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Calling all wildlife detectives

Last modified: 14 September 2012

Common blue butterfly profile

Common blue butterfly

Image: Jean-Raphaël Guillaumin

RSPB Old Moor nature reserve is calling for nature detectives everywhere to help them in their quest to record as many different species of wildlife as possible in the Barnsley area.

The Barnsley Bioblitz, which will be launched at the reserve next weekend (21 – 23 September), will see scientists and members of the public working together to survey the area and find, identify and record as many species as possible over 48 hours.

Working with the Sorby Natural History Society, RSPB staff and volunteers will be holding a number of guided walks for members of the public over the 48-hour period and all data gathered will be fed directly into the Barnsley Biological Records Centre.  A similar event in Sheffield identified over 1100 species and the Barnsley Bioblitz is hoping to beat that figure.

Liane Holdsworth, RSPB visitor experience officer, said: “A bioblitz is a bit like a stock take for wildlife, and is something that anyone and everyone can get involved with. With the recent report from the Zoological Society of London stating that a fifth of the world’s insect population may be heading towards extinction, it’s more important than ever that we have accurate records of our local wildlife. 

“As well as recording the amazing wildlife we have in the borough, the event is set to be a fantastic day out for everyone, and will be a great way for families to come together and have fun.“

People don’t have to have any great wildlife knowledge to take part, as experts will be on hand to help identify anything they find, and for those just wanting to join in the fun there’s pond dipping to have a go at and Explorer backpacks to help find anything that walks, swims, crawls or flies.

The bioblitz will launch at 3pm on Friday 21 September, with guided walks taking place during Saturday and Sunday.  The final count will be at 3pm on Sunday. The reserve entry fee for the weekend will be waived.

For more details visit the website or call the visitor centre on 01226 751593.

How you can help

From scrub bashing to guided walks, the RSPB run events all around the UK

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