Experts blitz Norfolk nature reserve in search of the obscure
19 July 2012
From Saturday 21 July to Saturday 28 July, the RSPB is asking wildlife experts and members of the public to help discover obscure and hidden wildlife at Strumpshaw Fen reserve, near Norwich.
The week-long wildlife survey is part of the reserve’s ‘Big Wildlife Week’ when people of all ages can take part in wildlife activities.
Wildlife experts will be carrying out surveys throughout the week to explore beetles, bugs, spiders, plants, lichens, pond life, and a whole host of hidden creatures in the reedbeds, pools and woodlands.
RSPB warden, Ben Lewis, said “We’re hugely excited at the prospect of discovering new species on the reserve. There are several insects that are now thought to be extinct in the Broads, but they could be lurking undiscovered in the reedbeds.
“With help from specialists, we hope to get a much fuller picture of all the wildlife that lives here so that we can manage habitats in the best way and keep track of how species are faring.”
Visitors to the reserve can also take part by bringing their digital camera to help with ‘photo surveys’.
Beginners events, workshops and guided walks will be run by experts throughout the week, and children can take part in bug hunts, pond-dipping and other hands-on activities.
Site manager Tim Strudwick said “The recent Broads Biodiversity Audit showed that the Broads is one of the richest areas for wildlife in the country. Strumpshaw Fen is home to a large number of those species, but we need more research on the small and obscure species that often go unnoticed.
“The reserve is well known for bitterns, otters and swallowtail butterflies, but some of the rarest species are tiny snails, insects and aquatic plants that are very hard to find and identify. It takes a great deal of work to survey all of this wildlife, so we’re asking for people’s help.”
The week-long event will have a different wildlife theme each day. For full details of walks, workshops and activities visit www.rspb.org.uk/strumpshawfen or phone 01603 715191. Events are included in reserve entry charge.
The daily themes for the week-long event are:
Saturday 21 July to Saturday 28 July; 10 am-3 pm
Saturday: All about bugs. See amazing moths in the moth trap (9.30am); have a go at pond-dipping and bug hunts; help with our big bug photo survey.
Sunday: Flowers and fungi. Go for a wildflower walk with an expert botanist; help with a wildflower photo survey; take part in a fungi workshop.
Monday: All about bees. Join an expert guide to learn about the huge variety of bees; make a bee house for your garden; help with our big bee photo survey.
Tuesday: Moths, butterflies and dragonflies. Go on a dragonfly walk; go butterfly watching in the meadow; children's butterfly quiz and art activities.
Wednesday: All about birds. Go on a beginner's birdwatching walk; join a team for a 'bird race' - who can spot the most birds?; plus bird art for children.
Thursday: Reptiles and amphibians. Join a guided walk to look for snakes, lizards, frogs and toads; plus children's art activities and pond-dipping.
Friday: Mammals. Take part in an evening bat walk; go on a guided walk to look for deer, rodents, otters and the signs they leave behind.
Saturday: The Big Count. Photo display of the most amazing species visitors have found during the week. Plus pond-dipping, bug hunts, children's art activities and more.
The RSPB speaks out for birds and wildlife, tackling the problems that threaten our environment. Nature is amazing – help us keep it that way. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England & Wales no 207076, Scotland no SC037654
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