24 hour challenge to unearth wildlife in Worcestershire

Dominique Cragg with some shield bugs on the farm. Image courtesy of Wendy Carter. SP

Dominique Cragg with some shield bugs on the farm. Image courtesy of Wendy Carter. SP

First published in News

VISITORS to the headquarters of Worcestershire Wildlife Trust at Lower Smite Farm near Droitwich are being challenged to take part in a hunt to identify as many creatures as possible.

The 24 hour BioBlitz will see a mass effort to uncover wildlife in the pond, the garden and the orchard at the farm, and people will be able to take part in everything from hunting for butterflies and bees, to uncovering minibeasts and pond monsters.

Dominique Cragg, the event organiser, said: “Our BioBlitz promises to be a really exciting event and it will be a great chance to explore the farm and get up close to many different species of wildlife.

“A BioBlitz is a brilliant opportunity for nature-lovers of all ages to hunt for wildlife alongside experts and enthusiasts. The event is carried out for a set length of time – ideally 24 hours – in a specific location and you don’t have to have any experience or identification skills to take part.

“It’s a really fun way of discovering wildlife you may never have seen before as well as increasing your knowledge. But it’s also a really important way of contributing to science – all sightings throughout the event will be recorded and submitted to the Worcestershire Biological Records Centre to help understand the distribution of our wildlife.”

Experts will be on hand to identify anything that is found on the day, and there will be a number of informative talks about the wildlife, with the event running into the night for stargazing and moth trapping.

There will also be a self-guided trail for people to explore the farm on their own.

Ms Cragg added: “We’d love the public to come and join our experts in peering into ponds, spying under stones and foraging through the flowers to see what we can find.

“We’re hoping to find 500 different species over the 24 hours and we’re asking everyone to come and join in this challenge. Hopefully people will be inspired to go home and take a closer look at what they’ve got in their garden and in their local neighbourhoods."

Cakes, ice-creams and refreshments will be served throughout the afternoon on Sunday, July 20, at the farm which just off the A4538 between Sixways and Droitwich, and visitors are welcome to bring their own picnics.

Admission for the day is £3 for adults and £1.50 for children, which covers all the activities over the 24 hour period, and visitors can come and go as they need to. All money raised from the event will go toward the work of the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust. For more information visit worcswildlifetrust.co.uk.

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