A Reflection on 2014

As 2014 draws to a close I find it is useful to reflect on the past year. 2014 hasn’t been the easiest year for me to say the least but it has been filled with lots of wildlife recording and conservation work.


Meadow clary (Salvia pratensis)

Meadow Clary (Salvia pratensis)

I have recorded 1072 species so far this year which is over 250 more species than last year and brings my total number of species seen to 1434. Which means I have seen 547 species for the first time this year. Which I am quite pleased with, considering I haven’t been very far, as you can on the map below.

2014 records


Burdock Conch (Aethes rubigana)

Burdock Conch (Aethes rubigana)

Insects still form a high proportion of my records and I don’t think that will change any time soon but this year I have became more interested in other groups too such as vascular plants, molluscs and bryophytes! 10502050_10152603027723920_7098513525261659223_n 10676277_10152603046448920_813272992753419252_n

I have also made progress recording the wildlife in my garden. This year I recorded 474 species in my small garden, bringing my total species list for the garden to 616 species and just shows how much wildlife there is in a normal garden. So why not make it a New Years Resolution to take part in the Garden Bioblitz in 2015 and see how many species you can find in your garden or local space? I did intend to fully participate in the 1000 for 1ksq challenge but lost the way a bit as noone else really took part (or blogged about it) and I am not sure I could have found that many species in the square kilometer where I live anyway.


I also did some targeted recording this year in order to build up a species inventory of Grangelands and Kimble Rifle Range,  a chalk grassland site fairly close to me. The site is going to be taken over by BBOWT so the species inventory and my report will inform the management plan which is due to be drawn up this winter.


Megachile ligniseca female

Megachile ligniseca female

I had planned to be employed by now but that hasn’t worked out. I have been doing some rather exciting volunteering though so when I do this review next year I will hopefully be telling you about the wonderful paid conservation work I am doing. Till then I will just keep going unpaid but pleased to be making a difference.

Here is to 2015 and more wildlife adventures.


10 responses to “A Reflection on 2014

  1. I am sure 2015 will be a better year for you 🙂

  2. Have you considered doing the MSc in Entomology based here at Harper Adams? – really good job and PhD prospects and you can do either ecological/conservation route or applied agricultural/crop protection route

  3. Nice one Ryan and you’ve laid some great foundations there for 2015, a reckon it will be a great year for you 🙂

  4. Looks like a great year’s fieldwork, and excellent preparation for good things in 2015. 🙂

  5. This is a really interesting and impressive list of recorded species, Ryan! I hadn’t heard of the Garden Bibolitz, so will definitely take part in that this year. I’m a real amateur when it comes to identifying anything, so your blog and tweets throughout the year have been really helpful. Here’s to 2015 and I hope you find some work soon, I’m in the same boat! – Tasha xxx

    • Hi Tasha,

      Thanks very much. The Garden Bioblitz is great (as one of the people that runs it, I would say that but I can honestly say it is great!). I am glad that my blog and tweets have been helpful. Hopefully 2015 will be a great year for us both.

      All the best,


  6. Entry level jobs in conservation are extremely competitive and it is very hard to get that first step. The people who succeed are the ones who try hardest and keep at it. You are producing some excellent work, stick with it, I’m sure you’ll get there. Neil.

    • Thank you for your comments Neil. I will get there, I am not one for giving up on things that easily! Especially not in areas that I feel I can make a difference. 🙂

      Kind regards,


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