Frequently Asked Questions


How do I....?

Get started

  1. Click on create new account on the home page
  2. Enter a user name, your e-mail address and your name.
  3. Read and accept the Terms of Use.
  4. You will be sent a verification e-mail to the address you've registered with.  Follow the link  in the mail to finish your account set up. If you don't see an email from ORKS within 10 minutes, check your SPAM box, then Contact Us for help

You can change your account details and edit your recording preferences at any time by clicking ‘Account’ in the main menu and selecting the ‘Edit’ tab.

You will need to log in to carry out any of the activities described below, and to access the additional features of ORKS.

Submit a wildlife sighting

  1. Select ‘Submit One Record’ from the ‘Add Records’ tab.
  2. Type in the common or scientific name of your species and select the correct one from the dropdown which appears.
  3. Click ‘upload photo’ to add one or more photographs of your wildlife sighting, a navigation window will appear for you to select the photos you wish to upload.  You do not have to upload a photo, but it will help to verify your record.
  4. Type a grid reference into the box or left click on the map to show where you made your wildlife sighting.  You can record at any resolution from 10km to 10 metres – the resolution changes as you zoom in or out.  If you click outside the OS National Grid, the reference system will automatically change from OSGB to WGS84.
  5. Fill in as much information as you can in the other boxes.  Boxes marked * must be filled in.
  6. Click ‘submit’ in the bottom left hand corner.

TIP: Do you have multiple records to enter with similar information? You can save the your input for the location or date fields with a green lock for the next time you load the page. Enter the information you want to reuse and click on the green lock to the locked position, next time you load the page the box will have your text already entered for you. 

Submit a list of records made in the same place on the same date

  1. Select ‘Submit Many Records’ from the ‘Add Records’ tab
  2. Enter the species you saw, any information about them and photos if possible on the ‘what did you see’ tab.
  3. Click on the ‘when and where was it’ tab to enter the date and location of your records
  4. Add an overall comment if you wish, and click ‘submit’.

Submit a record of a rare or sensitive species

  1. The 'Submit One Record' form includes a 'Sensitivity' field.
  2. Tick the box and select the precision for public viewing (10km or 100km is advised).
  3. The site name and grid reference will not be visible on the public website and will be 'blurred' to the precision selected.

Please refer to the Sensitive Records page for more information and if in any doubt as to whether to submit your sighting please contact us.

Amend or delete a record

  1. Select ‘My records’ from the ‘Explore’ tab.
  2. Click on ‘edit’ next to the record you wish to change or delete.
  3. Click on X next to the species name to delete the record, or change any of the fields you wish, including adding or removing photos, then click ‘submit’.

Explore my own records

  1. Select ‘My records’ from the ‘Explore’ tab to view your records on an interactive map and in a table.
  2. Select ‘My Photos’ from the ‘Explore’ tab to view your records on an interactive map and in a table with photos embedded.
  3. Select ‘My Photo Gallery’ from the ‘Explore’ tab to view a thumbnail gallery of all your photos.  Use the filters at the top to find photos by date or taxonomic group, and click on a thumbnail to see the enlarged photo.

Explore records submitted by another user

  1. Select ‘All Records’ from the ‘Explore tab’.
  2. Type a user name into the blank box at the top of the ‘Recorder’ column in the table below the map (you can use * as a wild card) and then click anywhere outside the box.

Explore records of a particular species or taxonomic group

  1. Select ‘All Records’ from the ‘Explore tab’.
  2. Type a species name into the blank ‘Species’ box or a higher taxon name into the blank ‘taxon group’ box at the top of the table (you can use * as a wild card) and then click anywhere outside the box.

Explore records for a particular geographic area

  1. Select ‘All Records’ from the ‘Explore tab’.
  2. Pan and zoom to your area of interest and use the query tool (? Icon) to select records on the interactive map.  The details will appear in the table below the map.

Know whether records have been verified

  • You will receive a message on the My notifications page (on the Explore menu) when one of your records is verified by an expert.
  • Records which have been verified are marked Tick in the table and appear as green squares on the map. When viewing your own records, you will also see any suspect records marked Question mark and rejected records marked Cross.
  • Records which have not yet been verified appear as blue squares on the map.
  • Records which have been checked by an expert and determined as dubious appear as amber squares, and records which have been rejected appear as red squares.
  • ORKS incorporates verification rules developed by national recording schemes for NBN Record Cleaner.  Automated checks are run every 30 minutes to highlight records which are outside the known spatial or temporal range of the species, and records of species which are difficult to identify.  

Please note that records highlighted by the automated verification rules are not necessarily incorrect!