Area Organisers

Area Organisers (AOs) are arachnologists who have undertaken to collate and help verify spider data for their areas (usually counties and vice counties). They are usually able to provide valuable assistance to beginners and may run field meetings to help record spiders in their areas. Please approach them for help but remember they do their work on an entirely voluntary basis, and can only do as much as time allows. Records and record cards should normally be passed through the relevant AO.

An up-to-date list of Area Organisers is occasionally published in the SRS Newsletter and will also be available on the members section of the BAS website as part of the BAS Handbook, but this page provides the up-to-date details held by the scheme for Area Organisers.

Basically, an Area Organiser acts as a co-ordinator for spider records in an area. An AO needs to be able to build up a picture of the spider fauna of their area or county and recognise when identifications are likely to need checking or confirmation. They therefore either need to be able to confirm species identification themselves, or be able to send specimens to someone who can – such as the National Organiser or our ultimate authority, Peter Merrett! The essential quality is to know your limitations and ask for doubtful or difficult specimens to be confirmed – unreliable data are worse than no data! Another role of the AO is to try and stimulate interest in the county or area and get other people working on spider recording. Even a few people can make a real difference - in Essex for example there has been a core of just 4 people since 1986. One of the aims of the Spider Recording Scheme is to try and obtain better coverage of Britain, and an AO should be encouraging this within their area or county. It is therefore important for AOs to provide local arachnologists with feedback so that they can see the results of their labours.

The Recording Scheme’s idea of the role of an ‘ideal’ AO is as follows:

  • to collate all county records and generate feedback for all their local active recorders by keeping them up-to-date with the current status of species in the county;
  • to allow the production of up-to-date county distribution maps for all the species in order to help people see where the gaps are and look for possible distribution patterns;
  • to verify and validate records for the county, recognising the local significance of records and sending specimens to national specialists whenever necessary – it is not essential that Area Organisers are themselves ‘experts’ but should be able to refer material to national referees prepared to provide an opinion reasonably quickly;
  • to maintain a database of county records, preferably on computer and in a form which allows ready exchange of data;
  • to pass data on to the SRS, check nationally produced maps and liaise with Local Record Centres to enable an exchange of verified data which can enter a national database managed by the national recording scheme.
In addition to the above points, the Area Organiser should aim to publish (as a minimum) a short note in the SRS newsletter on the spider recording undertaken within their vice-county/ counties on a regular basis (at least biannually) in the previous year with information on the notable species recorded.  This should ensure that all members are kept up to date with recording effort.  In doing so, this ought to highlight to new members the type of activity undertaken within their region and encourage active participation in the forthcoming year.

Contact details are available to logged-on members.

