Mapping for conservation

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust (YWT) is part of the influential UK-wide partnership of 47 Wildlife Trusts and has worked for more than 65 years to protect wildlife and wild places and educate, influence and empower people to conserve wildlife.

Responsible for 95 sites covering in excess of 6300 acres, YWT manages assets within different territories as well as mapping and tracking the ownership of site boundaries and collecting and storing extensive conservation data from surveys. They work with landowners on many conservation projects and mapping plays a key role in the large portion of their activity.

The Trust needed to be able to view and analyse the information they were gathering on a digital map – the data needed to be presented in a comprehensive, visual and geographic nature to fully understand the relationship between the data and the geography.This in turn would help with funding bids, as well as managing projects and memberships.

Using MapInfo GIS software and a range of Ordnance Survey digital mapping products, both supplied by CDR Group,the Trust were able to fulfil all their mapping requirements in a straightforward way.   They are able to provide background mapping for site location maps, project maps, membership distribution maps and importantly, maps for funding bids. They are also able to manipulate, analyse, capture and store a wide range of geographical data which is essential to the running of the Trust.

One of the things they have been able to improve is the way that they target members. By using ONS 2011 census data, overlaid on mapping data, they have been able to analyse membership distribution and standardise it against population figures  to highlight areas with lower than expected membership. This enables them to carry out more strategic targeting for in-house membership recruiters or identifies areas where they have a low presence and therefore may need to target new site acquisition, project work etc.

Conservation planners are also using the GIS software and mapping data to allow them to view and query data in relation to local authority planning and development.

Building a strong foundation for the Trust to continue its good work long into the future is a key aim and using Ordnance Survey data such as OS OpenData as well as attending training provided by CDR Group on how to make best use of the mapping and the technology will ensure that the Trust continues to deliver it’s aims.

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1 Response

  1. Even though this article is a few years old, it is still a great example of government working with the community to provide education in a fun and interactive way. I work for GIS mapping company that makes an Android based data collection app called MapItfast, and we find that public knowledge is our best tool for conservation, rangeland management and the fight against invasive weed species.

    Since tracking can be a problem by itself as people try and coordinate resources, we offer free versions of our gis mapping and data collection software for personal use and at a discount for educational purposes. The software is available for any Android mobile device, so there is no expensive equipment to purchase. This can be really helpful to those who need a powerful system to show the history of every application, but not so complicated that it takes a genius to understand how to use it and it doesn’t break the bank.

    Great article and keep it up!
    Jason Hodges

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