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02 May 2018

The (Bio)Blitz Spirit: Degree Students Conduct Ecological Surveys at Leybourne Lakes

By Philip Orrell

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During 23rd and 24th March, Hadlow staff, our Wildlife and Conservation Management second year degree students and members of the public headed to Leybourne Lakes Country Park to undertake a BioBlitz: a 24hr community event carrying out a multitude of different ecological surveys, including pond dipping, bird surveys, small mammal trapping, moth trapping, bat walks and more. 

Conservation experts also visited the site to support the surveys and speak to curious students and members of the public. This included representatives from Kent Mammal Group, Wildwood Trust, Kent Reptile & Amphibian Group, The Bumblebee Conservation Trust and London Wildlife Trust’s Water for Wildlife project and wildlife guide & ecologist Simon Ginnaw. 

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The group were looking for water voles, bats, bees, moths, newts, beetles, wetland birds and reptiles, as well as identifying trees and wildflowers across the site. Pond dipping yielded leeches and mayfly nymphs, several male wood mice made their way into the Longworth small mammal traps and a grass snake was discovered near the ranger’s office.

Members of the public were able to come and go as they pleased whilst the surveys were underway at the green flag award-winning public country park – and the event attracted many keen to make their contribution to the millions of citizen science records that contribute to our knowledge of the state of nature in Britain today.