Since taking on the responsibility for the non-marine recording scheme in late spring 2007, a great deal of work has been undertaken to try and establish a new electronic data system using Recorder 6 software.
This has resulted in over 50,000 records being transferred by myself into the Recorder 6 database by the end of 2007. However, the society holds many hundreds of thousands of recording cards, plus individual records, for British non-marine mollusca, some dating back over 300 years, so a great deal more needs to be done before we can establish a meaningful database. William Denison Roebuck established the first meaningful recording system for the Society over 100 years ago and several very eminent members followed in his footsteps, not least of whom was Dr Michael Kerney who published two important distribution atlases during his tenure as national recorder. Both of these atlases were based on a paper system, which although computerised for the purposes of producing the distribution maps, did not go any further than the basic data required for these maps. Thus, the resulting data which was later transferred into the NBN database shows little more than presence or absence within any single 10 km square. Hence, of the 216,998 records held on the NBN gateway, only 11,069 are at a level of 1 km or less.
Modern recording systems demand a high standard and quality of data and, in most cases any publicly supported database requires these data to be available to all. Many interested parties, from town planners to conservationists and government agencies, need the data to be accessible and reliable so as to ensure that the correct conservation and planning strategies are put in place to conserve and preserve our natural and man made environments to the highest standards. Some safeguards have been put in place to ensure that data on the rarest and most vulnerable species are not made available to the more unscrupulous elements of society. If we are to protect our molluscan fauna in the future we need to have considerably more accurate data, including six-figure GPS references, with precise dates and habitat notes, as well as other reliable evidence, presently available for many of our more common species.
The Vice-County system has served us well over the past 100 years or so but it is now a very outdated concept and so we may no longer publish a list of new VC records as part of the Annual Report, but this may depend on our members’ response to this proposal. The Vice-County lists can be found on the Society’s Website and, over the next year or so, I hope to update each of the VCs with information on the first record for each and every one of the VCs, and I will try and keep this as up to date as possible. So whatever happens, I would ask members to submit new VC records as before. One of the problems of the VC system is the fact that many species reported by us as new to a VC are, in fact, not new at all. It is just as likely that the species occurrence within the VC has only just been brought to our attention. A second problem with the system is the fact that information on species known to occur within a VC prior to 1921 is not included in our records.
I am still new to the post of National Recorder and am, therefore, unfamiliar with some of our recorders and their activities, as they are with me, and thus I am aware that we need to fully develop the trust of the various recorders with both myself as recorder and the Society as a whole.
Highlights of 2007
A number of important finds have been brought to my attention; some are important rediscoveries such as Segmentina nitida which was re-found in Hornsea Mere in East Yorkshire, others are important new discoveries such as Martin Willing’s record of Heleobia stagnorum in Chichester Harbour, the first record of living animals in the UK as well as his record of Paraloma servilis at Mill Marsh, Sidlesham both new to West Sussex, and Geraldine Holyoak’s find of Oxyloma sarsi in the Grand Canal at Victoria Lock (M947131) Co Offaly, only the second county record for this species in the Republic of Ireland. Some very good work has been undertaken on the recent split of the genus Stagnicola and numerous new VC records of Stagnicola fusca are now within the system. Global warming appears to be the cause behind the continued spread of Lehmannia valentiana but other factors appear to be behind the continued spread of Arion flagellus and Boettgerilla pallens. The Vertiginidae continue to fascinate members with new records of Vertigo angustior from North Kerry and Vertigo geyeri from Co Meath. Work has started on the recent split of Balea perversa into two species with Balea heydeni apparently being the more widespread of the two species. I hope to be able to report more about this in the next report.
New VC Records
The following records are new to the Conchological Society’s VC recording scheme but some may have been published previously from earlier collections without the information coming into our recording system.
