Porlock Marsh BioBlitz Wildlife Adventure Day

Wannabe wildlife explorers, young and old, are invited for a day of discovery to help find out what’s living on Porlock Marsh, on the coast of Exmoor National Park.

The team of experts on hand will be looking for people to help them to identify as many birds, bugs, plants and beasties over 24 hours as possible. There will be events for kids, grown-ups, beginners and experts running throughout the day … and night.

For families and beginners, there will be stacks of activities to help introduce everyone to nature, including a chance to join a guided walk looking for birds, butterflies, bugs and saltmarsh plants, or join the sea-watch crew looking for porpoises and seabirds. ‘Night owls’ can join the creatures of the night walk to look for bats and moths, and get up close to real owls from the Exmoor Hawk and Owl Centre. Or early birds can join the breakfast bird walk and see some of the creatures that have been spotted overnight at Basecamp.

Amateur naturalists can join one of the survey teams, led by local experts and enthusiasts, and take part in identifying and recording particular wildlife groups and help complete the big nature survey. Just like the wildlife, different teams will be active at different times of day so people can change groups if they wish.

All activities are free, but numbers may be limited for some walks. See the programme at http://www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/bioblitz for full details or follow us on Twitter @WildlifeENPA, #pmbioblitz.

The BioBlitz is being organised as part of the Porlock Marsh Vision project. Project Manager Clare Reid said “The BioBlitz is a great opportunity for people to get involved in surveying the wildlife of Porlock Marsh. It will help us to understand more about what’s living on the Marsh, and what’s special about it, and hopefully we’ll have lots of fun finding out! We’re very grateful to the two landowners – the National Trust and Porlock Manor Estate, and to Mike Dyer for the use of his barn for our Basecamp.  We’d also like to thank all the activity leaders and volunteers for helping to run the event.”

Nigel Hester, from the National Trust which is hosting the event, said “We are very pleased to be working with our partners Exmoor National Park Authority, Somerset Wildlife Trust, Somerset Environmental Records Centre, Natural England and the Exmoor Natural History Society to put on this event. Porlock Marsh has changed significantly since the breach in the shingle ridge 20 years ago, so this BioBlitz provides a great opportunity for us to find out more about how wildlife is adapting to the changes since then. Let’s hope we can rack up a great species list – and perhaps even find something rare.”

A range of accommodation is available locally including hotels, B&Bs, and campsites. Anyone that would like help in finding suitable accommodation should contact the Porlock Visitor Centre, telephone: (01643) 863150, email: visit@porlock.co.uk

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