Essex Wildlife Trust was recently awarded funding from the NBN Trust to digitise river corridor survey data for the Rivers Blackwater and Pant, collected by the National Rivers Authority in the early 1990s. This was part of a wider initiative to mobilise data using funding received from the Cabinet Office via their Release of Data fund.
The data consists of sketch maps, summary information and detailed botanical surveys of the Pant and Blackwater, and of a tributary of the Pant, the Finchingfield Brook. This data was held in paper format by the Environment Agency and digitised by Essex Wildlife Trust Biological Records Centre as part of our ongoing partnership work with Essex Biodiversity Project and the Environment Agency, aimed at sharing information on Essex Rivers.
This data complements the recent river walkover surveys and historic coastal data for the Blackwater Estuary that is already available via Essex Wildlife Trust Biological Records Centre, and which is used to inform our partnership working to achieve the standards set out in the EU Water Framework Directive. The historic data will provide an invaluable baseline to compare with our recent surveys and ongoing project work.
The digitised data is now published on the National Biodiversity Network Gateway. More information on the datasets and a link to each one on the Gateway can be accessed here. More information on recent walkover surveys and our partnership working can be found on the Essex Rivers Hub, http://www.essexrivershub.org.uk/.
For more information on the datasets held by Essex Wildlife Trust Biological Records Centre please see our website: http://www.essexwtrecords.org.uk/info.