Are there more people with sweep nets these days?

Thinking about the number of times I have seen ‘general public’ i.e. not a specific scientific survey with sweepnets looking for invertebrates at sites they seem to have increased in recent years. This might be sampling bias by me but e.g. there were several at Sandwich bay yesterday and not all were associated with each other.

Perhaps it is down to the recent news reports of unusual butterflies or the general decline of invertebrates - see them while you still can!

Sandwich Bay is a well known site, of course. I’ve never seen anyone else locally with a sweep net (apart from when we were doing the micromoth county atlas and we had a couple of people with sweep nets sampling local habitats (that was about ten years ago).

I’m just curious: how do you distinguish between scientific survey and general public, given that we are all apparently citizen scientists? Do you ask them how they classify themselves or do you have more objective criteria?

Yes interesting question, I suspect the people out on sunday morning were just doing it out of personal interest as they were not doing it very systematically. But what about the person I saw a week or two ago with pheromone trap just after one fairly unusual species of moth. They also said it was out of personal interest trying to see if the species occurred on that meadow still as there was an old dot on the map. Suspect if it was found then that data would be passed on to the relevant bodies who protect the site as there is some threat to it.