The most versatile Wildlife Recording software available today



This Readme file contains a brief overview of the FieldNotes software including version information, installation notes and any late-breaking items that could not be included in the documentation. Please read all relevant sections before using the software.


  1. Introducing FieldNotes
  2. Version information
  3. Important Documents
  4. Copyright, Licensing and Redistribution Notices
  5. Installing FieldNotes
  6. Upgrading FieldNotes
  7. Uninstalling FieldNotes
  8. Registering your copy of FieldNotes
  9. Features and Functionality
  10. Documentation Set
  11. Online Resources, Information and Support
  12. Getting Help
  13. Release Notes for FieldNotes v1.0
  14. Contact Details
  15. Acknowledgements
  • Appendix A. Installed files

1. Introducing FieldNotes

Thank you for choosing FieldNotes, an exciting new concept in wildlife recording. At the heart of FieldNotes is a powerful and easy-to-use database that enables you to combine wildlife observations with contextual data and other relevant information, at a level of detail that suits your recording requirements. Externally, FieldNotes' feature-rich interface makes it simple to collate, categorise, map and publish your wildlife data quickly and professionally, encouraging you to share your observations though a variety of means. FieldNotes is also a powerful tool for standardising field observations across coordinated monitoring schemes and recording projects, where success relies on combining field data at a number of levels within a uniform framework.

For more information about FieldNotes recording software visit the website at:

For the latest news concerning FieldNotes, see:

For technical queries or product-related information about FieldNotes, see the product FAQ at:

If any of your questions are not addressed on the FieldNotes website, please contact Green Man Software Ltd at the address given below.

2. Version Information

This distribution contains FieldNotes v1.0.

Release Notes for this version, including any known problems, are included in section 13 below. You should also check the relevant pages the FieldNotes website:

for up-to-date information about any release.

3. Important documents

A handful of important FieldNotes notices, including the Licensing Agreement, Redistribution terms and a copy of this README file, are permanently displayed on the FieldNotes website, together with other essential news and information.

Please ensure that you review any changes or updates to these documents on a regular basis.

4. Copyright, Licensing and Redistribution Notices

FieldNotes IMS is protected by UK copyright laws and international laws, treaties and provisions regarding intellectual property rights.

The FieldNotes End-User Licence Agreement (EULA) is co-distributed with this README file, in a separate file named:


Please ensure that you have read and agree with all terms of the EULA before installing the software. If you do not agree with the terms of the EULA you may return any media and documentation within thirty (30) days of purchase to the place of purchase for a full refund.

The evaluation version of FieldNotes may be freely redistributed, subject to the terms specified in the following co-distributed file:


Copies of the EULA and Software Redistribution agreements are also available on the FieldNotes website at:

This software product contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013 (OS OpenData licence).

5. Installing FieldNotes

If you are installing an evaluation (try-before-you-buy) copy of FieldNotes, you should ensure that you have the latest version by visiting:

Minimum System Requirements:

  • Microsoft® Windows® (32-bit) operating system: 9X, NT4, 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7
    (Windows 7 recommended).
  • 1024x768 or higher screen resolution, and reasonable colour monitor (True-colour recommended).
  • 170 MB of free disk space.
  • 32 MB of RAM.
  • OpenGL graphics support (most computers have this).

FieldNotes is not suitable for use on tablet-style computers without a keyboard or mobile phones.

FieldNotes is distributed as a single installer file which, when run, installs the software and associated resource files in the correct locations on your computer. An online Installation Guide is available at:

which provides an overview of the installation steps, allowing you to assemble any required information beforehand.

IMPORTANT: FieldNotes must be installed by a user with Administrative privileges, otherwise certain installation procedures (eg. registry entries) may fail.

If you are installing FieldNotes from CD or other removable media, the installation should start automatically as soon as the media is inserted into a drive on your computer. If the auto-start feature is disabled on your computer you will need to navigate to the appropriate drive using 'Windows Explorer' and double-click on the installer file (install_fieldnotes.exe) to start the installation.

If you have obtained FieldNotes as an electronic software download (eg. from an internet source), you will need to navigate to the download directory using 'Windows Explorer' and double-click on the installer file (install_fieldnotes.exe) to start the installation.

FieldNotes installation consists of a small number of dialogs which allow you to specify the location for the software. It does not require any technical information, and in almost all cases the default settings will be appropriate. The installation will create a number of files including the application itself, associated digital libraries and resources and electronic documentation. These files are listed in Appendix A of this document. (There is no need to check them yourself, as they are verified electronically after installation).

Licensing note FieldNotes is licensed on a subscription basis: the licence must be renewed at regular intervals if you wish to continue to use the Software Product (see the product EULA for details). Subscription fees vary depending on the type of licence selected - for more details and current fees see:

6. Upgrading FieldNotes

If your FieldNotes software is currently licensed, you may upgrade to the most up-to-date version at any time using the software's online-update tool (Select 'Tools' then 'Online Update' on the menu bar). This will check for available updates using your computer's internet connection, then download and install them as required.