VCViceCountyAreaOrganiser
1Cornwall West & ScillySmithers, Mr. Peter   
2Cornwall EastSmithers, Mr. Peter   
3Devon SouthPrince, Matt   
4Devon NorthPrince, Matt   
5Somerset SouthFarr-Cox, Mr. Francis   
6Somerset NorthFarr-Cox, Mr. Francis   
7Wilts. NorthAskins, Mr. Martin   
8Wilts. SouthAskins, Mr. Martin   
9DorsetVacant   
10Isle of WightDenton, Jonty   
11Hants. SouthDenton, Jonty   
12Hants. NorthDenton, Jonty   
13Sussex WestPhillips, Mr. Andrew   
14Sussex EastPhillips, Mr. Andrew   
15Kent EastTony Russell-Smith   
16Kent WestTony Russell-Smith   
17SurreyDenton, Jonty   
18Essex SouthHarvey, Mr. Peter   
19Essex NorthHarvey, Mr. Peter   
20Herts.Carr, Mr David   
21MiddlesexMilner, Mr. Edward   
22Berks.Cunningham, Heidi M.    
23OxfordBee, Mr. Lawrence   
24Bucks.Read, Dr. Helen J.   
25Suffolk EastLee, Mr. Paul   
26Suffolk WestLee, Mr. Paul   
27Norfolk EastPip Collyer   
28Norfolk WestPip Collyer   
29CambridgeCarr, Mr David   
30BedfordThomas, Mr. Tom   
31Hunts.Dawson, Mr. Ian   
32NorthamptonVacant   
33Gloucester EastHaigh, Mr. David J.R.   
34Gloucester WestHaigh, Mr. David J.R.   
35MonmouthKilner, Mr Michael   
36HerefordPartridge, Mr John   
37WorcesterPartridge, Mr John   
38WarwickWright, Mr. Richard   
39StaffordSlawson, Mr. G. Craig   
40Salop.Cane-Honeysett, Nigel   
41GlamorganKilner, Mr Michael   
42BreconHarper, John   
43RadnorKilner, Mr Michael   
44CarmarthenKilner, Mr Michael   
45PembrokeDobson, Mr. Stan   
46CardiganBailey, Mr. Mike   
47MontgomeryStanney, Mr. John   
48MerionethStanney, Mr. John   
49CaernarvonRoscoe, Mr. Don   
50DenbighGallon, Mr Richard   
51FlintGallon, Mr Richard   
52AngleseyRoscoe, Mr. Don   
53Lincoln SouthBinding, Annette   
54Lincoln NorthBinding, Annette   
55Leics. and RutlandVacant   
56Notts.Vacant   
57DerbyVacant   
58CheshireVacant   
59Lancashire SouthFelton, Mr. Chris   
60Lancashire WestVacant   
61York South EastRichard Wilson   
62York North EastRichard Wilson   
63York South WestDobson, Mr. Stan   
64York Mid WestRichard Wilson   
65York North WestRichard Wilson   
66DurhamRichard Wilson   
67Northumberland SouthRichard Wilson   
68Northumberland NorthRichard Wilson   
69Westmorland with North Lancs.Blackledge, David   
70CumberlandBlackledge, David   
72DumfriesBob Merritt   
73KirkcudbrightBob Merritt   
74WigtownBob Merritt   
75AyrCathrine, Mr Chris   
76RenfrewCathrine, Mr Chris   
77LanarkCathrine, Mr Chris   
78PeeblesCathrine, Mr Chris   
79SelkirkCathrine, Mr Chris   
80RoxburghCathrine, Mr Chris   
81BerwickCathrine, Mr Chris   
82East Lothian (Haddington)Baird, Katty   
83Midlothian (Edinburgh)Cathrine, Mr Chris   
84West Lothian (Linlithgow)Cathrine, Mr Chris   
85Fife (with Kinross)Lavery, Alastair   
86StirlingCathrine, Mr Chris   
87Perth WestDavidson, Mr. Mike B.   
88Perth MidDavidson, Mr. Mike B.   
89Perth EastDavidson, Mr. Mike B.   
90Angus (Forfar)Davidson, Mr. Mike B.   
91KincardineDavidson, Mr. Mike B.   
92Aberdeen SouthDavidson, Mr. Mike B.   
93Aberdeen NorthDavidson, Mr. Mike B.   
94BanffDavidson, Mr. Mike B.   
95Moray (Elgin)Davidson, Mr. Mike B.   
96East InvernessHayley Wiswell   
97West InvernessHayley Wiswell   
98Argyll MainCathrine, Mr Chris   
99DumbartonCathrine, Mr Chris   
100Clyde IslesCathrine, Mr Chris   
101KintyreCathrine, Mr Chris   
102Ebudes SouthCathrine, Mr Chris   
103Ebudes MidHayley Wiswell   
104Ebudes NorthHayley Wiswell   
105Ross WestDave Holloway   
106Ross EastDave Holloway   
107Sutherland EastDave Holloway   
108Sutherland WestDave Holloway   
109CaithnessDave Holloway   
110HebridesDave Holloway   
111OrkneysMilner, Mr. Edward   
112ShetlandsMilner, Mr. Edward   
113Channel IslandsVacant   
H40LondonderryEwing, Mr John