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.

1Cornwall WestBerry, Tylan   
2Cornwall EastBerry, Tylan   
3Devon SouthBerry, Tylan   
4Devon NorthBerry, Tylan   
5Somerset SouthFarr-Cox, Mr. Francis   
6Somerset NorthFarr-Cox, Mr. Francis   
7Wilts. NorthVacant   
8Wilts. SouthVacant   
9DorsetPoole, Jeremy   
10Isle of WightDenton, Jonty   
11Hants. SouthDenton, Jonty   
12Hants. NorthDenton, Jonty   
13Sussex WestLyons, Graeme   
14Sussex EastLyons, Graeme   
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.Parker, Bill   
23OxfordBee, Mr. Lawrence   
24Bucks.Parker, Bill   
25Suffolk EastLee, Mr. Paul   
26Suffolk WestLee, Mr. Paul   
27Norfolk EastPip Collyer   
28Norfolk WestPip Collyer   
29CambridgeCarr, Mr David   
33Gloucester EastMichael Davis   
34Gloucester WestMichael Davis   
35MonmouthGallon, Richard   
40Salop.Cane-Honeysett, Nigel   
41GlamorganGallon, Mr Richard   
42BreconGallon, Mr Richard   
43RadnorGallon, Mr Richard   
44CarmarthenGallon, Mr Richard   
45PembrokeGallon, Mr Richard   
46CardiganGallon, Mr Richard   
47MontgomeryGallon, Mr Richard   
48MerionethGallon, Mr Richard   
49CaernarvonGallon, Mr Richard   
50DenbighGallon, Mr Richard   
51FlintGallon, Mr Richard   
52AngleseyGallon, Mr Richard   
53Lincoln SouthImogen Wilde   
54Lincoln NorthImogen Wilde   
55Leics. and RutlandAlan Cann   
58CheshireGallon, Mr Richard   
59Lancashire SouthVacant   
60Lancashire WestVacant   
61York South EastRichard Wilson   
62York North EastRichard Wilson   
63York South WestRichard Wilson   
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   
77LanarkKilner, Michael   
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   
86StirlingKilner, Michael   
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 InvernessVacant   
97West InvernessVacant   
98Argyll MainCathrine, Mr Chris   
99DumbartonCathrine, Mr Chris   
100Clyde IslesCathrine, Mr Chris   
101KintyreCathrine, Mr Chris   
102Ebudes SouthCathrine, Mr Chris   
103Ebudes MidVacant   
104Ebudes NorthVacant   
105Ross WestVacant   
106Ross EastVacant   
107Sutherland EastVacant   
108Sutherland WestVacant   
109CaithnessKilner, Michael   
111OrkneysMilner, Mr. Edward   
112ShetlandsMilner, Mr. Edward   
113Channel IslandsVacant