West Cornwall(1) Ferrissia wautieri, Trecombe (SW76342978) 06.04.2006: Planorbis carinatus, Treworgans (SW78365999) 28.04.2006: Planorbarius corneus, Argal reservoir (SW760327) 06.11.2001: all G.A. Holyoak
East Cornwall(2): Acroloxus lacustris, River Camel, Boscarne (SX0410067340) Tim Geaches Conf. G.A. Holyoak: Dreissena polymorpha, Bude Canal at Bude (SS20) Anon per A. Brown 2006, conf. Bude Canal at Bude (SS20670618) 01.08.2006 G.A. Holyoak
South Somerset(5): Planorbarius corneus, Bridgwater (ST289359) 13.10.2007: Stagnicola fuscus, Acroloxus lacustris, Haitia acuta, Huntworth (ST313350) 14.10.2007 all G.A. Holyoak
West Sussex(13): Heleobia stagnorum, Chichester Harbour (SU70) 2005 (Found living 2006), M.J. Willing, Conf. R. Preece & Tom Meijer: Paralaoma servilis, Mill Marsh, Sidlesham (SZ860975) 09.2007, M.J. Willing
West Gloucestershire(34): Ferrissia wautieri, Clearwell Meend Ponds (SO580081) 15.02.2007 John Harper, Conf. A. Norris
Pembrokeshire (45): Planorbis carinatus, St Catherine’s Bridge, Nr Haverfordwest (SM9428619502), 18.12.2006, J. Hudson, Conf. A. Norris
Yorkshire, South-east (61): Stagnicola fuscus, Near Bracey Bridge (TA08476141) 05.05.2007, A. Norris: Balea heydeni, near Bracey Bridge (TA082612) 05.05.2007,Tom Webborn Conf. A.Norris: Limacus flavus ss, Driffield (TA0157) 07.10.2000, A. Norris, Conf. D. Lindley: Limacus maculatus, Hanging Cliff near Kilham Bottom (TA020658) 05.05.2007 D. Lindley Conf. A.Norris: Limax cinereoniger, Brantinghamthorpe, Welton Dale (SE9628) 27.05.1901 J.E.Crowther, Conf. J.W.Taylor. (Naturalist: 1901 p.228)
Yorkshire, North-east (62): Arion flagellus, Castle Howard (SE7070) 25.04.2007 A.Norris: Limacus flavus ss, Kirby Misperton (SE7779) 08.09.2005, A. Norris, Conf. D. Lindley: Lehmannia valentiana, York, Rawcliffe Lake (SE5854) 14.11.2005 A.Norris: Limacus maculatus, Bulmer near Castle Howard (SE6967) A.Norris 25.04.2007: Pseudanodonta complanata, River Derwent at Hutton (SE7667) 21.06.1918, A Smith
Yorkshire, South-west (63): Arion flagellus, Loxley Valley, near Stopes, Sheffield (SK2888) 05.07.1986 A. Norris
Yorkshire, Mid-west (64): Stagnicola fuscus, Malham Fen (SD8867) 23.07.2005 A.Norris/D.Lindley. Conf. R. Carr: Limacus flavus ss, Tadcaster (SE4843) 29.09.2001, Chris Du Feu: Truncatellina cylindrica as P. minutissima, Skipton, Yorkshire (SD/95) VC64, Leeds City Museum William Nelson Collection ex coll. Seth Lister Mosley. Undated, but pre 1900
Yorkshire, North west(65): Arion flagellus, Catterick (SE2498) 24.07.2004, A. Norris Conf. D. Lindley & T. Wardhaugh: Arion owenii Gilbeck Bridge (NZ062104) 06.10.2007 A.Norris: Lehmannia valentiana, Castle Bolton (SE0391) 20.10.2003, A.Norris Conf. D.Lindley: Limacus flavus ss, Bedale (SE2688) 18.07.1982, A. Norris, Conf D. Lindley: Limacus maculatus, Sixlands Wood near Thwaite NZ0311 06.10.1207, A.Norris: Unio tumidus, River Ure, Ulshaw (SE145873) & Masham (SE225812) 01.06.1991 Collector Unknown Yorkshire Water, Det F.R. Woodward: River Ure, Masham (SE44/226814), 20.01.2007, J. Lambert, Conf. A. Norris
Roxburghshire (80): Succinea putris, Ancrum (NT621248) 04.06.2006 A.T. Sumner. Conf. A. Norris
East Lothian(82): Lehmannia valentiana, North Berwick (NT549850), 15.01.2007, A.T. Sumner. Conf. A. Norris: Monacha cantiana, Aberlady (NT467795) 26.06.2007 A.T.Sumner Conf. A. Norris
Mid Ebudes (103) Oxychilus draparnaudi, Grounds of Abbey, Iona. 20.02.2007 Coll. S.P. Dance Conf. A. Norris
