Small Grants Scheme

Small grants for voluntary invertebrate recording, training, conservation and data collation projects in Cheshire, Lancashire, Merseyside and part of Greater Manchester.

Deadlines for applicationsNone
Decision response timeWithin three weeks
Grants per applicationUp to £750
EligibilityRecorders (over 18s only), recording groups and conservation organisations. 
Standard Application formWord Doc (63kb)
DNA Barcoding Application formWord Doc (56kb)
Priority speciesPDF (0.24mb) or  Annotated Excel Version (0.04 mb) Updated October 2020
Priority taxon groupsPDF (0.13mb) Updated January 2018


Through this Small Grants Scheme, Tanyptera Trust is supporting the compilation of data-rich information about aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, their distribution and conservation status as well as the development of individual identification skills and voluntary recording groups and activities.

For 2021, the scheme has a total grant fund of £10,000 available. Individuals, groups or not-for-profit organisations can bid for a maximum of up to £750 per application to be reimbursed following project completion. In exceptional circumstances the grant award may be paid upfront or the maximum award may be increased but please contact the Tanyptera Regional Entomologist to discuss your proposal prior to submission.

For proposals to be considered, they should ideally meet the criteria listed under grant types and take place in Cheshire, Lancashire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester within vice counties VC 58, 59 or 60 but some flexibility on criteria may be given for exceptional project ideas. Grants are not provided for activities that have already taken place, and applications cannot be supported if considered substantially the same as one previously successful.

In the first instance applications will be considered to ensure that they meet the criteria outlined. Additional proof of eligibility and experience may be sought prior to final consideration. A final decision on applications will be made by the Tanyptera Project Steering Group and all applicants will be notified on the outcome of an application within three weeks of submission. Unsuccessful applications may be resubmitted the following year.

Individuals, groups and organisations that are awarded grants will be required to provide a brief written report and / or blog on completion of the project or if the project continues for more than a year, an annual report to the Tanyptera Regional Entomologist outlining how their project is progressing. All reports will be published on the this website. The Tanyptera Trust and National Museums Liverpool (NML) should be acknowledged in all publicity associated with the project and in any publications resulting from it.

Projects that have been successful in gaining the support of the Tanyptera Trust, are listed here.

Grant Types

1) For recorders and recording groups

Travel (40p per mile or public transport), accommodation, subsistence and equipment (e.g. books, microscopes, nets, tubes etc.) reimbursement grants to promote recording, data digitalisation and summarising, and attending training events. Applications will usually only be considered for activities / surveys in line with our current criteria:


A. Invertebrate recording

Species: Conducting basic surveys / searches or setting up surveillance recording for one or more of the project’s Priority Species List: PDF version (updated 23 Oct 2020) or Excel version (more detailed – updated 23 Oct 2020)

Taxon groups: Structured biological recording of one or more of the project’s current priority groups. These are usually those groups that are least recorded. [Open Priority Invertebrate Groups List]

Sites and habitats: Structured biological recording of particular sites and habitats / microhabitats of your own suggestion supported by a clear rationale. Examples: brownfield sites with ongoing or proposed restoration schemes, areas with little or no invertebrate data, or habitats with little or no attention such as river sands and shingle.

Accommodating national recording schemes and societies: To assist with accommodation and access to facilities for field meetings within the region. Excludes marine recording schemes.

Ecological research: Fieldwork that sets out to gather new information on the ecology or biology of a species. For example, improving our understanding of the life history and micro-habitat needs of Doros profuges (The Phantom Hoverfly). Applications for such projects should offer to publish notable findings in a relevant journal (e.g. Dipterists Digest). Grants may also be offered to projects that attempt to solve taxonomic problems / confusion where the costs of DNA sequencing are covered.

B. Data digitalisation and summarising

Digitalisation of specimen data or records from historical literature or datasets: Priority will be given to recent, high quality datasets of under-recorded invertebrate groups. Grants may only cover T&S costs of visiting museums and records centres.

County / vice county checklists: Verifying data as part of creating and maintaining up to date county and vice county checklists for invertebrate groups. Grants can cover T&S costs of visiting museums, records centres and private collections.

Invertebrate reference lists and priority species accounts: Gathering and updating regional reference lists for invertebrate groups or writing accounts for the project’s priority species. Grants can cover T&S costs of visiting museums, records centres or private collections.

C. Attending training courses

Attending invertebrate recording related training courses outside Lancashire, Cheshire and Merseyside. Grants to reimburse travel and accommodation of attending courses for identification of priority invertebrates groups, field and GIS / recording software skills, and curation of voucher material. Applicants must be based within the Lancashire and Cheshire region. Subsistence or course fees are not covered by grants for this activity.

D. DNA Barcoding (Please use abbreviated application form)

World Museum now has equipment for preparing specimens for DNA barcode sequencing. With prior training, North West invertebrate recorders are invited to use the equipment on set supervised ‘DNA Project Days’. Arrangements will also be made to outsource the sequencing (final part of the process). The total cost per specimen is currently £15 (including all consumables and sequencing). Recorders may either arrange to cover costs themselves or apply for the costs to be covered via the grant scheme. For example, if you need 5 specimens bar coded, you should apply for a grant of £75. You should expect only to prepare 4 specimens for barcoding per day unless you have gone through the process at least a few times previously.

In order to qualify for grant funding, specimens should meet one of the following criteria:
• Morphological identification unable to be confirmed by regional experts
• Species not represented by a barcode on BOLD systems
• Part of a project that aims to gain new insights in the ecology or biology of a species (see ecological research criteria), particularly of early stages.
• Part of a project that aims to clear up taxonomic confusion (e.g. for species complexes).

Current DNA Project Days 2020 (more may be added but all subject to covid-19 restrictions being lifted):

Postponed until 2021 due to covid-19 restrictions.

2) For conservation organisations and constituted groups

To reimburse activities detailed below (D-E) that promote invertebrate conservation or training and networking opportunities for recorders.


D. Delivering free training and networking opportunities for recorders

Delivering free training for recorders: Invertebrate identification, field skills, recording, curation of voucher material and microscopy.

Running free seminars or conferences: Focused on invertebrates and recording.

E. Promoting invertebrate conservation

Design and installation of invertebrate-focused interpretation boards on publically accessible land: Proofs of text and images must be received and agreed before they are finalised. All boards should promote recording and the use of iRecord. All installations must include the Tanyptera Trust logo and acknowledgement of our funding.

Creating or enhancing invertebrate habitats on publically accessible land and setting up surveillance recording to measure benefits: For example, installing a pond, ‘bee hotel’ or a wildflower meadow. Great care must be taken to ensure the proposed measures are suitable for the area and there is no resulting loss of important invertebrate habitat. The Tanyptera Trust logo and acknowledgment of our funding should be included on installations where practicable.