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Archive for May, 2012

It’s a fantastic day here at the Arnos Vale cemetery in Bristol, with wall-to-wall sunshine and species galore. It’s difficult to think of a better time or a better place for the BioBlitz. Here are a few photos of this most stunning of venues.

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After spending part of yesterday showing children from local schools how to create their own tracking trap Gill Brown left out her own larger traps overnight here at Arnos Vale in the hope of tempting in some local wildlife when they sniffed the nutty aroma of the breakfast spread peanut butter. She left one trap right next to the path and one in a more hidden location.

Hedgehog tracker

Hedgehog tracker

Earlier on this morning Gill checked her traps and found the footprints pictured below. Can you tell what animal made them?

Hedgehog footprints

If you said Hedgehog you were absolutely right, exactly what Gill and the rest of the Bioblitz team were hoping for. With the evidence of these identifiable black sticky prints we can now add Hedgehogs to our species count.

If you want to know how to make your own tracking trap be sure to look at our previous videos with Gill’s explanation.

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After a late night and a very early morning for the Bioblitz team the tally has shot up to an impressive 352. However there is still time left and with the help of the public will we be able to up it further?

Tally Sat 13:30

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Here Ed Drewitt takes us through some of the stages of Bird ringing which enables us to record and study the growth and numbers of our British birdlife.

 

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Treemendous!

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Tree expert Richard has found some interesting giants including a weeping horse chestnut, one of the oldest trees in the cemetery. It’s a botanical mystery why this tree’s branches grow downwards instead of up towards the light. Could this be Bioblitz first?

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The cemetery is also home to a lonely female monkey puzzle whose fruits will remain undeveloped as no male tree grows nearby. Monkey puzzles have been around since the time of the dinosaurs, so Arnos Vale contains a living fossil.

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Irish yews are all descended from one Northern Irish tree growing in the 1840s, and several have been planted here. They are the same species as common yews but grow upright rather than branching out. There are yews all around the cemetery, possibly planted here to stay out of reach to cows and horses (who can be poisoned by them), their evergreen leaves symbolise eternal life.

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One minute interview with Steph Gillett, volunteer guide at Bioblitz 2012.

 

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Lastest species tally from Bioblitz HQ – After last nights activity and some more nature treks this morning we have a very respectable 260!

Tally Sat Morn

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