Meetings/2009-11-17/Agenda/Corporate Report

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Set piece meeting to discuss collaboration possibilities in the south west:

The meeting in Bristol involved: Science City Bristol (John Bradford), Bristol-BBC-Anchor (Anne Scorer, BBC & Bristol collaboration), and Connecting Bristol (Stephen Hilton, Bristol City Council's digital leadership initiative) - who had met with SV alone at an earlier date. Al participants are keen and willing to make additional introductions and facilitate wider regional partnerships with Wikimedia UK.

First benefit of this meeting:

1) The first opportunity the national (Bioblitz Project) explains itself below: (our opportunity is to become a partner/supporter/helper of this project and to offer the project results it produces 'online access' in some form or format through a Wikimedia UK hosted site.

Additional partners to explore links with locally include Clare Reddington (Pervasive Media Studio), John Manley (HP Labs), Richard Edwards (ARKive), Paul Appleby (BNHC & Bristol Media), and Mark Jacobs (BBC NHU).Italic text

Below is a full briefing document from the BNHC explaining Bioblitz and itsa


BioBlitz Programme 2010

About Us

The Bristol Natural History Consortium is a unique alliance between Avon Wildlife Trust, BBC Natural History Unit, Bristol City Council, Bristol Zoo Gardens, Defra, Environment Agency, Natural England, University of Bristol, University of the West of England, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and Wildscreen. Although we are a small registered charity we draw upon a wide range of expertise and advice from our consortium members.

The Consortium reflects Bristol's reputation as a leading centre for the understanding and appreciation of the natural world. The Consortium has three key aims: to celebrate the natural world; to turn education and awareness into action; and to foster continued collaboration across the environmental sector.

To fulfil our aims we run three strands of activities: • The UK’s only Festival of Nature – a large, free, public festival attracting over 25,000 visitors and over 200 partner organisations annually. • The annual Communicate conference - the UK’s only professional conference for environmental communicators, attracting delegates from across the UK and Europe. • Education and Engagement activities - a series of events which builds on the energy generated by the Festival of Nature and puts into practice the techniques developed at the Communicate conference.

The Bristol BioBlitz Outline

The principal aim of a BioBlitz is to survey, classify and record as many different species as possible in a 24 or 30-hour period within a defined location. In 2010 we would like to bring together naturalists, scientists and environmental educators to work with school students (Key Stage 2-4), university students, members of the public and local businesses from across the region to join this free-to-attend event.

Having completed a successful pilot of a BioBlitz event in June 2009 we would now like to deepen, expand and develop the programme in June 2010. We are planning an event in NW Bristol within an area ranked by the Department of Communities and Local Government as 5-10% urban worst in the 2007 Deprivation Indices. As well as obtaining species data for a new area of Bristol we intend to involve a wider ranger of target beneficiaries and to encourage residents to take pride in their local green spaces.

One key element of the project is providing free, drop in activities for local residents. A second focus will be a series of workshops on surveying techniques and wildlife identification in schools prior to the event. In 2010 we will partner with Avon Wildlife Trust to combine this learning outside the classroom with improvements in school grounds through practical conservation work. The Department of Children, Schools and Families Sustainable Schools programme, and the Bristol Biodiversity Action Plan both identify the improvement of school grounds for nature as a strategic priority.

Aims and Objectives

Through this project we intend to increase appreciation and understanding of wildlife, biodiversity and the natural environment. By providing skill development in surveying techniques and by working alongside scientists on a common project, we can foster enthusiasm for science and nature, as well as encouraging interest in taxonomy which is struggling to recruit new enthusiasts. The event will tie in to the Key Stage 2, 3 and 4 national curriculum under a number of themes, including environment and feeding relationships, variation and classification, ecological relationships and investigating scientific questions, as well as the use of ICT to record and analyse data. We will also offer participation and training to students studying the KS4 Environment and Land-based Diploma.

The 2009 BioBlitz pilot event took place over Friday to Saturday, with 180 students attending on the Friday. For 2010 we plan to run it over Sunday to Monday and involve over 300 students. This means that we will have interesting finds and information from the Sunday to disseminate to the students on Monday. Our media team who were headed up by a BBC producer in 2009 (please see our blog on will create short films about the area and species to screen to students and members of the public.

We will create a significant biological record that will be of use to local scientists, Environmental Records Centres, the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) and City Council departments for species promotion, conservation and space planning. We also want to create an online toolkit to enable other organisations or community groups to run a BioBlitz.

The National BioBlitz Outline

2010 is International Year of Biodiversity (IYB) and an exciting time to promote a national programme of BioBlitzes. There are a number of places in the UK that will be running a BioBlitz event in 2010. Some of these organisations have run them before, but there is a huge amount of interest in the BioBlitz concept, especially as part of IYB-UK, so there are some other locations wishing to join the programme. Each event will happen in its own right, however by partnering with other UK BioBlitzes there is capacity to share resources and create a much bigger picture:

Press and PR

• Local media interest in the Bristol event was great. A national programme would help secure interest of national media e.g. Springwatch and The One Show. • Potential roll out with mass participation will generate media interest for public involvement.


• Offering training and brokering for experts/naturalists taking part. • We are discussing funding with the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE). The NCCPE is part of the Beacons for Public Engagement project and there are Beacons across the UK.


• Training for students and other volunteers prior to BioBlitz events – such as in surveying techniques, data entry, updating blogs etc • Help integrate more volunteers into local or national volunteering programmes on an ongoing basis • We are discussing funding with the National Student Volunteering Programme


• Partnership with STEMNet (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths Network). As well as school contacts within each event area, partnership with STEMNet will broker more schools to BioBlitzes. • We are discussing funding with Airbus to get possible coach money for each area to widen accessibility for school attendance.


