In this section:


Without recorders, and the time and efforts they take, we would have no local databases and no UK recording schemes for our science and conservation! As County Recorder, we recognise that your role in providing feedback to recorders about their records, be they accepted or rejected, is really important. Timely feedback from a County Recorder thanks, encourages, and helps recorders to improve their skills and continue recording.

Misidentifications need to be reported back to recorders along with an explanation as to why they are wrong to help learning and avoid similar mistakes; new recorders in particular will benefit from this.

Recorders who have submitted records that have been verified and accepted as correct simply need a message acknowledging and thanking them for their records.

Within iRecord you can create templated responses for redeterminations or adding comments to a record to save you from writing out a new comment each time.

More information and resources on best practice around communications is in this section.

Responding to correct or incorrect records

The majority of recorders can be contacted via the iRecord system to confirm or reject records. Communicating with recorders via iRecord is GDPR compliant and digitally secure. You can create templated responses for redeterminations or adding comments to a record to save you from writing out a new comment each time. Guidance on using templates can be found here.

Sending queries in iRecord

If you need to query a record or any of the record details for an iRecord record, this can be carried out via the system as a comment or as an email if the recorder has provided an email address. Simply click the Query button – as shown below (question mark, circled red in the screenshot below) and a window will open that allows you to either add a comment to the record itself, or to send an email to the recorder. We recommend adding a comment to the record so there is an audit trail, in addition to this, this method is digitally secure and GDPR compliant.

The recorder will be notified of your query and will hopefully respond with the requested information. Please note that comments are viewable by anyone using iRecord, so diplomacy is required when querying records and no personal information e.g. email address or phone numbers should be used in the query. If you do not receive a response from the recorder you have no choice but to put the record as ‘unable to verify’.

An alternative way to contact the recorder is by selecting the send an email option. An email template is generated by iRecord and you can edit the text accordingly.

Queried records can be revisited by selecting Queried in the Status selection box and verification decisions applied if the missing information has been provided. For further details please refer to the iRecord user guide.

iNaturalist recorders

Communication with iNaturalist recorders is a bit different to other iRecord users. To communicate with iNaturalist users please do the following:

  1. Select verify iNaturalist from the Verify drop down menu.
  2. Click on the record
  3. Click the link from the record details pane, this will take you to the record in iNaturalist. To comment on the record you will need to register to use iNaturalist, this is straightforward.
  4. Leave your comment in the comment box and await a reply.

Any edits made by the recorder to the record in iNaturalist are reflected back and refreshed in iRecord, provided that the record has not been verified as Correct or Considered Correct.

You can read more detail on the topic of communicating with iNaturalist recorders in this Butterfly Conservation presentation.

BirdTrack recorders

Records from BTO BirdTrack can be commented on or queried within iRecord and your comments will be fed back to the recorder.

Social Media

Many people post photographs of their sightings on Social Media, but they may not realise is that this does not constitute a biological record. Indeed, many may not know that recording schemes exist and that they can make a valuable contribution.

If you use social media in your capacity as County Recorder, you can signpost others to share their sightings via the Butterfly Conservation surveys and schemes so the records can be used for conservation action and scientific research. You may wish to contact the posters of photographs on social media to ask for more details so that a record can be created from the Social Media post.

Many moth and butterfly groups, Butterfly Conservation Branches, Natural History Societies and entomological groups have social media accounts. It may be worth joining these to help spread best practice guidance along with sharing your knowledge and expertise and meeting new recorders. Training is available from Butterfly Conservation regarding setting up and using Social Media.

Emailing recorders

You can communicate with recorders via email regarding the verification of their record(s), if they have provided their email address for this purpose, e.g. via the Butterfly Conservation recording surveys. Please always remember to stay within the GDPR guidance regarding the use and storage of email addresses. If you have any questions regarding this please get in touch with your volunteer key contact.

If you need to email more than one recorder at the same time always use the BCC (blind carbon copy) option to keep their personal details hidden from other recipients. But speak with your Butterfly Conservation volunteer regarding newsletter type communication.

Communicating with you

Butterfly Conservation are using the volunteer management system Assemble from 2024. From Assemble, registered users including County Recorders, Verification Assistants and grass roots recorders can communicate with each other to share best practice, organise events, share newsletters and a myriad of other things.

County Recorder Look-up tool

A new County Recorder post code look-up tool has been developed by the Supporting Science project, to help recorders find their County Recorders contact details more easily. This can be found here. Please notify your volunteer key contact if your contact details change.


Communicating with recorders via iRecord is reasonably simple and you can re-call and create templates for efficiency. Using iRecord to communicate with recorders is GDPR compliant and secure. Communicating with iNaturalist requires setting up an iNaturalist account yourself. There is an inconsistent response rate to queries, particularly with iNaturalist users. If a recorder does not respond to your queries you remain unable to accept the record and will need to apply a not accepted – unable to verify decision to the record. GDPR training and guidance is essential for handling recorder emails and other personal data. We will communicate with you via Assemble and share your public contact information via our website postcode search tool.