Please Note: Due to a vacant post, Orkney Islands Council and their partner organisations are currently looking at how the Centre can be taken forward in conjunction with changes to national biodiversity recording.
We hope to have an update on this service in the next few months but unfortunately from the end of July 2021, it will not be possible to enter or retrieve records from the database.
We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. For any questions and enquiries please email email@example.com
Orkney Wildlife Information & Records Centre (OWIARC) contains a wealth of wildlife information suitable for private study, environmental assessments, planning applications, student projects or development proposals. We can produce reports in your choice of format. For more information or to discuss your requirements please get in touch.
The OWIARC runs courses each year to increase people’s knowledge of a wide range of subjects from species identification to habitat recording, set at different levels of ability for beginners or advanced naturalists. To see what courses are being run this year please get in touch.
The OWIARC has a wide range of equipment available to borrow from field sampling gear to laboratory identification equipment. Please get in touch for more information.
To aid in the identification of specimens the OWIARC houses a library of books acquired by Orkney Field Club as well as the Lorimer Collection. The Lorimer Collection is a collection of Natural History books that were bequeathed to Orkney Library & Archive and are now housed within the OWIARC. All the books in the collection are listed in the Orkney Library Online Catalogue which can be searched by author, title, keyword or subject.
In late 1998 a team of specialists began a three-year task of computerising the mass of Orkney’s biological records, a mammoth project which followed on from the groundwork laid by Orkney Field Club. The team consisted of Ross Andrew as manager, with Dianne Learmonth, Linda Bartlett and Sydney Gauld as part-time technicians.
The work was done using the database Recorder 3.3 and by the end of the three-year period 88,969 records were stored on the database. The groups represented included fungi, lichens, moss & liverworts, vascular plants, beetles, true flies, dragonflies, stone flies, may flies, caddis flies, bumble bees, spiders and birds.
A new recording package called Recorder 2000 (R2K) was introduced and a substantial number of marine records from Marine Nature Conservation Review (MNCR) were added. At the end of the project the records from Recorder 3.3 were all transferred to R2K before being transferred to the current database on Recorder 6.
Originally known as the Orkney Biodiversity Records Centre, the OWIARC was based in Orkney Library & Archive and moved along with the library and archive to new custom built premises on Junction Road in December 2003. The new premises provided office space and storage facilities for the OWIARC collections.