Are you interested in finding out more about the wildlife at nature reserves in Christchurch, and helping to identify the species found there? If so then join the ‘Bioblitz’ taking place at Stanpit Marsh Nature Reserve from 10am on Saturday 21 May to 10am on Sunday 22 May.
This is the fourth Bioblitz in Christchurch, run by the Council’s Landscape and Countryside Team, following a successful event at Steamer Point last year and previous visits to Stanpit in the two years before. As an added twist the event is coinciding with a similar one at Hengistbury Head so that the whole of Christchurch Harbour can be studied at the same time. This has turned the event into a competition between Bournemouth and Christchurch, to see who can find more wildlife!
A Bioblitz focuses on finding and identifying as many species as possible in a specific area over a 24-hour period. Members of the public are invited to come along to some, or all of the events, to help add to the wildlife inventory for the whole of the Harbour.
The Saturday daytime events include an early-morning bird boat tour, beach walk on Mudeford sandspit, plant walks, pond dipping and mini-beast safaris. The evening features a bat talk and walk, spiders by torchlight and moth trapping into the night.
Sunday morning begins with a dawn chorus walk, with early risers treated to a breakfast served on the porch of the Stanpit Marsh Visitor Centre. The finale, some 24 hours after the start, will be a review of the overnight sightings from the trail cameras and the grand opening of the previous night’s moth and mammal traps.
Wildlife experts will be on hand to help everyone identify and record their finds and, together with nature trails and quizzes, there’s something for the whole family. A pop-up café will be serving hot and cold drinks and cakes to keep everyone’s energy levels up. As well as an important recording effort and audit of the health and well-being of the marsh, the event is designed to promote public interest in biodiversity.
Countryside officer Robin Harley said, “A bioblitz is a fun opportunity to encourage more participation in wildlife recording and conservation through a series of guided walks. With the public’s help we will be able to conduct an intensive field study of the reserve that will add to our knowledge of the marsh.”
Most walks are free of charge but donations are welcome. The bird boat at 9am on Saturday (£13) and dawn chorus walk with breakfast at 6am on Sunday (£6) require booking.
Further information is available at www.facebook.com/christchurchcountrysideservice. Anyone interested in taking part at Stanpit can contact the Countryside Team on 01425 272479 (answerphone) or email email@example.com