If you do not have an internet connection, you may wish to update your FieldNotes software by installing a later version on top of the existing copy. In this case locate and double-click on the distributed installation file (install_fieldnotes.exe). The installer will automatically determine the location of the existing software and install relevant files in the appropriate locations. Stored data records and licence settings are unaffected by the software update procedure.

7. Uninstalling FieldNotes

If, for some reason, you wish to uninstall your copy of FieldNotes you must first close the application (if it is running) then follow the steps outlined below. There are two methods for uninstalling the software, either:

7a . Select the relevant option from the Programs list

  1. From the Windows "Start" menu, select "All Programs".
  2. Select "FieldNotes" from the Programs list, then "Uninstall FieldNotes".
  3. Follow the instructions displayed by the uninstaller.

7b. In the Control Panel, use the standard Add/Remove Programs feature.

The method varies slightly depending on the version of Windows that you are using:

Windows 9X to XP:

  1. From the Windows "Start" menu, select "Control Panel".
  2. Select "Add or Remove Programs".
  3. Select the "FieldNotes" entry in the list of installed programs.
  4. Click "Remove".
  5. Follow the instructions displayed by the uninstaller.

Vista, Windows 7:

  1. From the Windows "Start" menu, select "Control Panel".
  2. Select the " Programs" icon, then select "Uninstall a program".
  3. Select the "FieldNotes" entry in the list of installed programs.
  4. Click "Uninstall" and the "Continue".
  5. Follow the instructions displayed by the uninstaller.

FieldNotes will be removed from your computer. Under some conditions you may need to restart your computer to complete the uninstall process.

8. Registering your copy of FieldNotes

In order to ensure you get the best support, you should register your copy of FieldNotes as soon as possible after installing it. We have made it easy to register FieldNotes. Just do one of the following:

  • Complete the registration form displayed during the FieldNotes startup (evaluation version)
  • Select 'Register' from the FieldNotes 'Licence' menu

FieldNotes is a feature-rich product combining sophisticated new technologies and wide-ranging data resources, both of which are subject to constant change and improvement. Your subscription enables us to keep software components up-to-date, and also to introduce new functionality and data whenever possible.

9. Features and Functionality

FieldNotes is an exciting new concept in wildlife recording, offering a number of key features:

  • clear, easy-to-use interface, with variable levels of expertise
  • OpenGL (R) graphics
  • relational data displays allow easy editing
  • wizard dialogs guide you through more complex processes
  • context-sensitive help
  • tutorials, answers library, example files

Input your Observations ...

  • record at the level of expertise that suits you (as much or as little detail as you want)
  • create checklists of commonly-encountered species to speed up data entry
  • rely on an extensive database of over 55,000 UK species, with common name, taxon and status information (if you saw it, it's here)
  • resolve alternative names effectively, using the largest compilation of UK species' common names and Common vs Latin name lookup tools
  • check problem species fast, by quickly locating online resources through the 'UK Species' online database interface

Create Maps with your data ...

  • create / save maps at publication-quality resolution
  • access individual records directly from map interface
  • GIS layering functionality
  • OS(r) Map Tile interface (maps available from **Ordnance Survey**)
  • create interactive distribution maps for your own use or for your website with "Online" mapping interfaces

Create Reports from your data ...

  • generate reports based on selected observation and site criteria
  • automatically publish survey records on your website
  • share selected data with other recorders and wildlife organisations

And much more ...

  • spatial data conversion tool
  • coordinate locator
  • set-and-forget calendar tool
  • application-locking and screensaver functionality

10. Documentation Set

FieldNotes software is integrated with a comprehensive electronic documentation set, including context-sensitive Help pages, Tutorials and an 'Answers' library containing a wealth of reference material including Frequently Asked Questions, mini-guides, hints and tips. The documentation is supplied as web pages (HTML files) which can be viewed and navigated easily using your normal web-browser (eg. Firefox, Internet Explorer). The documents are copied to your local disk when you install FieldNotes, located with other resources below the installation directory. However it is unnecessary to know the exact location of the files as the relevant pages may be referenced directly by FieldNotes during use. An online copy of the FieldNotes documentation is also available at the FieldNotes website:

The online document set is constantly updated, and in some cases may include newer methods, hints or workarounds for accessing specific functionality. FieldNotes Reference Documents For convenience, the FieldNotes document set is split into three separate libraries: 'Help', 'Answers' and 'Tutorials', each of which is described in more detail below. FieldNotes includes quick, context-sensitive access to relevant Help pages by using the 'Help' button in each dialog, and to the entire Help, Tutorials and Answers Libraries from the Help menu or by pressing the F1 key.

10.1 Help Pages

The FieldNotes Help library covers all aspects of the user interface and is context-sensitive - the appropriate Help page may be referenced directly from any dialog using the 'Help' button. Help pages are designed to contain all relevant information for completing a dialog, and generally include:

  1. summary information about the dialog's purpose
  2. requirements for completing each entry field in the dialog (including required, default and invalid values)
  3. links to relevant data resources, related dialogs, forms and other functionality.

