Watsonian Vice-counties (VC's)
Watson, a 19th Century botanist, devised a system of dividing the country into similar sized chunks. These are referred to as vice-counties and have boundaries that are independent of the administrative counties. Vice-counties have remained as stable areas and are often used in recording - allowing past and present records to be compared. Each has a name and number (for example, VC 32 = Northamptonshire). Logically all wildlife recording should follow this system but this is not the case for all forms of wildlife in Northamptonshire: Plants, Moths, Butterflies and Fungi are recorded following the Watsonian boundaries, Birds were recorded using Watsonian boundaries until the early 1970's and since then using Political boundaries.