| Windermere Datasets
The FBA looks after more than 60 historical datasets, from many parts of the UK and across the world, in which data collection continued over at least three years. There are also numerous snapshot surveys, such as those from historic African expeditions.
In order to understand environmental changes and their impacts upon living organisms and ecological systems, we depend upon the availability of good data. Particularly valuable are historic datasets that present a reliable snapshot of a period in time, and those that cover long periods. Long-term datasets allow changes to be identified and tracked over time. Unfortunately, funding for data collection is usually over short periods of time and until recently the value of routine monitoring was not fully appreciated, so few such datasets exist.
The FBA is custodian of long-term datasets which are internationally important. These include some ongoing series of data, notably the Windermere surface temperature and lake level data collected since 1931, and those held jointly with CEH, covering zooplankton, phytoplankton, fish and water chemistry from Windermere, Grasmere, Esthwaite Water and Blelham Tarn, collected in some cases since the 1940s. There are further datasets from the River Frome in Dorset and counts of wildfowl from Windermere compiled since the 1960s.