Jonathan's picture

Jonathan - Cepaea hortensis - 17 August 2008 - 2:35pm

Observed: 17th August 2008 By: Jonathan
iSpot team
Jonathan’s reputation in InvertebratesJonathan’s reputation in InvertebratesJonathan’s reputation in InvertebratesJonathan’s reputation in Invertebrates
Cepaea hortensis 17-08-2008 14-19-40

Banded snail

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Martin Harvey's picture

white-lipped snails

Was a bit surprised by this one at first, as I assumed it was a Milton Keynes record, until I zoomed out a bit further on the map and realised you'd gone outside the iSpot remit!

Martin Harvey
Biodiversity Observatory

Entomologist and biological recorder

dejayM's picture


Martin (or Jonathan) - can you explain the 'early days remit' please?
I'll be trawling history for a while yet!

Martin Harvey's picture

iSpot history

Hi Derek, iSpot was originally developed by The Open University as part of the Open Air Laboratories project - OPAL, which is still active (although iSpot and some of the other projects have now come the end of their OPAL funding):

OPAL was funded by the Big Lottery Fund, which is a funding stream that applies only to England (there are, or were, other lottery funding streams for the other UK countries). So our initial focus was on promoting iSpot in England, hence my 'humorous' (not very!) comment to Mike on this Scottish observation.

Entomologist and biological recorder

dejayM's picture


I think there is a bit of rivalry and a GOOD bit of banter displayed in those early postings.
Do you find that SOME of the original 'pleasure and purpose' has diminished? Dare you say!
As a newcomer I do see that the main aim appears to be gathering points and reputations (I'm doing that) and this means posting things like dunnock, blackbird and mallard (say) ad nauseum.

Martin Harvey's picture

Main aims

iSpot wasn't available to the public until about June 2009, so these observations posted in 2008 were while the OU staff and volunteers were testing out the early versions of the site, hence some of the banter and comments about what has worked and what hasn't. Personally I still get as much enjoyment and purpose from the site as I always have - perhaps I would say that wouldn't I, but it happens to be true!

The main aim of iSpot as far as we are concerned is to help people learn how to identify wildlife, both as a rewarding occupation in its own right and as a way of helping people develop the skills needed to take part in the many surveys and other projects run by the organisations that are badged on iSpot.

Earning reputation points does provide an element of fun and 'reward' for taking part, but also serves the more serious purposes of providing reliable feedback as to which identifications carry the most weight, and of allowing people to see that they are making progress if they use the site over time.

We didn't intend it become too competitive, and if it's coming across that the main aim on iSpot is gathering points that's perhaps a shame. But iSpot is for people to use in whatever way works best for them as long as it's within our terms of use, and if the points system provides some additional motivation to go out and watch wildlife then that's fine!

iSpot does try to draw in people who are new to the whole idea of watching and recording wildlife, so in some cases the dunnocks and blackbirds may genuinely be new to the people seeing them - it's easy to forget that many people aren't at all familiar with even the common species that share their environment.

Entomologist and biological recorder