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The students from Wheatfield Primary School have been learning about the definition of a habitat, the different types of habitats and why they are important. After looking around Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve, the students noticed the many different functions of the various habitat types and how important they are to the species that use them.

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The students then played a game to match species with their habitats to show how animals and plants can exist within different niches while occupying the same habitat.

With the first session underway we caught up with naturalist Gill Brown and some enthusiastic young wildlife explorers as they searched for signs of mammals in the reserve.

It wasn’t long before the first clues were uncovered and Gill showed the group some tiny footprints and droppings left in homemade small mammal tunnels which had been put out overnight.

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The tunnels had been baited with peanut butter and Gill explained that this meant that the footprints probably didn’t belong to shrews, which have an insectivorous diet and were unlikely to have been attracted by the nutty snack!

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Although tiny footprints are tricky to identify, Gill took the clearest examples with her for closer inspection later. We’ll keep you updated!

Whilst heading out to the next stop, a known badger sett in the reserve, a keen-eyed student spotted two mole hills in the long grass, a great find and another species to add to the tally.

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The students were thrilled when Gill showed them the badger sett, identified by its size and the nesting material at the entrance. They were then ‘sett’ the task of scouring the nearby area for ‘snuffle-pits’, scrapes in the ground made by foraging badgers!

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Finally, Gill showed the group hazelnuts growing on the bank, and explained that finding evidence of nibbled hazelnuts on the ground is a clear sign to confirm the presence of small mammals nearby.

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All in all a great start to the day, the tally is well underway!

The BioBlitz Media Team are here at the Three Brooks Nature Reserve in Bradley Stoke for the Bristol BioBlitz 2014 to report back on all the action as it happens!  We’ll be photographing plants, filming anything that flies and blogging about mini-beasts! So stay tuned as we tally the species throughout the day.

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The Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve is a tranquil area in the middle of the bustling community of Bradley Stoke. The reserve has a rich mix of habitats and provides food and shelter to a wide range of animals, including reed buntings, skylarks, great crested newts and slow worms.

Schools day is underway with children from schools in the local area already out exploring the site and making the first discoveries!

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Then from 4 pm today BioBlitz will be open to the public and we will have 24 hours to find and record as many different types of plants, animals and fungi as we can find. Everything we find will be logged and will contribute real scientific data to local wildlife monitoring – so every record you collect makes a real difference! So come on down to join in the fun and release your inner wildlife detective!

You can find out more, including directions on how to get here and the different activities you can take part in, by using the links below:

http://www.bnhc.org.uk/festival-of-nature/three-brooks-bioblitz/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/thingstodo/activity/festival-of-nature-three-brooks-bioblitz/occurrence/405060

 

 

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Yes, that’s right! By the end of this year’s epic 30 hour BioBlitz at Kings Weston House we had identified and recorded a huge 463 species, beating our target of 454. That number is due to rise in the coming days as the more obscure species that the team recorded are correctly identified. A massive thanks goes to everyone who took part in the count and participated in the learning activities. We hope to see you at next year’s event!

But our work doesn’t stop here. The Bristol BioBlitz is just the first event of Bristol99 – our exciting new project to reconnect people with the nature of their doorstep. You can look forward to 6 weeks of fun events, from mini-BioBlitzs to bughunting, wildlife walks to fossil-finding, all culminating in the 10th Festival of Nature on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 June in Bristol’s Harbourside. See you there!

Interview with the fabulous Keith and Linda from Specialised Nestboxes.

Here at BioBlitz people have been asked ‘What does nature mean to you?’. Please let us know your answer to this question. Here are a few other people’s answers to give you some inspiration!

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With the 30 hour BioBlitz deadline looming, we have a fantastic new tally for you! Our naturalists and members of the public have increased our species tally to a mind blowing 418! How many have you found here at BioBlitz 2013?

Latest species tally

Latest species tally

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