By The UK Phenology Network
Website for the recording and displaying of phenological data. Phenology is the investigation of the timing of natural events as the seasons progress. So for example, at this website you can record the date when you first see frogspawn in your pond or bluebell flower. You can also view the national trends geographically and over time.
Phenology has been studied in the UK for over 200 years. Recently, with concerns for the environment growing in light of phenomena like global warming, the phenological record has become more important than ever before.
In autumn 2000 the Woodland Trust and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology got together to jointly promote phenology in the UK. Now, across the UK, over 18,500 people are registered with the UK Phenology Network. You can register yourself online at the website: it's a painless process that will give you access to maps which are updated in real-time as records come in. You can also generate graphs showing long term trends. You record your own data in a personalised area. You are asked to look out for specific events, e.g. the first flowering of certain named plants, (like bluebell, wood anemone and lesser celandine) the first sighting of a number of species of butterflies and birds as well as dates for evidence of nesting and so on.
It's all fairly straight-forward, but it's a fantastic example of how we can use our gardens to act locally and at the same time make a positive contribution to global knowledge: act locally to think globally.
Back to home page
Do you live in Merseyside? Interested in its wildlife?