South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre (SEWBReC) has received £59,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a project entitled ‘A Dedicated Naturalist: The Dr Mary Gillham Data Archive Project’. The project, based at SEWBReC’s Cardiff office, will bring to life the archive of documents, illustrations and photographs that was bequeathed to SEWBReC by the eminent local naturalist and wildlife author Dr Mary Gillham MBE (1921-2013).

The project will engage a project officer and a band of volunteers to extract an estimated 140,000 records of wildlife sightings from the archive, but will also use the information to develop a range of multi-media outputs including a website featuring archive contents and oral histories, e-books of unpublished works and a travelling interactive exhibition. In addition there will be guided walks, talks and wildlife recording events. The archive will also be prepared for permanent storage at Glamorgan Archives in Cardiff.

Commenting on the award, SEWBReC Manager Adam Rowe said: “Mary Gillham was a truly dedicated naturalist who inspired generations during her long lifetime. She was a pioneering female scientist who travelled, studied and taught around the world, but was most at home studying and writing about the wildlife of South Wales. HLF funding will allow us to bring alive the story of Mary’s incredible life and achievements and take it to a wider audience.”

Richard Bellamy, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Wales said: “HLF supports a wide range of heritage projects and we are particularly keen to support organisations seeking to provide opportunities for people to explore and enjoy the rich natural heritage of Wales.  Thanks to National Lottery players money, this exciting project will ensure Mary’s life’s work is made available to a wide audience,  but also give people the opportunity to learn about wildlife and help ensure that habitats are better understood and protected in the future.”




Notes to editors

About South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre (SEWBReC)

SEWBReC is the centre for the collation, management and dissemination of biodiversity data for South East Wales. We make appropriate biodiversity information available to all those who need it, to ensure that decisions which affect local biodiversity are as well-informed as possible.

We achieve our aims by:

§ Supporting the local biological recording community and helping them to manage and mobilise the wealth of information they gather;

§ Working with a wide range of organisations to collate and computerise the data they hold;

§ Managing these diverse data sets in a central location; and

§ Delivering a range of biodiversity information products and services to meet the needs of our users.

We currently hold over 3 million species records and are constantly working to build and enhance our data holdings.


About the Heritage Lottery Fund


From the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife, we use National Lottery players' money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about.

The Heritage Lottery Fund is the UK’s largest dedicated funder of heritage:

·        It invests around £430million a year on a broad range of projects - from museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions

·        HLF has supported just over 38,000 projects allocating more than £6.6billion across the UK since the establishment of the Lottery in 1994

·        In Wales HLF has invested over £323million and supported over 2,300 projects in local communities all over the country.

·        Visit our website www.hlf.org.uk or follow us on Twitter @HLFCymru

Further information

For further information, images and interviews please contact Adam Rowe at SEWBReC on 029 2064 1110 or via adam.rowe@sewbrec.org.uk


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