Image: J. McIntosh
On the 1st of April, the NBN Gateway closed and was superseded by the new NBN Atlas. Simultaneously five million Scottish BSBI records went live on the NBN Atlas Scotland - at full capture resolution and with site and recorder names.
Jim McIntosh, BSBI Scottish Officer, said "It has taken much patience and persuasion to convince Scottish County Recorders that the data should be made public. I think what swayed it is the growing realisation that there is a greater risk of inadvertent damage if people are not aware of populations than deliberate damage if they do. And, of course, there is provision to withhold records of a short list of sensitive species such Arabis alpina, Primula scotica and Trichomanes speciosum, or of any population a County Recorder prefers not to make public.
"One million of the records were captured by a BSBI project to digitise paper records in Scotland between 2005-2012, kindly funded by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). Notably it includes rare plant data from SSSIs that we digitised for SNH and much of the vascular plant data underlying Plant Life of Edinburgh & the Lothians, The Changing Flora of Glasgow and The Flora of Lanarkshire. This is a great step forward in making data freely available to conservationists, researchers, land managers and other botanists and we hope it will encourage botanists to go out and re-find records of notable species and send updates to County Recorders".