Volunteer(s) needed

Having operated the website for 12 years I am looking to find someone to take over the running of the site whilst there can be a properly managed handover, rather than wait for an emergency changeover to take place.  Over the years I have managed to keep going with daily entries, with grateful thanks to Gareth Harris for filling in and guiding where needed.   This is going to get harder with growing grandchildren and other commitments and a wish to visit more places as I get older. 

SO, this is an advert.  A nice one but nevertheless an advert for one or preferably more volunteers who would consider taking over the running of this site.     Having Gareth in the background has worked well, hence the suggestion that this may best be managed by a couple of people or a small team.

Since it started 12 years ago there have been around 750,000 to a million views, including over 600,000 views since it moved to the current WordPress site.   It also sits within the top 100 Birding sites on Fatbirders ‘Birding Top 1000 sites’.   All this is subjective but not doing too bad. Over the years, birding information has increasingly been passed around by Twitter and there are now 500 followers of the site on @CWPBirds.

The site was set up in 2006 with the idea of providing a place where sightings for the CWP area as a whole could be published, irrespective of county or rarity. This continues to this day and all your records have also been collated by CWPT and then forwarded to county recorders to back up records submitted by WeBS, Breeding Bird Census etc. 

The site does need a fresh approach and also someone with a better understanding of how to make better use of increased activity on Twitter etc.  It could also be a useful tool in promoting and supporting the introduction of the proposed SSSI.

Interested and would like have some more information about what is involved then please see the details below:

Basically the administration is simply a matter of taking in information from birders, collating it and publicising it on the website.  Information comes in from the contact form on the website, emails and increasingly Twitter.

The IT skills required to run WordPress are not great and can be passed on quite easily.  The use of Twitter and other media is a bit alien to me although the administration of it isn’t that difficult.

Is it time consuming? – not usually (but ask my wife).    The website is seen as important for the local area and at the moment I can usually post information quite quickly (I retired early).  This is one reason why it might suit 2 or more volunteers, it is nice to go on holiday and not have to worry about it occasionally.

The main issue is to be able to build up a good rapport with CWPT, especially the Biodiversity Officer, Ben Welbourn.  Also to understand the needs of the birding community, be able to relate to local conservation bodies and be mindful of the needs and concerns of landowners. 

There are wider issues in the CWP and wider biological recording efforts and you would need to pick these up but I know that there are many people who will advise you if needed.   As part of this you will acquire a good working knowledge of local wildlife, what’s common, what’s sensitive, what currently breeds and what doesn’t currently breed, what’s prone to disturbance and what isn’t. There is always a fine and sensitive balance between publicity, site/species safeguards and outright suppression.  

One day there will be an occasion when a mega rarity arrives, either as a visitor or a breeder.  At that time Birders will look to this site for information if it can be released.

If you think you could be interested please let me know, using any of the usual ways of contacting me.   Bob Philpott

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