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History of Mollusc Recording


In the 19th and early 20th Centuries shell collecting was a popular pastime and in 1902 the following list of recorders in the county were noted:

L.Adams - Stafford, S.C.Blackshaw - Wolverhampton, G.Breedon - Birmingham, - T.F.Burrows - Cheadle, E.D.Bostock - Stafford, A.T.Daniel - Uttoxeter, J.Linton - Small Heath, J.R.B.Masefield - Cheadle, A.B.Mason - Burton, J.Madison - Birmingham, H.Overton - Sutton Coldfield, F.J.Partridge - Birmingham, A.Wood - Sutton Coldfield, F.B.Webb - Cheadle.

Within the 22,000 shell specimens held at the Potteries Museum are three major collections of Staffordshire Land and Freshwater Snails.

  • John.R.B.Masefield (1850-1932) - 2084 specimens collected mainly between 1883-1921
  • William Hill (1876-1954) - 3490 specimens collected mainly between 1917-1943
  • Bert Bryan (?-1958) - 2,277 specimens collected mainly between 1905-1923

All these records have a bias to the north of the county.

The next significant recording, after a lapse of some forty years was the Stoke-on-Trent Environmental Survey (S.O.T.E.S.) between 1982-1984, specimens collected within the city boundaries are held at the Potteries museum.

Since 1998 I have undertaken a systematic survey of the Staffordshire molluscan fauna (at one day / 5km sq) to redress some of the obvious gaps in the distribution of species in the Watsonian Vice-county of Staffordshire VC 39 as shown by the 10km sq records in the Atlas of the Land and Freshwater Molluscs of Britain and Ireland by M. Kerney.


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Created by SER © 2019 The Wolseley Centre, Wolseley Bridge, Stafford. ST17 0WT Last updated 10/04/2015
Operated by: Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, Staffordshire County Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council