This weekend (22 & 23 July 2017) Norfolk will see one of the largest wildlife surveys conducted in the county. Norfolk Wildlife Trust is joining forces with National Trust, RSPB, Natural England and Holkham Estate to carry out a BioBlitz stretching from Holme-next-the-Sea in west Norfolk to Salthouse in the east. A BioBlitz is the identification and recording of as many species as possible within a 24-hour period, ranging from small insects to large mammals.
The BioBlitz weekend also provides a great opportunity for families with children aged 8-16 to be part of the exclusive Nocturnal Nature event taking place overnight (6.30pm – 8.30am) at Norfolk Wildlife Trust Cley Marshes. Families can enjoy a sunset supper and experience the reserve’s wildlife at night which is rarely seen by other visitors with bat walks, moth trapping and wildlife films. Sleeping over in the Simon Aspinall Wildlife Education Centre, they will wake up to see the reserve at dawn with a refreshing bird walk followed by breakfast.
Cley Marshes Community Education Officer Rachael Wright said: “This is one of the biggest events to take place on the North Norfolk coast this year, and we hope that as many people as possible get involved. Identification specialists will be on board to assist anyone with little or no surveying experience, making our BioBlitz weekend a fantastic opportunity for children to get stuck in as well as adults. Considering the scale of the event, we are hoping to discover some species we haven’t come across on this area of the coast before.”
The Simon Aspinall Wildlife Education Centre at NWT’s Cley Marshes visitor centre will be used as an information hub throughout the weekend. Information stands from Norfolk Wildlife Trust, National Trust, Marine Conservation Society, Norfolk Ornithological Association and Butterfly Conservation will be found in the education centre across the weekend with advice for all surveyors wishing to get involved. Cley Beach will also be hosting activities such as wildlife crafts for families.
It is hoped that this huge BioBlitz will uncover some wildlife treasures that were previously unknown to be present along the North Norfolk coast. All discoveries made during the BioBlitz will be submitted to local wildlife record centres and the National Biodiversity Network to help increase our understanding of how wildlife along the North Norfolk coast is changing and how best to protect it.
The BioBlitz is free with no pre-booking required. Booking is essential for Nocturnal Nature. For more information or to book Nocturnal Nature (£25 members, £30 non-members, all activities and meals included in price), go to www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk
or call Norfolk Wildlife Trust Cley Marshes on 01263 740008.
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