You can access the Help library by selecting 'Help' from the Help menu - this will open the top-level page containing an index, contents and search facility covering all help topics in the library.

An online version of the 'Help' library is available at:

10.2 Answers library

The Answers library contains a miscellany of reference information presented in various forms. These include:

  1. Compilations of Frequently-asked questions (FAQs) covering all aspects of installation and use.
  2. Technical hints and tips, describing specific areas of functionality in FieldNotes.
  3. Mini-guides containing information on specific subjects (eg. Classification systems, Environmental data)
  4. Resources compendium - a list of organisations, associations and companies that offer information, data, products or services that may be of interest to users.

You can access the Answers library by selecting 'Answers' from the Help menu - this will open the top-level page containing a comprehensive index and search facility covering all reference materials in the library.

An online version of the 'Answers' library is available at:

10.3 Tutorials library

FieldNotes includes a comprehensive set of "hands-on" Tutorials, each of which covers a specific task or process (eg. adding a new observation, creating a report) on a step-by-step basis. The tutorials include all information relevant to the task, from listing data requirements to creating the final result, and for clarity use real worked examples illustrated with stepwise diagrams and occasional hints and tips.

The first two tutorials are of particular importance to new users, providing guidance on installing FieldNotes software and setting up the FieldNotes database. These may be accessed online at:

The remaining tutorials are grouped into three categories (introductory, intermediate, advanced), based on the need to use a particular task rather than task complexity. If you are a new FieldNotes user you may find it helpful to work through the introductory tutorials before adding your own data, in order to familiarise yourself with the software. You can access the Tutorials library by selecting 'Tutorials' from the Help menu - this will open the top-level page listing the contents and also a search facility covering all Tutorials in the library. An online version of the 'Tutorials' library is available at:

11. Online Resources, Information and Support

FieldNotes includes various online resources and links. You can access the following important web-pages via your FieldNotes software or from the FieldNotes website (

FieldNotes Home Page, Product Information and overview:

Registering FieldNotes:

FieldNotes Version Information and Release Notes (including known issues):

Online Support:

Feedback and Suggestions:

FieldNotes Wildlife Recorders Network (Under development):

12. Getting Help

Before seeking technical support at the FieldNotes Web site, try to find the answers you need in the FieldNotes documentation (accessible from the Help menu as described above). Becoming more familiar with FieldNotes documentation could save you time, particularly in the long-term.

The 'Help' library is designed to provide relevant information needed to complete specific functions or processes; the 'Tutorials' library offers guidance through related sequences of actions, and the 'Answers' library includes compilations of frequently-asked questions, as well as reference material covering a variety of related issues.

If the Documentation does not answer your query, please check the online list of known issues (included with relevant release notes) at:

to see if a solution or workaround has already been provided. Otherwise please contact us with your query using the Online Support or Feedback details provided in section 10, remembering to include contact details and any relevant files or documents.

13. Release Notes for FieldNotes v1.0

What's New in this Version:

  • Interface to dynamic online maps (Google API).
  • Coordinate conversion tool.

Issues Resolved:

  • Scrolling maps using the OpenGL interface.
  • Grid-reference validation error where the prefix 'N' was marked as invalid. Welcome back Scotland!

Known Problems and Limitations:

  • User Preferences ('Options' on the 'Tools' menu) are not accessible.
  • This version has not been tested on Windows 8.


FieldNotes v1.0 is shipped with a preliminary Documentation set, comprising:

  • Installation, Database Setup + 15 Introductory Tutorials;
  • Single-level Help pages;
  • Summary Answers library.

Please refer to the online Documentation set:

for the most recent files and versions.

Other Information:

Please check the development history on the FieldNotes website:

for the most up-to-date information about any release.

14. Contact Details

FieldNotes is developed by Green Man Software Ltd. If you have any questions about FieldNotes software, or if you would like to contact us for any other reason, please visit our website or contact us at the address below.

Green Man Software Ltd.
57 Scholars Acre,
United Kingdom.
OX18 1BL

Phone: +44 (1993) 842061
Fax +44 (1993) 842061


15. Acknowledgements

Green Man Software Ltd is very grateful to the following for significant help during FieldNotes' development:

  • British Geological Survey (website: for permission to use the BGS Rock Classification Scheme.
  • Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (website: for permission to use the British Hedgerows Classification scheme.
  • Joint Nature Conservation Committee (website: for permission to use the Phase 1, Vegetation, Rivers and Streams, and Standing waters Classification schemes.
  • National Soil Resources Institute (website: for permission to use the NSRI Soil Classification Scheme.

Appendix A. Installed files

Files in the FieldNotes v1.0 distribution are listed in manifest.txt.

Readme version: 1.0
Last updated: 4th May 2013.
Copyright (c) 2013 Green Man Software Ltd. All rights reserved.