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The 2012 autumn convention took place at The Academy in Shrewbury on November 28th. A full house was treated to a programme of fascinating wildlife talks. There were displays illustrating the progress of all the local group, plus stands from local and national wildlife organisations.
The convention also marked the end of the current period of grant funding. This does not mean that the local habitat and wildlife surveys have to end. The active groups are being provided with complete survey kits, so they can continue to collect valuable information.
The project has been a great success. A few of the key achievements are;
- 321 participants contributed 1900 hours, surveying and conserving wildlife habitats.
- Volunteers mapped around 9000 ha of countryside, discovering 213 ha of UK priority habitat.
- 500 + species records submitted to the Shropshire Ecological Data Network.
- Volunteer input worth in excess of £15,000.
- Completed eight projects to restore or create local wildlife areas.
- 7,000 + people benefitting from improvements to local green space.
- Estimated £40,000 of work provided to local business
The local habitat and wildlife surveys have resumed and some notable finds are already turning up. The biggest news came from the 'Butterflies of the Moors' training course, where a Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (Boloria selene) was discovered. This is the first time this species has been seen at the Moors for 20 years and may represent a valuable new population . Your can join your community wildlife group and take part in the local nature surveys by contacting Gareth Parry, using the details at the bottom of the page.
This year also sees a number of free wildlife identification courses, run by local experts. Dragonfly and butterfly courses have already taken place, and there are plenty more to come, including reptiles, botany, bees, mammals, moths and bats. Download the 2012 programme for full details.
The 2012 wildlife event programme is now available. These are special events funded by the project, so take a look at what is taking place near you. Last winter's habitat imporvement projects are coming along well. Updated photographs will be posted soon.
Members of the Market Drayton Wildlife Trust group and residents of Hinstock are preparing to plant 400 m of native species rich hedgerow. With so many hedgerows being removed in Shropshire this will be a valuable contribution to local biodiversity. The new hedges will also feature Shropshire prune-damson trees, a tasty treat for wildlife and humans alike. The entire hedge creation project is being funded by the Community Biodiversity Fund, which is open to all groups participating in the 'Your Natural Heritage' project.
Several other local habitat management actions are being funded by the project this winter, including a new pond in Llanymynech, restoration of a wetland area in the Shawbury moat site, restoration of the Ellesmere Moors and a major habitat restoration and creation project at the Marl Allotment in Whixall.
The Your Natural Heritage autumn convention took place at the Millennium Hall in Cockshutt on November 15th. The event was well attended and everyone seemed to have a good time, no doubt helped by the excellent buffet. There were displays showing the progress of all the groups participating in the project and the local practical conservation work funded through the project.
Gareth Parry gave a summary of the progress made so far. Some of the vital statistics are; Over 100 people have taken part in mapping over 3173 ha of habitat in 22 parishes. Over 100 species records have been made and 87.5 ha of potential UK Biodiversity Action Plan habitat has been recorded. The most impressive figure is that over 900 hours have been spent on local biodiversity surveys since April, so well done and thank you to everyone who has taken part.
The evening ended with a talk on how to fund practical projects to improve local biodiversity. The prospect of using Community Infrastructure Levy funding for green infrastructure projects provoked much discussion.
We hope to hold another conference next autumn and, if the current achievements of local groups is anything to go by, we may need a larger venue.
Convention posters: Baschurch, Ellesmere, Myddle, Llanymynech and Pant, Oswestry, Selattyn and Gobowen, Shawbury, St.Martin's, Sutton/Stoke upon Tern & Hinstock, Weston under Redcastle, Weston Rhyn, Whixall.
During the summer throughout the summer local biodiversity surveys began in 19 parishes across North Shropshire. The progress of the groups so far can be seen below. So far the project has generated several hundred new records for species in Shropshire, including local and national priority species. Of particular interest has been the discovery of a recolonising area of heathland in Selattyn and areas of unimproved grassland in Shawbury and Market Drayton.
Volunteer input on local biodiversity surveys up to November 2011. If you have spent any time on the project which has not been recorded please send your signed timesheet to Gareth Parry (details at bottom of page) to push up your group's total.
Progress of local biodiversity surveys across north Shropshire parishes.
Example of detailed survey progress in Gobowen, showing some previously uncharted marshy grassland (orange and purple).
Follow the progress of your local biodiversity survey
You can follow the progress of the local biodiversity groups using this online map. Just click on the pin and select the 'Your Natural Heritage' layer. More detailed maps, such as the one above, will shortly be available to view on this online map. Progress map for local biodiversity survey groups. The latest maps can available online as an interactive map.
The groups are now collecting some really fascinating and useful information about their local biodiversity. Interesting species are already being discovered.
How to take part
The Your Natural Heritage Project is taking place across North Shropshire. If you would like to take part, or would like some more information, please contact Gareth Parry - Shropshire Council Community Biodiversity Project Officer.
Telephone: 01743 252529
Natural Environment Team, Shropshire Council, Shirehall, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, SY2 6ND