The AONB Coastal Creatures Project first BioBlitz at Croyde on Saturday 17th, organised by Coastwise North Devon, was a huge success, reaching out to the public and serious professional natural scientists. The event was aided by lovely weather and an excellent site provided courtesy of the National Trust with support from Ruda Holidays for some of the activities.
There was a good mix of experts, local and visiting, covering a wide range of coastal habitat types. Over 300 of the public attended, which is a good number
for a local areas marine bioblitz.
The Plymouth Marine Biological Association team reported that about half the records had been logged by the end of the day and 250 species already formally identified and recorded, 50 of which had not been recorded in the area before. Many more will be added, some requiring further study before identification is possible.
Discussion with members of the public enjoying the microscope tent and guided rockpool rambles showed that there is real interest in the marine world, but people are at a loss as to how to pursue that interest. The Coastal Creatures project certainly has a ready-made target audience in the area.
We'll be updating this report and adding pictures as the results become available.
2016 Croyde BioBlitz
Coastwise North Devon is organising a BioBlitz to be held at Croyde on 17th September 2016, supporting the AONB's HLF-supported Coastal Creatures project.
This is currently in the detailed planning phase at the moment, and is building on the experience gained from the very successful 2013 Woolacombe event (see below).
However, the current outline plan is :-
- The base will be close the the Ruda holiday site
- The scope will be marine and terrestrial, covering the near land features as far as Baggy Point
- It will be supported by a range of experts including the MBA
- Public participation will be warmly welcomed
Download the poster, and Programme for the day. Further information from Cat Oliver, AONB Coastal Creatures Project Officer - email@example.com 07768214597, who's right at the centre of things.
2013 Woolacombe BioBlitz Debrief and Legacy Pack
Note: this information is included to allow prompt reporting of the event, but will be updated as additions and corrections are received.
The 7th September 2013 Woolacombe BioBlitz was a huge success.
It was organised by Coastwise North Devon on behalf of the UNESCO North Devon Biosphere with assistance from partners :-
- National Trust
- Area of Oustanding National Beauty
- Devon Wildlife Trust
A grant from the Big Lottery Fund is gratefully acknowledged
There is an excellent short (4 minutes) video that captures the essence of the event at http://www.northdevonb10.org.uk/2/post/2013/09/video-woolacombe-bioblitz.html
The support of a wide variety of experts is gratefully acknowledged. They contributed their knowledge and expertise to compile a list of nearly 700 species of marine and terrestrial fauna and flora :-
Download a list of experts here
Feedback forms were distributed and recovered: a sample comment was "....the only BioBlitz that I've attended that catered for the public....".
The objectives are summed up in the original presentation to partners :-
"What is a BioBlitz ?"
- Large scale event that engages large numbers of people with biodiversity
- All are directly involved in surveying and monitoring
- Scientists and members of the public work together to survey a natural space; seeking,
identifying and recording as many species as possible over a fixed period
- We plan an 8-hour event on Saturday 7th September 2013
- Work directly with an environmental records centre or within certain parameters in order to
ensure that the data collected will have maximum scientific impact
- Similar events have located between 300 and 1000 unique species
Key Lessons :-
- Start planning at least a year in advance of the chosen date
- Enlist as much competent help and support as you can
- Obtaining funding will not be easy
- Have a contingency plan in case of poor weather
- Look at the local calendar of events to make sure there are no major conflicts
- Purchase appropriate insurance
- Decide well in advance whether you want to run a scientific event, a public event, or a combination of both
Pre-Event Information Below............
2013...September 7th is the date.....
The National Trust is a BioBlitz Partner....follow its Blog
All the pieces are falling into place to make North Devon’s BioBlitz contribution to Biosphere celebrations a force to be reckoned with.
The programme has been finalised, and there's lots to do all day......Click Here to download a full list.
We are going to celebrate this “summer for nature” in great style.
A new logo for the New Year got us going – with so many partners keen to help we needed a bespoke logo to be used alongside that of the Big Lottery, our key funder, having begun the year with an award from them of £4500. This meant we could get down to business knowing that our core costs would be covered. Coastwise and the National Trust respectively later also won £400 support from Fullabrook Community Fund and £1000 from the North Devon AONB for special kit for viewing and recording animal sightings, including a webcam and laptop computer. We thank them all.
Parkin Estates Ltd has kindly given permission for use of Woolacombe Green, a prime coastal site at the heart of the village. The Biosphere’s superbly equipped science tent has been tested & will provide the focal point amongst a cluster of partners’ tents & displays.
The event is all about organisations and key individuals working together. In the planning stage much of this falls to the National Trust’s Jonathan Fairhurst and Pip & Pete Jollands for the Biosphere Foundation, working alongside Coastwise Project Leader Jim Monroe and his team. On the day itself we will be calling upon naturalists and enthusiastic volunteers to deliver a full programme of activities. We have been delighted by the numbers who have already volunteered to help, including nearly 50 wildlife experts of land and sea, and at least as many volunteers keen to help on the day make it a success.
Thanks to them there will be activities on offer from 10am – 6 pm with collecting expeditions and i-spy walks fanning out round Woolacombe from Basecamp on the Green, where there will be an array of fun family activities alongside science-for-all in the tented lab.
If you want to know more contact firstname.lastname@example.org. or keep watching this site. Best of all come along on the day to share in this unique event.
More Background on the BioBlitz.........
A partnership of local organisations co-ordinated by Coastwise will plan the BioBlitz at Woolacombe on 7th September 2013. The BioBlitz is a 10th Anniversay Year Celebration event for UNESCO North Devon's Biosphere Reserve .
Coastwise North Devon is organising the event, together with help from partners including Devon Wildlife Trust, AONB, National Trust and the Marine Biological Association.
A BioBlitz has two main aims :-
- The first is a count of the plants and animals in a given location within a specified number of hours. For us this will mean a Saturday spent creating a picture of the marine and terrestrial biodiversity of a swathe of several key habitats from land to sea, focussed on Woolacombe.
- To help the public discover, learn and enthuse about the natural world.
Our aim is to make this a special event – lots of species identified and lots of people enthused, – to celebrate the UNESCO North Devon's Biosphere new decade by putting people at the heart of activities, a community effort guided by experts, a contribution towards conservation through growing local knowledge and awareness.
A full programme of public events will run throughout the day, recording, photographing, learning about and identifying plants and animals. The resulting data will be submitted to national databases and form part of the pack of learning material that will be developed from the event.
Would you like to get involved? Do you have any suggestions for us? For example would your organisation welcome the opportunity to recruit new members and volunteers? Please give us your views, tell us how you would like to contribute, and send us any suggestions, any funding/sponsorship advice to cover the modest costs, or ask for more information.
Coastwise will act as host to the BioBlitz, including what we're calling the "Base Camp" for the day on Woolacombe Green, on the edge of the beach at the centre of the town. We will be using the Biosphere Foundation’s superb new 8m portable dome and trailer, equipped with microscopes and other field studies equipment, providing a basecamp for the experts on hand to help and advise. In addition there will be our partners' marquees for a variety of other activities.
There will be marine events led by Coastwise, and terrestrial events and walks led by the DWT and NT. Various experts in their fields will conduct surveys of marine and terrestrial natural life, and there will be chances to interact with them.
For those coming from further afield, there's lots of convenient local accommodation; click here for a list which includes camping, B&B and hotels.
It is planned to have lots to interest and involve families, and hopefuly spark an enduring interest in the natural world.
Overall, the public and Bioblitz events will take place simultaneously with experts, volunteers and public all participating.
Coastwise will coordinate all events , so keep an eye on this space over the next year as the programme develops.