Bioblitz and Heritage Skills Day One!

Sunday, July 21st 2013

The big event is underway! The counting of wildlife species began at 7.30am with the emptying of the moth traps that had been set out last night in many different habitats.


It proved to be the best moth catch ever at Foxglove with around 200 different species being identified by Charlie Fletcher the county recorder. Amongst the finds were some familiar favourites such as Buff Tip.

Buff Tip

Some exciting discoveries were made too like this V-Moth. A first for VC65! The bold black V on the pale grey forewings is diagnostic as can be seen below.


Later in the day, budding entomologists searched for invertebrates on the heathland with 'walking bug encyclopedias' Dr Roger Key and Rosie who fuelled everyone's enthusiasm to learn more about the bugs that live here. Spiders, butterflies, bees and beetles were all found in good numbers.


Tim Helps also inspired visitors and volunteers alike with his stunning collection of butterflies from around the world.


This weekend is not just a celebration of wildlife, it is also about promoting rural heritage skills such as stone walling. Thanks to the Dry Stone Walling Association, there is an opportunity to have a go at building a wall and to listen to an entertaining slide show.


Cadets from the Yarm detatchment of the Cleveland Army Cadet Force helped out all day by selling programmes and looking after the main gate and carpark. In between shifts they enjoyed some of the many activities on offer.


Ropemaking was very popular with the children who were able to make skipping ropes and lasoos.


Greenwood working and spooncarving were hands on too.


A beautiful curragh made by Dave Purvis will be on display all weekend.


Coracles didn't look out of place at all by the lake in the sunshine.


Over the last few days the hot weather has led to a dramatic decrease in the water level in the lake. This means that launching the boats is very tricky. Only experienced coracle paddlers can try their hand at this ancient skill over the weekend as a result.


The boats are still on display and are a pleasure to look at both on and off the water.


Today has been a great success thanks to the hard work of lots of dedicated staff and volunteers. As usual tasks have been varied from baking and serving food...


to keeping the shop...


and running the raffle...


and of course counting the wildlife species!


At the end of the day over 400 species had been identified. The day isn't over yet with the summer BBQ and evening bat walk still to go. Tomorrow the event continues so if you haven't been yet do come along and support us. There will be even more going on with bird ringing, felt making and pottery in addition to today's activities.

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