About the Records Section

Click the pic!

To aid users of mobile devices as well as those with a mouse or laptop finger pad this site uses a simple image-based menu system. Virtually every picture you see (images and photos) are links to more information arranged in a sort of top-down structure. See an image, click or tap on it to open a new page.

A database of over 50,000 recorded sightings and contributed photographs

Click/tap your selection to move to the next level down:


Index tables to the entire Nature of Dorset database allowing you to access:

  • The complete list of species for which records have been collected
  • The complete list of sites where records have been collected from
  • The complete list of Twitter users who have contributed records 



Interrogate the complete database for your own specific purposes:

  • Generate your own reports in three different formats
  • Produce time based charts for species and groups of species
  • Create distribution maps for any species or species group



An index list of all the photographers who have photos in the database:

  • Displays a count of the number of photographs in the database
  • Click any photographers name to see their Twitter profile
  • See also their original tweets and some lists, maps and charts



Since January 2017 in the Nature of Dorset I have been accumulating reported sightings of animals and plants from various nature enthusiasts in the county that have been made public via Twitter. Together with my own records since I moved to Dorset in 2006 and publicly available information from some other sources this collection of observations now forms an extensive and unique database of records and photographs which can be viewed as lists, maps, charts and images. This database hopefully fulfils four main functions:

  1. It enables interested parties to see what is being seen and what is happening in Dorset's natural world now. This is done through the 'Newsdesk' section and focuses on records accumulated in recent days but also includes a diary feature with  monthly summaries of key events. Anyone who likes to get out and see what's about will find this a useful to decide where to go for the most interesting experience

  2. Some people with specific interests or are targeting a particular species and will want to know when and where is a good time and place to pursue their interest or find their target. The history of records in the database with associated maps and charts will hopefully enable them to further their interests and achieve their aims. Both the 'Newsdesk' and 'Research' sections will be of use in this regard
  3. Although the database can in no way be considered scientific the accumulation of species and sites data may be of benefit to those involved in research or teaching. Students undertaking environmental studies may find it useful as, too, may schools who wish to provide their class with nature based projects. Use the 'Research' section to unlock the potential of the database
  4. Photographs of animals and plants can be useful in aiding identification, and in any event are good to look at and admire both the beauty of the creature or plant as well as the skill of the photographer. The 'Gallery' has an extensive range of photographs from a number of sources that have been published on Twitter which may aid identification or just be nice to look at!

I believed that this freely available Nature of Dorset resource is the only publicly available source of records covering everything from mammals to insects and flowering plants to fungi. The records can be accessed by species, by location, by date and by contributor and in addition to some standard lists, maps and charts there is an option for the user to build their own versions to suit their specific needs. Lists created can also be downloaded to the users own computer for further analysis.

The recorded data is integrated with the sites and species contained in the REFERENCE section of the Nature of Dorset as well as being available through this RECORDS section.

If you wish to submit records and photographs for inclusion in the Nature of Dorset database you will need to have a Twitter account and then tweet your sightings to @natureofdorset from where I should be able to pick them up for inclusion.