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  • Ryan Clark

New Year

Today is the 7th of January, the end of the first week of a New Year. I meant to do this blog post on the 1st but that never quite happened. I have just spent a lovely 5 nights in Gateshead visiting someone very special to me. But as I sit here, alone, and write this it is freezing outside and the wind is icy cold. I am sat here with a cup of tea trying to warm up, and dreaming of spring. Well, what can I say about 2017! It has certainly been one of the most difficult years of my life so far, but has also had some real highs. Forgetting about the negatives (of which there have been too many to list), I am ending the year at the helm of a successful project that is making a difference to biological recording in Northamptonshire. I have spent a lot of my time running this project though and less time recording, so my challenge to myself for next year is to get outside more with work and generate more records. I haven’t done nearly as much recording as I would like to this year (6500 or so records), but thanks to a trip away to the Lake District with a group of botanists and a few visits to Cornwall, I recorded 370 new species in 2017 putting me on 2467 species seen alive in Britain (see breakdown below). I have said for a few years now that I want to get into bryophytes more to get myself out in the winter, but never seem to manage it. 2018 will be the year! I am not setting myself any specific targets this year on recording, I just want to enjoy it 🙂

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The main thing that has held me back this year is battling my mental health, wildlife is a big part of what keeps me going, but people also help an incredible amount, often without realising. So, thank you to everyone that is there for me. I will be continuing to work on my mental health, confidence and self-care in 2018. I am hoping a self-care and positives diary will help with this, along with more time spent outside. I have also taken up running again. I love the feeling running gives me but find it harder to motivate myself to run in winter. I am hoping to do a proper race in 2018 and get my first medal. I may even try the Bradenham Bolt which is 10k of mud and obstacles in the beautiful Chiltern hills. I got myself a pair of trail running shoes today so have no excuses now!

2016 TotalNumber of Additions in 20172017 TotalAlgae303Slime Moulds101Protists000Lichens402262Fungi64670Bryophytes50252Vascular Plants531154685Sponges000Comb-jellies000Cnidarians303Molluscs62365Bryozoans000Annelid Worms404Platyhelminth Worms101Sea-spiders000Arachnids42446Myriapods707Crustaceans15116Springtails etc.4043-tailed Bristletails101Odonata25025Orthopteroids19120Hemipteroids8714101Hymenoptera15538193Coleoptera23334267Diptera14610156Butterflies37441Moths32853381Remaining Insect Orders17219Echinoderms000Tunicates000Fish617Reptiles404Amphibians505Birds17816194Mammals29534Other Animals000Overall20973702467

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