For immediate release – Wednesday 5 August 2015

Press release 2015/02 - Issued by the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, UK

Free mobile phone app will help monitor UK’s grasshoppers and crickets

‘iRecord Grasshoppers’ a free mobile phone app to help monitor the UK’s grasshoppers, crickets, earwigs, stick insects and cockroaches, is launched today.

The new app will enable people to contribute to the Grasshopper Recording Scheme whose results have already shown the dramatic geographical expansion of two bush-cricket species, the Long-winged Conehead and Roesel’s Bush-cricket.

The chirping of grasshoppers and crickets is one of the quintessential sounds of summer. They can be numerous in some habitats and play essential ecological roles - for example as a food source for threatened species like skylarks, grey partridges, cirl buntings, corncrakes and harvest mice - or  as predators helping to control pests such as aphids.

Since its launch in 1968 thousands of people have already contributed to the Grasshopper Recording Scheme and with assistance from the public records from the new app will support the study and conservation of grasshoppers and crickets.

Björn Beckmann from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology who helped create the app said, "Many species of grasshopper and cricket have been declining, but others have expanded their distributions and some have even newly arrived. The Grasshopper Recording Scheme maps and analyses distributions to see how species are responding to changes in land use and climate. This work would not be possible without the help of people reporting where they find a species. We hope the launch of the app will make this easier."

Within the app each of the species has an illustration which points out the main identifying features, a distribution map and habitat information to give guidance on where they are most likely to be found. Additional information, including photos and sound recordings, is provided to assist identification.

The app can be downloaded by searching for "iRecord Grasshoppers" on the app store on a smart phone or tablet; it is available for Apple and Android devices. Future plans for the app include the facility to record sounds in the field and attach them to a record.

Dr David Roy, Head of the Biological Records Centre at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology said, “Mobile apps offer exciting possibilities for collecting high quality wildlife sightings. It is becoming ever easier for anyone to get involved in recording and help make an important contribution to tracking changes to our natural environment.”

The app was produced by a team from the Biological Records Centre at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and the Grasshoppers and related insects Recording Scheme, and it was developed by Natural Apptitude Ltd. Production was supported by the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, the Innovation A fund of the Natural Environment Research Council, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, and the Biological Records Centre.


Further information - please contact the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology Press Office.

App links:


Video explaining the app: 

Grasshopper Recording Scheme

The Biological Records Centre (BRC), established in 1964, is a national focus in the UK for terrestrial and freshwater species recording. BRC works closely with the voluntary recording community, principally through support of national recording schemes and societies. BRC is supported by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) within the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). The work of BRC is a major component of the National Biodiversity Network (NBN). 

The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) is the UK's Centre of Excellence for integrated research in the land and freshwater ecosystems and their interaction with the atmosphere. CEH is part of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), employs more than 450 people at four major sites in England, Scotland and Wales, hosts over 150 PhD students, and has an overall budget of about £35m. CEH tackles complex environmental challenges to deliver practicable solutions so that future generations can benefit from a rich and healthy environment. You can follow the latest developments in CEH research via twitter @CEHScienceNews