Gorse shieldbug on a branch

BioBlitz Cambridge 2020: The Results

Wren sitting on a fence
Wren (c) Matt Lowe

During March we are working with Cambridge University Botanic Garden to bring you a series of blog posts documenting Spring arriving in the Garden. This will be culminating in a Wildlife Diaries livestream at 5pm on Thursday 1 April on YouTube: https://youtu.be/RScsiUeR5aQ We will be live in the Garden with a panel of wildlife experts ready to answer your questions. To whet your appetite for this free online event exploring Spring wildlife, we are stepping back in time to explore the wildlife of the Garden in late Summer 2020.

Back in September 2020, we once again partnered with Cambridge University Botanic Garden to run a BioBlitz in the Garden. This was quite a different event to previous BioBlitzes, without the hands on workshops we usually run. Instead, we ran a limited number of socially-distanced nature walks, and asked our experts to survey the site. We also for the first time asked experts and visitors to submit their sightings to our specially created iRecord activity so that the records could easily be collated. We’ll tell you more about iRecord at the bottom of this post.

We launched the event with a YouTube livestream, where we were joined by bee expert Dr Lynn Dicks answering your questions about these amazing animals from the Garden’s bee borders.

Bee expert Dr Lynn Dicks answers your questions about these amazing animals.

While undertaking their surveys in the Garden, some of our BioBlitz experts agreed to being filmed so that we could share with you how they discovered some of the 694 species that were recorded in 2020. We have put together a series of mini-films from the footage taken in September 2020, and hope you enjoy watching them as much as we did making them. We start with a brief video highlighting what we did and a few of the species we found. You can then learn how we surveyed for butterflies and small mammals, explored the fascinating world of plant parasites, hunted for slugs and snails, enticed spiders from their hidey holes and finally see what we found in our light trap.

A brief tour of some of the highlights from Cambridge Bioblitz 2020

Butterfly Transects

Join the team from the Botanic Garden as they look for butterflies to record.

Monitoring Small Mammals

Follow the Cambridgeshire Mammal Group as they monitor the small mammals in the Garden.

Plants Under Attack

Find out about plant galls and mines and the animals that create them

Slugs and Snails

Discover the slugs and snails living in the Garden with Dr Richard Preece

Spiders

Learn about surveying for spiders with Dr Matt Wilkinson

Moths

Go moth trapping with the CUBG Moth Group

iRecord is a website where biological records can be managed and stored. We used iRecord for the first time in 2020 to collate all of our Bioblitz records to allow them to be freely available to whomever may need them. These records can now be added to national and international wildlife monitoring datasets, used for research or conservation and help inform planning and development, as well as wildlife legislation. You can set up your own iRecord account and start recording the wildlife species near you.

Gorse shieldbug on a branch
Gorse Shieldbug (c) Geoff Oliver

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