This summer, hundreds of wildlife lovers and nature experts will help the National Trust to carry out its largest ever survey of coastal wildlife as part of the conservation charity’s year-long celebrations of the coast.
In Northern Ireland a BioBlitz will take place at White Park Bay on Saturday 20 June where the National Trust team will host a 24-hour long BioBlitz to record coastal wildlife, with help from CEDaR (Centre for Environmental Data and Recording.)
Looking for help to record as many species as possible Cliff Henry, National Trust Area Ranger for the Giant’s Causeway said:
“Thousands of people visit Antrim’s North Coast every year to walk the exhilarating coastline and experience the fantastic views – but its admirers aren’t just the human kind.
“Hundreds of plant and wildlife species also call White Park Bay home, and we’re looking for volunteers to help our conservation team record as many of these coastal species as possible over 24 hours.
“All discoveries will be recorded and submitted to local wildlife record centres to help understand how wildlife along the coast is changing – and what we can do to protect it.”
Everyone is welcome to come and find species by themselves or join the experts on organised group activities. Group sizes are limit to 20, so booking is advisable by contacting 028 2073 3419 or emailing Cliff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BioBlitz activities at White Park Bay – Meeting point is White Park Bay Youth Hostel
Night walk: Friday 19 June, 22:00 (duration: two hours)
Examine mammal traps, moth traps and detect bats with bat detectors.
Dawn chorus: Saturday 20 June, 05:00 (duration: two hours)
Experience the birdsong of White Park Bay.
Moth traps: Saturday 20 June, 09:00 (duration: one hour)
Explore what lurks in moth traps that have been set overnight.
Wildflower foray: Saturday 20 June, 13:00 (duration: one hour)
Go hunting for some of the rarest wildflowers in the country.
Bug hunt: Saturday 20 June, 10:00 & 13:00 (duration: one hour)
Rummage through the undergrowth for minibeasts.
Butterfly walks: Saturday 20 June, 11:00 & 14:00 (duration: one hour)
Spotting butterflies, bees and anything else that flies. Try your hand at catching them in nets.
Observation station: Saturday 20 June (duration: 10:00 – 16:00); booking not required
Microscopes and sample trays will be available for everyone to get a closer look at the beasties and flowers found from around the site at our base in the Youth Hostel.
Nature Detective: Saturday 20 June (duration: 10:00 – 16:00); booking not required
Find as many species on our treasure hunt list as you can. Self-led sheets handed out at the registration point at White Park Bay Youth Hostel.
The BioBlitzes are part of the National Trust’s year of celebrations along the coastline marking 50 years since the launch of the Neptune Coastline Campaign .
As well as BioBlitzes, the Trust will also be partnering up with Butterfly Conservation during the summer to carry out surveys of butterflies and moths on the coastline as part of the annual Big Butterfly Count. People will be encouraged to count butterflies in coastal places, between 19 July and 9 August, with the focus of the survey on the Common Blue to discover whether it thrives better closer to the sea than inland.
More than £65 million has been raised through Neptune over the last 50 years, enabling the National Trust to protect and care for some of the most beautiful, environmentally significant and historically valuable stretches of coastline including over 100 miles (22%) of the Northern Ireland coastline.
For more information on National Trust BioBlitzes, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bioblitz