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UK Terrestrial Evidence Partnership of Partnerships

Partnership working is an area that we greatly value at JNCC and consequently an area in which we hold considerable expertise and experience. The crucial role of partnership work at JNCC is well illustrated through our co-ordination of the UK Terrestrial Evidence Partnership of Partnerships (UKTEPoP).

The UKTEPoP was created to bring together a key set of partners working in the field of terrestrial biodiversity surveillance and monitoring. It is intended to be a mechanism to share guidance and facilitate communication across the terrestrial surveillance and monitoring that is funded or co-funded by JNCC. The underlying principle is one of collaboration and knowledge exchange, with the anticipated benefits of enhancing and developing efficient and effective joint working.

Organisations in the UK Terrestrial Evidence Partnership of Partnerships (UKTEPoP) have signed a Declaration of Intent, setting out the main purposes and commitments of the Partnership. Partners include organisations responsible for monitoring schemes, as well as statutory bodies to bring in a policy perspective on requirements and use of monitoring data. 

JNCC hosts an annual science-based meeting for the partners to exchange ideas and ways of working with the aim of informing the work planning of each member of the UKTEPoP. Reports from these meetings are available below.

We also work with partners in the Terrestrial Surveillance Development and Analysis (TSDA) project to further develop this area, ensuring terrestrial surveillance schemes remain relevant and cost-effective and that we get as much benefit as possible from data collected. UKTEPoP events have provided a key mechanism to enable collaboration with partner organisations resulting in the improvement of these surveillance schemes.

A JNCC presenter giving a talk at the annual TEPoP meeting.

2021 TEPoP Festival

In 2021 we celebrated the 5th birthday of the UK Terrestrial Evidence Partnership of Partnerships (TEPoP). This was celebrated with a series of six events over a two-month period and for the first time, three events were merged with the JNCC Science Talks. Partner organisations shared how they have been working to improve the inclusivity of their recording schemes and encourage a diverse volunteer base. Ten presentations were given to share work completed during the first five years of Terrestrial Surveillance Development and Analysis (TSDA). Two workshops focussed on integrated modelling and habitat recording, and a talk was given on development of the UK biodiversity and habitat quality indicators.

A summary of each session can be found in the TEPoP Festival 2021 Summary.

The six sessions are listed below with links to the recordings on the JNCC YouTube channel.

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2020 TEPoP Event

Whilst Covid-19 reduced our ability to meet up face to face, we were conscious the opportunity to engage with each other and share our experiences and ideas is more important than ever. As such, instead of our usual annual conference, in 2020 we decided to hold a series of four online events in September and October, with a mix of presentations, Q&A sessions, and breakout groups. We were really pleased to have such great engagement, with over 90 people joining at least one session. We had some really useful discussions on the topics of volunteer diversity, the impacts of Covid-19 on our schemes, and habitat recording in our schemes. We also heard lots of interesting presentations from a variety of speakers, with special thanks to our TEPoP guests, Ed Humpherson and Penny Babb from the Office for Statistics Regulation.

Further information is available in our four-page summary of TEPoP 2020, and our write up of the Volunteer diversity workshop

Recordings of some of the presentations from TEPoP 2020 are available to access via YouTube:

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2019 TEPoP Meeting

Peterborough, 11 October 2019

On 11th October 2019, we held the third annual TEPoP conference. This year, the venue was JNCC’s offices in Peterborough. We were delighted to have at least one representative from every one of our partnership surveillance schemes, and every country nature conservation body, in attendance.

The conference heard updates from all the partnership surveillance schemes outlining exciting developments from the year. Common themes running across several schemes included:

  • the involvement of volunteers recording multiple taxa
  • improvements to websites
  • the development of new methods and analyses.

It was very encouraging to hear schemes outline developments inspired by other TEPoP partners, such as UKBMS now offering “holiday squares” to improve upland coverage, akin to the BBS “upland rovers”.

The theme of partnership working continued throughout the day. Workshops explored ways to work together to access new sources of funding for schemes, and ways partnerships could work together to improve communications with volunteers and policy makers.

