People across Britain have been recording their observations of wildlife for hundreds of years. By providing information on when and where they found a particular species they make a valuable contribution to national distribution datasets collated by volunteer-led schemes and societies.
If you are thinking of trying to record your observations but are not sure where to start, Ground Beetles are a great group as they are they are ubiquitous and are large enough so that their identifying features can be seen through a hand lens or a low-power microscope but there not too many of them (about 360 species).
If you are just starting out a fantastic book for beetle hunting and field work tips and techniques is 'A Coleopterist's handbook' - Fourth edition. Edited by J.Cooter & M.V.L.Barclay. (496 pages including 32 colour plates).
The Carabidae (ground beetles) of Britain and Ireland provides an excellent illustrated identification key, together with concise morphological, biological and distributional information. See also the very useful additional information on Mark Telfer's website.