Joint Nature Conservation Committee

June 10th, 2019

The Client

JNCC is the public body that advises the UK Government and devolved administrations on UK-wide and international nature conservation. Their work helps maintain and enrich biological diversity and conserve geological features. It also helps sustain natural systems, which provide the core “services” we all depend on like food, fresh water and clean air. In this way they contribute to economic growth and social well-being and are integral to sustainable development.

Good policy-making, planning, development and risk management all depend on reliable, up-to-date information about biodiversity status and trends.  Their role is to provide evidence, information and advice so decisions can be made that protect our natural resources and systems.

JNCC itself is a forum that brings together the UK’s four country conservation bodies. They advise Government and a wide range of bodies to help join up policy and to deliver a strong and cost-effective evidence base by helping to see that the best possible return is achieved from investment in research and surveillance in the UK and internationally.

The UK’s natural environment and its biodiversity provides a vital and valuable role in supporting the basic natural services we all depend on, such as food, fresh water and clean air.  For example, bees pollinate our crops and the crops in turn provide us with food.  Nature conservation aims to maintain and enrich our biodiversity, and to sustain these natural services.

The Challenge

JNCC had a desire to digitise and reference their collection of 22,000 35mm slides, with up to 50,000 in total follow on work, and input into JNCC’s digital image catalogue system, with further aims to allow JNCC staff and public to search for and download images of interest.

A timely service was required to deliver the digital output in TIFF and J-peg formats with thumbnails and virus free to JNCC.

The slide collection was held in 6×4 slide storage sleeves, referenced by a sheet identification number and slide position number. The slides were of varying quality with a varying level of metadata and lineage.

The Solution

Scoping & Sampling – Initially a scoping exercise was provided which allowed samples to be produced from a cross section of frames to establish the resolution and specific metadata required to meet the requirements for the eventual publication of the images by JNCC.

The Digitisation – Professional slide digitisation scanners producing high resolution 5,000 ppi images were established as the most suitable image quality for each slide. Careful manual handling of each slide was necessary to remove the tape holding them in their wallet and to keep them in order.  Each slide was dusted to remove any loose imperfections, scanned and quality checked, before returning the slides to their original position within the storage wallet sleeve and taping each slide into position and securing within their wallet.

Digital ICE technologies – was also used to automatically remove imperfections such as dust, hair, scratches and fingerprints from both film and photos to restore images to their former glory with the minimum of effort.

Quality Assurance – Our rigorous Quality Control protocols ensured that all images were scanned with the utmost accuracy to provide a true representation of the original image and visually checked (200% checks), for integrity, readability and for completeness, with poor quality images rescanned, in addition to other quality checks throughout the process.

Post scanning, each frame was quality checked, metadata added and delivered to JNCC in batches on encrypted USB hard drives, allowing JNCC the opportunity to check the digital data during the on-going digitisation process.

Project Management – Pearls Account Manager liaised between the production team and JNCC throughout the project, with weekly telephone conference calls, which allowed discussion on the progress of the project, any issues that may have arisen and for JNCC to report on the digital images and metadata that had been provided.  

Following are examples of reports that were used to provide estimated time scales for the completion of the project:

The digital archive will safeguard the long-term retention and retrieval of the archive, securely storing the historic archive.

The Benefits

By digitalisation of the slides JNCC successfully managed to achieve the following benefits;

  • Secure storage for future reference.
  • Achieving operational excellence.
  • Enabling easy access to the information when required.
  • Compliance and disaster recovery.
  • Eliminating lengthy information retrieval and access time and return.
  • Cost reduction by eliminating the need for existing film readers as well as the need to buy and maintain any new and legacy equipment.


The above project was completed in accordance with our environment management policy and EN BS 14001 EM system. As Pearl are committed to minimising the environmental impact of our operations and our products through the adoption of sustainable practices and continuous improvement in environmental performance.

Complying with legislation, having effective environmental management and awareness, continuous environmental performance improvement of our processes and products, sustainable development using automated processes, the recovery, recycling and reuse of our products and respond to the concerns of local communities and other interested parties on environmental issues and to respect the environment.