The conference also included presentations on areas of work developed through the Terrestrial Surveillance Development and Analysis partnership (TSDA, involving the British Trust for Ornithology, the Centre of Ecology and Hydrology and JNCC). This partnership was established alongside TEPoP to undertake cross-taxon analyses using data from across schemes, to start to build more of an understanding of community and ecosystem changes. It also looks at the ways schemes currently operate and the data they produce, and generates recommendations on how we might improve recording to increase data application for conservation and science.

Recent areas of TSDA work that were presented at the TEPoP conference include:

  • an assessment of the taxonomic and geographic coverage of all the monitoring schemes
  • a report looking at making scheme data more Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable
  • a report looking at how scheme data might be used in predictive models to help address priority research questions, such as how pollinators might respond to the restoration of wildflower rich grasslands.

For further information about the day, please see the conference overview that includes a workshop summary.

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2018 TEPoP Meeting

Birmingham, 4 October 2018

JNCC hosted the second annual Terrestrial Evidence Partnership of Partnerships (TEPoP) conference on 4 October 2018 in Birmingham. The one-day conference brought together a good representation of partners involved in running and using the results from JNCC co-funded surveillance schemes. The experts gathered to discuss issues and share ideas around topical monitoring issues. The meeting was a mixture of presentations and workshops on three key themes:

  1. Making scheme outputs as useful as possible
  2. Engaging with volunteers
  3. New opportunities and country requirements

Between presentations, there were three workshops with the aim to find solutions to common problems across all schemes. The first of these sessions was on improving volunteer retention and recruitment. The second workshop explored how schemes can get more out of Earth Observation (EO) and vice versa. The final workshop addressed the challenge of meeting more policy needs with biodiversity data.

For further information, please download the workshop summaries.

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2017 TEPoP Meeting

The inaugural TEPoP meeting was held in Manchester, on 10 October 2017

The meeting was split into two sessions. The morning session had a series of quick presentations that helped everyone get to know about the work being done under the various partnerships and laid the ground for future cross-cutting work. The afternoon session then focussed on the Terrestrial Surveillance, Development and Analysis (TSDA) contract, and was designed to provide an opportunity to shape the work areas it was established to deliver.

Presentations from the morning session were as follows. See the summary document for further information.

  • Introduction, including Background to TSDA
  • UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme
  • Wetland Bird Survey & Breeding Bird Survey
  • Biological Recording and Analysis
  • National Bat Monitoring Programme
  • Goose and Swan Monitoring Programme 
  • National Pollinator Monitoring Scheme
  • Non-Native Species Information Portal
  • Natural Resources Wales
  • Avian Demographic Scheme
  • Earth Observation
  • National Plant Monitoring Scheme

 

Common themes from the morning session

  • Communication and Volunteer Engagement: The communication of results to volunteers and other interested groups (via web resources, newsletters etc.) is an area that is working well in several schemes.  Equally, maintaining and expanding the volunteer network can be difficult – particularly where volunteers are primarily in older age groups. There may be opportunities to work with other organisations to promote schemes. Different levels of survey are used by some schemes to allow participation for a range of abilities. This will hopefully assist non-experts in progressing to more comprehensive surveys over time.
  • Data Analysis: Finding and using suitable external datasets to better analyse the causes of population trends was highlighted as a problem by several schemes. Schemes collecting data using different levels of survey require methods to combine and use each of these different sources effectively. There may be opportunities for the species surveillance schemes to provide data that are valuable for Earth Observation and vice versa.
  • Policy Perspective (NRW): New legislation and concepts, which emphasise sustainable management and resilience, are leading to new monitoring requirements in Wales. Important questions include: Can data at the country-level and smaller scale be improved, and how do we maximise the value of the data that are collected? To what extent will data limitations affect attempts to develop combined metrics?

 

Afternoon TSDA workshop session

The afternoon TSDA session ran as a series of workshop activities. The themes of these workshops were gap filling, models for prediction, and trends and drivers.

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TEPoP Resources

Official Statistics Guidance

Many of our monitoring schemes publish annual results as Official Statistics (see the list and release schedule). We have produced guidance for scheme partners on what this involves.

 

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Citizen science and partnerships in monitoring

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