Thursday, April 12, 2012 and fierce beasties...

This is Mark. He knows his plants. He came to explore the wild patch and found over 90 species of plant. This is brilliant, considering the weather wasn't great, and it is still quite early in the year. His records have been put on our community spreadsheet and will be passed on to the VCR (Vice County Recorder) that way, the records become official.

Meet Ian. He knows his "bugs". His specialist subject is bees, ants and wasps, but he knows a little about a lot of other invertebrates too.
On a dull,overcast day in April, he found 8 species of ladybird, countless flies, numerous spiders and a plethora of bees. All of which will become official records for the site when submitted to the VCR.

Now you think that would be enough for one day. But it wasn't. Not only did they volunteer to come over and help out, they stayed all day, met the neighbours and shared their knowledge with local, very interested families. GJ, aged (nearly) 4 took an instant shine to Ian as they both shook tree branches with large sticks in order to dislodge the insects living on them. GJ bounced, shook the branches and then stood completely still, mesmerised as Ian and Mark showed him what they'd caught.

This is what I mean by CBT (Community Biodiversity Training). Ordinary people coming together to value a local piece of land and learn about it, in order to protect it in the future. Good people like Mark and Ian are out there, near you just waiting for you to ask them over.

...there is a Place Plan meeting due on the 1st May to discuss larger-scale developments in Shrewsbury. It will also (hopefully) be a chance for us to air our views and share what we've discovered so far about the wildlife and community on Corner Farm Drive.
I would really like this whole experience to be positive, informed and constructive. It is very hard to remember this sometimes, so excuse me if I rant occasionally!
Can you spot the spider?

 I am learning so much about planning, communities and wildlife- it's woken me up to the wildlife on my own doorstep, so much so that even a fly in my cup of tea gets identified and added to the list! (You think I'm kidding? I rescued a Notiophilus biguttatus from my mug just an hour ago).

Would anyone like me to try and put together a toolkit for other communities in similar situations? I can't promise it will be perfect, but it might help you get started on your own "Community Biodiversity Training"! Comment to let me know what you think and what information you'd like to see.

Hope you all had a good Easter break?

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