Biodiversity data for conservation evidence

photo of GWT Survey and Monitoring Coordinator, Dr Kathy Meakin, at Woorgreens reserve, taking notes on a clipboard

Without the data held by GCER and other LERCs, professional conservationists would lack key sources of information, making it much harder to get an informed picture of which conservation activities are succeeding and which need adjustment. GCER is therefore part of Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust's Evidence Team.

The Evidence Team is headed by the new GWT Director of Conservation, Dr Gareth Parry, and includes GCER staff Rob and Linda, a member of staff responsible for Key Wildlife Sites (currently a vacancy), the Local Nature Partnership Manager, Jackie Jobes, Pine Marten Project Officer Dr Andrew Stringer and Survey and Monitoring Co-ordinator Dr Kathy Meakin. Evidence Team staff both generate and use data which is used to monitor the success - or not - of key conservation activities.

Presenting the evidence

An important use of biodiversity data is to offer to others a clear picture of how wildlife is faring both in Gloucestershire and the wider context. To this end a series of State of the Natural Environment reports has been produced by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust (click here to view and download reports). GCER has also contributed data to, and in some cases produced, wildlife fact files, baseline inventories of wildlife in the county and a range of reports and research projects.

Future interpretation of data is likely to take the presentation of conservation evidence further, offering a more accessible source of information for members of the public and GWT members as well as conservation professionals. Watch our news page for updates.


a picture of the front cover of GCER's Biodiversity Baseline Report for the Foresters' Forest HLF project

The Foresters' Forest HLF Landscape Partnership project Development Phase Biodiversity Baseline Report was produced by GCER using data collated from a wide range of wildlife surveys in the Forest of Dean. The Report forms one of the baseline records from which the success of the project will be assessed after the Delivery Phase. Download a copy here to see how the data was presented.

More examples to follow; meanwhile, check out the links to other sites for some conservation evidence context.


The following sites offer useful context to the conservation evidence work being carried out by the GWT Evidence Team:

  • Wikipedia page on evidence-based conservation. A brief summary of what constitutes evidence-based conservation, including some critique points and useful references.
  • Conservation Evidence website - (from their website): "Conservation Evidence is a free, authoritative information resource designed to support decisions about how to maintain and restore global biodiversity.
    We summarise evidence from the scientific literature about the effects of conservation interventions, such as methods of habitat or species management."
  • GBIF examples of data used as evidence. The Global Biodiversity Information Facility is the international hub for data from national networks such as the UK's NBN (see here for information about GCER's relationship with the NBN). Thus, thousands of Gloucestershire records help to make up the over 1 BILLION records on GBIF. This page lists some of the ways GBIF information has been used as evidence for conservation actions around the world.
  • Natural England's Access to Evidence catalogue - a list of download links to the many research reports used by Natural England as a basis for decision-making. These reports include useful documents such as A Review of the Population and Conservation Status of British Mammals (2018) and may be freely downloaded. Note that many of these reports will be at least partly collaborative and may influence other organisations as well.
  • Sense About Science - a scientific education charity which aims to encourage public understanding of scientific claims and how real evidence can overcome misunderstandings and misleading claims. Covers all aspects of scientific research including biology. Gives context to the wider need for good scientific evidence - also runs an "Ask for Evidence" campaign.