South Kerry (H1): Boettgerilla pallens, Lehmannia valentiana, Abbey Island (V520582) 01.06.2005: Theba pisana, Magherabeg (Q617151) 25.06.2005: Semilimax pyrenaicus,Testacella scutulum, E. of Derynane House (V533588) 18.05.2006: Acroloxus lacustris, Lymnaea stagnalis, Haitia acuta, Derreen House and gardens
(V769587) 06.05.2006 all G.A. Holyoak North Kerry (H2): Boettgerilla pallens, Kilmore (Q846377) 31.05.2005: Lehmannia valentiana, Barrow Harbour (Q751182) 17.06.2005: Stagnicola fusca, Gortracussane (V947848) 17.05.2005: Theba pisana, Banna (Q750222) 30.05.2005: Vertigo angustior, NW of Ballinprior (Q7525) 29.05.2005 all G.A. Holyoak
Waterford(H6): Arion flagellus, Tankerstown (X450987) 04.04.2007 G.A. Holyoak
Kilkenny (H11): Kobeltia owenii, Jenkinstown Park nr Ballyrafton (S490635) 04.09.2005: Ashfordia granulata, nr Granny (S574146) 07.09.2005: Lehmannia valentiana, nr Inistioge (S637373) 06.09.2005: Haitia acuta seg. Dinn River, Jenkinstown nr Ballyafton (S491638) all G.A. Holyoak
Wexford (H12): Arion flagellus, nr Ballyhack (S710105) 08.09.2005: Stagnicola fuscus, White Gap (T111275) 07.03.2007 all G.A. Holyoak
Leix (H14): Anodonta anatina, Grand Canal (Barrow Line) Ballymanus Bridge (S616985) 25.08.2005: Arion flagellus, Bolangree, SW of Monaserevin (N606082) 25.08.2005: Dreissena polymorpha, Grand Canal (Barrow Line) Bolangree, SW of Monasterevin (N606082) 25.08.2005: Stagnicola fusca, SW of Monasterevin (N606082) 25.08.2005: Haitia acuta seg. River Barrow nr Tankerstown Bridge (S703883) 31.08.2005 all G.A. Holyoak
Offaly (H18): Arion flagellus, near Letter Cross Roads (N257041) 12.08.2005: Kobeltia owenii, Birr Castle demesne (N057050) 15.08.2005: Stagnicola fusca, (SO897) 13.08.2005: Planorbarius corneus, nr Gortachallow (M968151) 16.08.2005: Oxyloma sarsi, Grand Canal at Victoria Lock (M947131) 16.08.2005 all G.A. Holyoak
Kildare (H19): Anodonta anatina, Grand Canal (Barrow Line), Littletown (N765251) 27.08.2005: Boettgerilla pallens, edge of Ballymore Eustace (N925098) 01.09.2005: Dreissena polymorpha, Grand Canal (Barrow Line), Littletown (N765251) 28.08.2005: Lehmannia valentiana, edge of Ballymore Eustace (N925098) 01.09.2005: Haitia acuta seg. River Barrow near Maganey Bridge (S716846) 31.08.2005 all G.A. Holyoak
Wicklow (H20): Anisus vortex, SE of Crosscoolharbour (O009156) 28.08.2005: Arion flagellus, E of Crosscoolharbour (O010156) 28.08.2005 all G.A. Holyoak
Meath (H22): Stagnicola fusca,Vertigo geyeri, Duleek Commons (O0469) 14.09.2007: Lehmannia valentiana, by R. Boyne, E edge of Navan. All G.A. Holyoak
Westmeath (H23): Lehmannia valentiana, E of Carrick (N5587050) 26.08.2007 G.A. Holyoak
Longford (H24): Dreissena polymorpha, Stagnicola fusca, E. edge of Lough Ree at Cod Island (N009598) 03.09.2007: Arion flagellus, Royal Canal at Archies Bridge (N134579): Musculium lacustre, Royal Canal nr Ards Bridge (N101668) 05.09.2007: Boettgerilla pallens, Limestone Quarry (N009600) 07.09.2007 all G.A. Holyoak
Roscommon (H25): Gyraulus laevis, Planorbarius corneus nr Devenish Island (M982287) 06.09.2007 G.A. Holyoak
Louth (H31): Lehmannia valentiana, Clogher Head (O172845) 29.08.2007 G.A. Holyoak
Monaghan (H32): Arion flagellus, Boettgerilla pallens, Rossmore Forest Park (H654315) 31.08.2007: Stagnicola fusca, Anodonta anatina nr Hilton Park (H491203) 31.08.2007 all G.A. Holyoak