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Surveying Land and Wildlife

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Intrepid volunteers are mapping out how Southend land is used and where wildlife likes to live.

Their findings will be compared with a 1990s survey to see how much the borough’s land has changed, to measure the health of habitats and discover whether biodiversity has grown or shrunk.

The results will be used for a special Council report on the State of Nature.

This will give the vital evidence needed to help with future decisions about management and development.

The 12 eager volunteer surveyors have been invited to a thank you event at Porters, the residence of the Worshipful the Mayor of Southend, on Tuesday 2nd August, but there is still a chance for even more people to join their task.

Executive Councillor for Culture, Tourism and the Economy, Councillor Ann Holland said: “We are really grateful to those who have given up their time so far to take part in this fascinating project.

“There is still more work to do over the summer so we would love to hear from any other residents who would like to help out too.

“It is part of a nationwide State of Nature report launched in 2013 by 25 conservation and research organisations to give an objective overview of how British wildlife is doing.

“The plan is to produce more ‘State of’ reports in future to help build a better picture and monitor changes more closely.

“Those who volunteer for this scheme don’t need any experience, but would just need to attend a one-day training course in preparation.

“They would then be given a map of the area to focus on, and would be able to carry out the survey in their own time.”

For more information or to volunteer for the project, please contact: Louiseel-zaher@southend.gov.uk or visit the website for more information.

Bumblebee Identification Courses

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Buglife are running two Bumblebee Identification Courses with the Essex Field Club, at Essex Wildlife Trust’s Chafford Gorges Nature Park.

 

The Bumblebee ID course days will consist of a morning classroom session on bumblebee ecology and identification, led by the Essex invertebrate expert, Peter Harvey, followed by a walk around the site to practice the new identification skills. It will also include a session on how to use your new skills to help national bumblebee recording schemes. This is a great opportunity to learn some new skills and contribute to the conservation of bumblebees in the county. You don’t have to be a regular visitor to the site at all, as the survey methodology and recording can be used anywhere to produced valuable information for Bumblebee Conservation Trust

o   The courses are £10, with all of this going to the Essex Wildlife Trust’s Chafford  Gorges

o   Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided

o   There are two workshops, but they will be the same content so you only need to go to one unless you’re especially keen!

o   The two dates are Saturday 23rd July and Saturday 13th August, both running from 10am until 4pm

o   To book, please call the Chafford Gorges Nature Park on 01375 484 016