Coronavirus: How TVERC is responding

Staff and office volunteers

We would like to ensure the continued wellbeing of our staff and office volunteers as much as possible so have implemented a few new measures.

We’ve set up daily Skype social calls for staff and volunteers to chit chat, plus our staff team WhatsApp group (currently sharing photos of wildlife from our gardens and cakes we have baked!).

More formally, we have a weekly ‘Microsoft Teams’ team meeting to talk about work.

Biological Recording Coordinator

It is with regret that we have decided to withdraw the vacancy for a Biological Recording Coordinator, and halt the recruitment process.  The current restrictions in place around social distancing and isolation mean that it would be very difficult for the successful candidate to start their role and collect the equipment that they would need. The role requires considerable ‘in person’ contact with a range of our stakeholders and that is not possible within the current restrictions.  TVERC’s income is also likely to temporarily decline, placing a strain on our finances.  We very much hope to be able to re-advertise the role once things return to normal.

Keep in touch

In line with government guidelines for social distancing and self-isolation, TVERC staff are currently working from home.

We all have laptops have full access to our emails and electronic files and will continue to hold meetings via Skype and other conferencing facilities.

The best way to contact us is via email at tverc@oxfordshire.gov.uk. Please do also continue to interact with us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, Instagram).

You can also subscribe to our mailing list to hear about TVERC news.

Work programme

We are well equipped and used to working remotely so can carry out much of the work we usually do during this time. However, about half the staff have caring responsibilities for school-age children or elderly relatives so will be working reduced hours to enable us to care for those who need us. This will result in a lower capacity than usual so some projects and workstreams will be affected.

Data management and analysis

Our data management and analysis work should be unaffected.  We have access to all of our digital files and data, as well as access to software for management and analysis purposes.  We are experiencing some performance issues with Oxfordshire County Council’s GIS system, due to the unusually high number of users.  However, TVERC staff do have access to offline non-OCC GIS software which will allow us to complete work.

Field work

We are following CIEEM guidance regarding Local Wildlife Surveys. As of 24/03/20 these are classed as non-essential work so we will not be carrying these out until government restrictions are lifted. We hope to resume later these in 2020 if possible, but some or all may have to be delayed until 2021.

Field days and training courses

Our first course (GIS) on 28th March was cancelled due to staff unavailability.  We have a second date arrange in October and we may arrange a third date later in the year if there is sufficient demand.

Our Recorder Field days start on 20th May (http://www.tverc.org/cms/content/recorder-field-days). We have cancelled the field day at Dinton Pastures on 20th June 2020 as the British entomological and Natural History Society (BENHS), whose venue we were using, have cancelled all events for the rest of the year.   We have also cancelled the field day at Harcourt Hill 20th MayThe Ridgeway 5th June. We are planning to rearrange this field days for the same time in 2021.  We have not cancelled any other events yet, but may need to do so if restrictions on travel and social gatherings are not lifted by then. Please keep an eye on your emails if you have booked onto any of these in case we have to cancel at short notice.

Please submit your records to TVERC

Our wildlife sightings will help protect and enhance our environment by increasing the quality and quantity of data we hold. In these hard times many people are finding solace in nature, whether within your garden or on your daily walk/run/bike ride, we'd love to know what you've seen! We've set up an iRecord activity for anyone who wants to join and have some fun!

Posted: April 2, 2020