Chris Packham Murlough

Chris Packham Murlough

TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham is visiting Murlough National Nature Reserve on Monday 16th July, together with four other sites in Northern Ireland as part of a ten day UK Bioblitz tour to highlight the extent to which the nation’s wildlife is under threat.

A Bioblitz is an event where scientists, naturalists and members of the public work together to find as many species as possible within a set location and over a defined time period, for example over 24 hours.

In 2015 a team from Murlough NNR, which is cared for by the National Trust, carried out their first Bioblitz and recorded 1649 records and 844 species! The Bioblitz will allow the team to compare the rise and fall of previous records and get a sense of the health of the natural environment.

Visitors are invited to come along to lend a hand with recording as much wildlife as possible as well as join one of the expert-led walks and talks on Sunday 15 and Monday 16 July.

Chris Packham Murlough
The beach at Murlough National Nature Reserve National Trust. Picture by Bernie Brown.

Chris said: ‘The UK is home to remarkable and beautiful wildlife and some wonderful habitats but it’s also in big trouble, and in the case of some species this means we are fast approaching the last chance to make a difference.

‘I want the 2018 UK Bioblitz Campaign to be a detailed and complete wildlife audit, a ten day snapshot of the state of our wild places and what lives there. It will celebrate some conservation successes but also reveal some of its failures. It will show that nature reserves are not enough and it will prove we need a healthier wider environment. A healthier countryside.’

Murlough National Nature Reserve is a fragile 6000 year old sand dune system owned by the National Trust and managed as Ireland’s first Nature Reserve since 1967. The dune fields at Murlough are the best and most extensive example of dune heath within Ireland with over 720 species of butterflies and moths, one of which, the Marsh Fritillary butterfly, is of European importance. The site is internationally important for wintering wildfowl and waders.

Public wishing to attend the event should access the reserve at Keel Point (Dundrum side) to register at the Stables near Murlough House.  Please note that normal charges will apply and parking maybe limited.

For more details on the event visit https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/murlough-national-nature-reserve or @MurloughNT on Facebook.

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