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DBRC Volunteers

At DBRC we are lucky to have many volunteers helping us with our work and as a ‘not for profit’ organisation this help is invaluable.

Volunteers help us with a variety of tasks at our DBRC offices including data entry, data verification, admin and IT support. They also help with survey work for our County Wildlife Site project and public participation projects such as ‘Operation Otter’and the ‘Cetacean Recording Network’. Listed below are the profiles of some of the volunteers who help us out at DBRC.

Any volunteer opportunities available at DBRC are advertised through the Devon Wildlife Trust website. If you wish to register as a volunteer please contact the volunteer co-ordinator at Devon Wildlife Trust stating your area of interest and relevant skills/experience.

Here is a selection of just some of the fantastic people who volunteer their time and skills for us at DBRC:

Jeremy IsonJeremy

  • Helps to verify the huge numbers of botanical records we receive each year.
  • Has verified thousands of our records.
  • Has been volunteering here since 2003 and comes in 1 day a week.

    Jeremy has been interested in botany since he was a boy and has been learning about plants for 50 years. Jeremy has volunteered for many national plant recording projects over the last 30 years including: The wildflowers of N.E. Essex, 1980-1990; The BSBI27 monitoring scheme, N.Essex, 1987-1988; “Atlas 2000 project” for recording flora in Britain & Ireland; Local change survey, 2002-2004; BSBI alien trees & scrub project, 2008. Jeremy used to be a science teacher but started volunteering at DBRC when he retired. Jeremy has a University certificate in biological recording and species identification from the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Biological Recording.

Marcus Windlemarcus

  • Works with DBRC staff developing scalable and flexible data processing software.
  • Looking into applying data visualization techniques to simplify working with and presenting multi-dimensional data.

    Marcus is a sofware developer and has worked as an engineer in a number of fields over the last twenty years. Communications and security systems being the key areas. He has a degree in Internet Engineering (University of Exeter) and experience in Python, Haskell, Erlang, Postgresql/PostGis, and Oracle 11g. His interests include geospatial information systems, functional programming languages, and data visualization. Marcus is currently working with DBRC on a Recorder App which enables people to record the name, geographical position, and date of different species they have spotted.

Chris and Sharron Blackmore


  • Chris_and_Sharron_BlackmoreAre part of the cetacean recording network monitoring marine animals, specifically cetaceans in Devon.
  • Have a set location off Capstone Point, Ilfracombe where they regularly record harbour porpoise.
  • Report on other cetacean sightings around Devon’s coastline whilst out and about.

    Chris and Sharron Blackmore have been monitoring and recording cetaceans  for the cetacean recording network and the Sea Watch Foundation since 2005. Chris is a regional coordinator for Sea Watch and part of a group of 5 DBRC and Sea Watch volunteers who regularly carry out cetacean watches on the North Devon headlands. In the past this they would report occasional sightings of porpoise and seals to DBRC whilst fishing or walking the coast but in 2005 DBRC and DWT advertised a request for cetacean watchers and they jumped at the chance! They underwent training provided jointly by DWT and Sea Watch. Chris is now retired and Sharron is working part time so they can devote even more time to monitoring the Ilfracombe porpoises. This year they were awarded a volunteer award from DBRC/DWT for their commitment to volunteering and contribution to our work.

Emma Renshaw, County Wildlife Site trainee

  • Identifies sites using aerial photos & OS maps   
  • Finds and contacts landowners
  • Prepares for surveys
  • Surveys County Wildlife Sites (using various habitat classification criteria including Phase 1, National Vegetation Classification  (NVC), Integrated Habitat System (IHS) and Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) priority habitats
  • Manages the survey data (using software such as Recorder database and MapInfo GIS system)
  • Evaluates survey sites against County Wildlife Site Criteria
  • Provides both written and verbal advice to landowners

Angelique McBride, Willow Tit Project Volunteer InternAngelique

  • Identify survey sites with aerial photos and OS maps using GIS
  • Liaison with landowners to arrange survey permission
  • Prepare survey packs for volunteer surveyors
  • Conduct field surveys using audio playback method
  • Enter data into Recorder database once the surveying is complete

Although mainly working on the Willow Tit project, we have also helped input data for other ongoing projects at DBRC, and assisted DBRC staff in conducting botanical surveys for the BMF and Devon Beaver project.


Louise Treneman, Willow Tit Project Volunteer InternLouise

  • Identify survey sites with aerial photos and OS maps using GIS
  • Liaison with landowners to arrange survey permission
  • Prepare survey packs for volunteer surveyors
  • Conduct field surveys using audio playback method
  • Enter data into Recorder database once the surveying is complete

Although mainly working on the Willow Tit project, we have also helped input data for other ongoing projects at DBRC, and assisted DBRC staff in conducting botanical surveys for the BMF and Devon Beaver project.

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