On-line Recording

Lichen recording with iRecord

There is now a lichen form for online recording in iRecord, and records submitted that way will eventually find their way to the BLS and be included in our database. They are first validated using the NBN Record Cleaner rulesets, an automated check for identification difficulty and geographic range, and then any records that are flagged up as needed further checking are reviewed by a regional or national expert. iRecord is not intended to be used for large numbers of records, or for the detailed recording that is done for professional or churchyard surveys, and these records should be submitted using the BLS spreadsheets instead. It is a quick and easy way to input a few casual records, and we would especially encourage people new to lichen recording to give it a try.


Set up Lichen Recording in iRecord

To set up the lichen recording form:

1. Register with iRecord so you have an account and password

2. Login and go to Activities, on the Record menu. To create a new Activity, switch to the tab Browse all activities and locate the BLS Lichen Records activity. Click on the Star to request to join the activity.

There will be a delay before this is authorised, but once it is you will see the new activity on your own list. If this doesn't get a quick response you should check with Janet Simkin on records@britishlichensociety.org.uk.

Note: Because we are still testing this form we are restricting it for now to BLS members who will let us know if there are any problems. It will soon be made available to everyone.


Using the Lichen recording form in iRecord

Once the activity is on your list, to use the lichen recording form in iRecord:

1. Login, go to Activities, and in the BLS activity Click on Enter lichen records to start entering records.

2. Enter the Date of recording. This can be done by clicking on the calendar. Your name will be shown automatically as the Recorder but this can be changed if you are inputting records for someone else.

3. Go to Where was it? to enter the location details. A location name is required, then the grid reference can either be entered or you can zoom into the map and click on the appropriate square. Please ensure that this square covers all the records to be entered. If you found something interesting on a particular tree or stone this should be entered separately with the precise grid reference for that species. You can also enter a comment and habitat information using a standard two part classification, just select the entries from the drop down lists.

4. Return to What did you see? to enter the species list.

  • Start typing the scientific name and select from the suggestions.
  • Substrate Code - this is one or a combination of Bry – bryicolous (on mosses or liverworts), Cort – corticolous (on tree bark), Fol – Folicolous (on leaves), Lic – lichenicolous (on another lichen), Lig – lignicolous (on wood), Sax – saxicolous (on stone), Terr – terricolous (on soil). Select from the drop down list.
  • Substrate Description - this is what the lichen was growing on, such as oak, ash, sandstone, granite, soil. For lichenicolous fungi it would be the lichen species on which it was growing. Standard codes (such as Q for Quercus, Fx for ash) can be used, or, and this saves us a lot of work when it comes to importing the records, the BLS scale habitat codes can be used (e.g. CQ,CFx for Quercus and Fraxinus, just as in the spreadsheet). Lists of both these codes are included in the BLS Recording Guidelines on the Downloads page.
  • Position - the position on the tree or within the site, such as branch, trunk, outcrop, cliff, building, roof, wall, gravestone. Again the standard scale habitat codes can be used if you know them and this will help the BLS greatly.
Additional information can be entered by clicking on the + sign:
  • Abundance - using the DAFOR scale, select from the drop-down list.
  • Specimen - select if you have kept a specimen. We may ask to see it if needed to confirm your identification.
  • Identifier - the determiner, if not yourself.
  • Comments - any comments about this particular species record, such as chemical tests and whether it was fertile.
  • Photo - a photo may be uploaded here.

5. Click Submit to save your records to iRecord.

6. You will then be able to Explore them online through iRecord, Edit them to add further information, and Download them as a spreadsheet or to Google Maps.



Before your records are downloaded to the BLS database they will be verified online by an expert. The first stage of this verification is done automatically, checking that the species is relatively easy to identify (identification level 1 or 2) and that it is within its expected geographical range. This check uses the rulesets developed by the BLS for the NBN Record Cleaner. Any records not satisfying the automated check (identification levels 3, 4 or 5, or outside expected range) are highlighted to the verifier as needing further investigation. If you have uploaded a photo that may be enough for us to confirm your identification, otherwise we may contact you for further details or a specimen.