations.

Who are we?

iRecord is being developed by Biodiverse IT and the Biological Records Centre on behalf of the National Biodiversity Network (NBN), through funding from the Big Lottery project OPAL and the NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology.  Discussions with a number of National Recording Schemes and Local Record Centres have helped shape the development of this site. The following partner organisations have provided advice during development: ALERC, JNCC, CEH, Natural England and the NBN Trust.