Monthly wildlife monitoring events are kicking off in Walpole Park at the end of this month (26 and 27 April) and people of all ages and abilities are invited to take part.
Held on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings, the sessions will see local people join together to track bats, moths and birds, contributing to wider monitoring and conservation schemes.
During the evening sessions, groups will monitor bats by using specialist hand-held devices to tune into frequencies that pick up their calling noises. A local expert will be on hand to answer questions and offer information about the species found. Participants will also work with a moth expert to set-up light boxes to attract moths overnight, as well as learn fun facts about the little creatures.
The following morning, groups will count and categorise the moths held in the light box before embarking on a guided bird walk. Led by an ornithologist, the walk will give amateur bird watchers and nature-lovers the opportunity to get up-close to local species and learn more about birds.
Bird watching events have been held monthly since January, with species including goldfinches, collard doves and long-tailed tits spotted so far.
Information gathered will help to monitor the changing ecology in Walpole Park while improvements are carried out thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The work will include the addition of new flower beds, shrubbery and meadows, creating more habitats and hopefully attracting greater numbers of wildlife.
Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for environment and transport, said, “Residents interested in local wildlife and ecology will be drawn to these sessions in Walpole Park like moths to the flame. The sessions are fun, interesting and educational, and the information collected is really important to help us measure the effect on wildlife before, during and after improvements take place in the park.”
People are welcome to take part in one, some or all sessions, but bookings are essential. Please email Emma Allen on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to book your place.