What's on Our Events BIG Local Count This Micro-volunteering day (Wednesday 15th April) can you spare some time to do some species spotting? If so help us to get a better understanding of key species and take part in our Big Local Count. Help us to record how many species of interest from the Biodiversity Action Plan are in the area. All information collected will help us better support these species. Spend between 15 minutes to 1 hour recording any sighting of these species. Tell us where you are and what the conditions were luck to help further our understanding. How to take part? On Wednesday 15th April spend 15, 30, 45 or 60 minutes watching nature. Before you start: Download the recording Excel document and fill in the data at the top. Familiarise your self with what each species looks like using the guides below. You might want to keep the guides with you during the survey. You can choose to do a day time or a night time survey to help us monitor the nocturnal species too. During the survey: Find a quiet site in your house/garden/balcony with a good view of the area you are going to survey. Begin the timer and watch for any of the species of interest. For the bee species you can either record general groups, Honeybees, Bumblebees and solitary bees or you can use the information provided to try to identify the exact species of bee seen. Record any other information that you think we might like to know about and once your selected time is up stop recording. After the survey: complete the document and please return via email to our Nature conservation manager - Fran Batt. Identification guides Species of interest Pollinators (bees) Bumblebee ID guide More information about the count... Why have these species been chosen? As part of the Richmond Biodiversity Partnership the Trust has supported the development of the Biodiversity action plan. As part of this plan there are particular species which have been identified as priority species. The protection and appropriate management of a habitat should generally ensure the survival of individual species associated with that particular habitat. However, some species have reached such critically low levels in their population numbers that they require specific attention. Conservation action to conserve priority habitats and species will also have beneficial effects on other species, for example through protecting their natural habitats, food sources etc. which, although not considered a priority now, may well become so in the future without appropriate management. The UK Steering Group has produced guidelines for selection of species needing protection, which are as follows: All priority species. Conservation action at the local level will contribute to national speciestargets. Those facing local decline. Those that can be used to raise the profile of biodiversity in the public eye. Those that are characteristic of the borough. Those that serve as good indicators of habitat quality. Using this criteria, the following species have been identified as being of particular priority and a Species Action Plan has been developed for each of them in the 2019 plan: Bats, Black poplar, Hedgehogs, House sparrow, Song thrush, Stag beetle, Swift, Water vole, White-letter hair streak butterfly and Pollinators Find out more about the Biodiversity Action Plan on our Partner Charity SWLEN's website. What will we do with the data? The data will give us better understanding of the current abundance of species across the area. it will help us to better support the species in the future and will enable us to see if our work to support the wildlife of the area is effective. Why do we need to know where you are doing the count? This helps us to determine distribution of species and helps to identify patterns in location. It also gives us a better understanding if we know the type of space you are surveying. For example comparing balcony results to garden results. Thank you for taking part in our Big Local Count. We are also looking to collect information across larger time scales and information about habitats in private gardens. For more information about this check out our Citizen Science page or get in touch.