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BioBlitz 2020 at the Botanic Garden

Comma butterfly (c) Matt Lowe

We are excited to announce that this year’s BioBlitz will be taking place in the Cambridge University Botanic Garden from 5pm on Saturday 19 September to 5pm on Sunday 20 September. During this 24 hours we will be counting as many species as we can in the garden. You can take part by visiting the garden and adding your data to the Cambridge BioBlitz 2020 event on iRecord. There will be experts on hand to help you and identify your finds. There will also be spotter sheets and competitions for you to take part in.

To launch the BioBlitz this year, we had a special online event on YouTube Live:

Catch up here with the livestream that took place at 4pm on Thursday 17 September exploring the amazing world of bees with expert Dr Lynn Dicks. Find out about the behaviour of the fascinating ivy bee, Colletes hederae, then Lynn joined us live to answer your questions. This event online event was free and open to all – either watch here on the blog, or visit our YouTube channel to join the conversation.

Start spotting the wildlife

Wildlife spotter sheet images

Download our BioBlitz 2020 wildlife spotter sheet and see how many of the species you can see over the weekend:

Wildlife Walks at Cambridge BioBlitz 2020

Want to explore wildlife in more depth? Why not join one of our wildlife walks. These are in small groups to allow for social distancing, for adults and children over 12, and prebook only. Tickets are £6 each, which includes entry to the garden. Download a programme here:

Nature Walk with Prof Bill Sutherland

Close up photograph of a damselfly
(c) Matt Lowe

Join Bill Sutherland, Professor of Conservation Biology, for a natural history walk around the garden spotting wildlife as you go.

Bird Ringing Demonstration

Photograph of a starling perched on a fence post
(c) Matt Lowe

Join our bird ringing experts Tony Fulford and Julia Mackenzie to learn all about how we study the natural history of birds through ringing and potentially get a chance to see a bird in the hand.

Natural History Walk

(c) Matt Lowe

Join Kevin Hand, Course Director ACE Foundation and Vice President of the Cambridge Natural History Society for a walk around the garden spotting wildlife as you go.

Bat Walk

Photograph of a bat
(c) John Purvis

Join Dr Chantal Helm as she explores the diversity of bat species in the Garden after dark, and learn how bats use sound to see.

Bird walk

Photograph of a wren singing
(c) Matt Lowe

Discover the birds of the Garden with Bob Jarman, and learn to recognise different species by their appearance and the sounds that they make.

BTO Garden BirdWatch – Why record the common species

(c) Matt Lowe

Watch the wildlife in the garden with Rob Jaques from the British Trust for Ornithology, and find out about adding data to the BTO Garden BirdWatch survey, a fantastic long-running citizen science project telling us about our local bird species.

Plant gall and leaf miner hunt

Photograph of a gall on a rose
(c) Sally Jennings

Join Sam Buckton on a hunt for the fascinating insects that live in the leaves of plants.

September Bee and Wasp Walk

(c) John Howlett

Join Dr Lynn Dicks in a search for the ivy bee (Colletes hederae) on flowering ivy patches in the garden, and identify different social wasp and hoverfly species that are still flying this season.

Butterfly spotting

Photograph of a red admiral butterfly feeding on a flower
(c) Matt Lowe

Take a stroll around the Garden with Museum researcher Matt Hayes looking for butterflies and learn how to identify them.

Plant Ecology Walk

(c) John Howlett

There are a large number of wild plants that grow amongst the scientific plant collection at the Botanic Garden and we have also recreated a number of British habitats in miniature that showcase a number of native plant species associated with these. Join Julian Doberski as he takes you on a walk around these habitats to explore their fascinating ecology.

For more details, and how to get there, visit the Botanic Garden website.

Other BioBlitz activities

As an introduction to some of the wildlife you might see during the BioBlitz weekend, we have two very special YouTube livestreams on the afternoons of Wednesday 16 and Thursday 17 September. This is your chance to ask the experts about the wildlife on your doorstep. Keep an eye on our blog and social media for details of these livestreams, and put the dates in your diary so you don’t miss out!

Take part in the Cambridge BioBlitz 2020 iRecord event, and record the wildlife you see in the Botanic Garden. To find out how to use iRecord, here’s a video from our Zoology Live festival earlier this year. Just look for the event called Cambridge BioBltiz 2020 instead of Zoology Live 2020.

In the meantime, why not relive our Zoology Live online festival that took place in June this year. From beautiful butterflies to brilliant bats, we had a wonderful week of wildlife, and you can still watch our expert interviews and find out about wildlife where you are here on the Museum of Zoology blog.

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