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Countdown to city’s annual Bioblitz wildlife survey

Published on Monday, May 8, 2017

VOLUNTEERS can take part in Leicester’s annual wildlife survey this weekend, as Bioblitz returns for its eighth year.

This year’s event takes place at Knighton Park from Friday (12 May) and visitors can play their part in trying to record the hundreds of different species of wildlife living there.

Local nature groups, experts from the University of Leicester and staff from Leicester City Council’s parks and conservation teams will be on-hand to offer advice, guidance to budding nature detectives.

Visitors will be invited to help identify and record as many different species of plants, birds, insects, fungi, mammals and amphibians as possible through the day and night. Organisers have set an ambitious target of recording 500 different species.

Findings from the event will help future planning and management of the park both for wildlife and for visitors. 

Along with charting the various wildlife inhabitants on the award-winning park, there will be a range of activities running throughout the event.

People can take part in bat detecting or a night-time moth safari, join an early morning ‘dawn chorus’ bird walk, or learn more about the site’s flora and fauna on expert guided walks.

Younger visitors can get involved in arts and crafts workshops, bug-hunts and pond-dipping, and there will be a range of workshops to help make bat boxes, insect nests and other shelters for wildlife.

Activities run from 7pm until midnight on Friday, and from 7am until 5pm on Saturday. All activities are free, but some must be booked in advance.

Helen O’Brien, Leicester City Council nature conservation officer and event co-ordinator, said: “This is Leicester’s eighth annual Bioblitz and the event is always popular with nature lovers.

“We’ve had over 10,000 people helping us to record wildlife over the last few years. We’re hoping to match our record of 500 species at this year’s event at Knighton Park.

“We’ll have experts, naturalists and scientists on hand to help visitors get to grips with spotting and identifying species, so people don’t have to worry if they’ve never done this sort of thing before.

“Bioblitz is the perfect way to unlock your inner nature detective.”

This year’s event will be supported by staff and students from the University of Leicester, who will be offering expert advice and guidance throughout the Bioblitz.

Sarah Roberts, Sustainable Projects Officer at the University of Leicester, said: “Bioblitz is a fantastic opportunity to share our knowledge with the local community. Our student and staff research has a real-world impact and the Bioblitz represents a ‘living laboratory’ experience to help others enjoy learning about nature and wildlife.”

To find out more, or to book activities, visit www.leicester.gov.uk/promoting-biodiversity