• A place to enter, store and compare UK BioBlitz data would be an incredibly exciting option. Whilst each data set should feed into the regional environmental records centre, using a custom made database would allow data comparisons between sites and/or dates. • Data should also feed into the NBN (National Biodiversity Network) • An option for school children (and others) to be able to look at and use the data collected would allow for further relevant study following the event and keep the data/information open and available to all. Teachers would be able to follow up the activities back at school by using the internet and websites as an opportunity for numeracy and literacy or science.


‘How to’ docs to be created and uploaded for: • Running a BioBlitz event • Evaluation • Marketing

The Consortium is ideally set up to run this project as we have a large pool of expert knowledge and support to draw on through our member organisations. We work strategically with other national programmes through membership of prominent bodies such as the Learning Outside the Classroom Natural Sector Committee, the Education and Public Understanding Group for the England Biodiversity Strategy, and the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. A key part of the national programme is the media aspect. This will be crucial in raising awareness of the BioBlitz objectives, educating people and encouraging involvement in conservation and environmental issues.

Second possible project

2) Digital Inclusion Italic text- Initially working with the South Bristol Digital Neighbourhood, centered around the Knowle West Media Centre.

Background to this project: In less than 2 weeks, through online word-of-mouth, over 100 volunteers pledged their time in support of digitally excluded individuals. This is a community based education opportunity to capitalise on the infrastructure investment with civic investment. The potential would be for Bristol to benefit from the various wiki-platforms to demonstrate digital skills (authoring, editing, image manipulation, video editing, curation, etc) in the context of developing pages. In return the neighbourhood is likely to produce many new and enthusiastic contributors to wikimedia. Knowle West Media Centre is also a popular exemplar of the benefits of digital technologies by government and their agencies.

Additional partners to explore links with locally include Dylan Matthews (Knowle West Media Centre), Pete Ferne (Bristol Wireless), Bristol Media, and the Underscore virtual community newslist. Connecting Bristol also hosted Martha-Lane Fox on one of her first Digital Inclusion Task Force visits outside London and has maintained good connections with this agenda at National government level.

At a subsequent meeting (SV on 16/11) with the BBC Andy Corp (Production Innovation Executive)I learnt that Knowle West Media Centre is developing a large local project called "The University of Local Knowledge" - Andy Corp seems to think that the money and time behind this project is to 'do the work itself' and not ncessarily the infrastructure side of things. We wondered about whether Wikiversity might be a home for something like the output that this project would produce? This is a question - action to put directly for the view of the Board tonight.

3) Learning Lunches and in-kind support through access to the wikimedia platforms could greatly enhance the digital inclusion agenda within Bristol, demonstrating the value of digital skills and adding to the volunteer editor base of wikipedia from a traditionally digitally excluded section of the community. This would also be a direct spin off from the association with Knowle West Media Centre.

4) Cultural partnerships - Building on the "Britain loves Wikipedia" event at the V&A on 30 Jan 2010 and the planned four weekends of digital cultural activities, there is scope for a major contribution from the Bristol Museums, Libraries and Archives.

A quick-win would be to arrange, through Anchor, a Learning Lunch with the BBC Italic textand to then springboard into the other cultural and MLA partnerships in BristolItalic text.

In addition to the MLA activities are the connections to the 4 Universities in the Science City partnership with strong cultural & digital technology interests and students with increasing social enterprise and open source ethics.

Additional partners to explore links with locally include Bristol Media and the various museums, libraries and archives in Bristol, the University of Bristol, University of Bath, Bath Spa University and the University of the West of England.

5) BBC - meeting on 16/11/09 with Andy Corp at the BBC as a direct result of the meeting above...

Discussed a number of link ups

EG: BBC Learning Lunch inside the BBC - possibly more than for a number of different teams

The BBC are very interested in Community Journalism - suggested that we 'meet' to explore ways of building on this with a view of some form up link up/accreditation for those of our volunteers involved with Wikinews - idea was liked and will be explored internally is already taking Wikispecies 'definitions' directly to boost a new project inside the BBC which is a website to promote natural history, archives and footage of animals and species - in the light of earlier comments about a possible link up here Andy Corp has promised further meetings to explore this further

BBC believes that there are many natural synergies and will work to seek out ways to release archive natural history material - more meetings more discussions inevtiable

Wikimedia Commons - the Beeb is very interested in exploring ways to release and use the enormous archive it has stored both locally and on specialist programmes that it has commissioned. In particular it has shows like Antiques Roadshow (as well as the Natural History) where it may have hours of footage sitting on a JPG from which only a few minutes was used. Further meetings are to be arranged here - with someone called Roly Keating at the heart of it - discussed a possible Learning Lunch just for his team only

Wikibooks - Andy will talk to them about us and see if any 'lateral thinking' is going on over there whereby they could work with us - again, if there is, more meetings

Wikipedia Loves Britain - was an interested in participating in some way to help promote the event - when we discussed an idea raised by Anne Scorer at the meeting above (Museums and Galleries in Bristol participate next February in the event) it was mused that the Bristol component could have a Banksy Theme - and it could get people photgraphing grafitti and street art (a la Banksy). Andy said he'd be keen to get the BBC fully behind it and it might have legs as a possible programme. Again - more meetings and more discussions to occur

BBC Workshops - with the vast array of ideas flowing backwards and forwards this idea was resurrected and Andy seemed to think the BBC could get behind it and 'host' a brainstorming/planning workshop to shape all these ideas and projects

GLAM Event next summer - Andy will mention this to the Head of Information Archives as he felt 'he had to be there'

On going

St Helena Tourism Board - will happen but on back burner until the Director gets back to the island

Learning Lunch at The Hub - 23rd November - going ahead

Learning Lunch at Kaizo PR - 3rd December - going ahead