Ivybridge Town Council’s first ever Bio-blitz event was held at Filham Park on 12th August. The main focus of the event was to engage the local community with nature, helping to connect our local community with our natural spaces and also carrying out some citizen science. We started the Bio-blitz the evening before with the invaluable help of the Devon Moths Group (www.devonmoths.org.uk). I joined three of their members setting out 4 moth traps the night before the event, 3 traps from the Devon Moth Group and 1 as part of the Moth to a Flame art event. After a night of collecting moths for the reveal at 8am, we were able to identify 74 different species of moth. The Moth Reveal was also a great success, with a number of people getting up early to see the moths and talk to Dave and Karen from the Moths Group.
During the day, in spite of the rain, we had a number of popular activities including pond dipping and nature identify walks. The walks involved looking at trees, butterflies, birds and a bee talk. Many thanks to our experts, all of whom volunteered their time for free. Thanks to Alan, Richard, Tony, Kim and Michael for leading these walk and talks and giving up your time for the local community.
The Moth to a Flame activity proved very popular (www.mothstoaflame.art). Nearly 50 plastic moths cut out of milk cartons were made and are now heading to COP26 (www.ukcop26.org) as part of a larger art installation. Many thanks to Catherine for taking so much time and effort to run this activity and getting all the supplies together. Ivybridge Bloomers attended the event with a great number of activities, from planting, seed bombs, identity sheets and nature trail, many thanks to Shirley, Morgana and Sara. Other activities included a great story teller, leading families around the park, forest immersion and foraging walks, hedgehog awareness and a food stall selling delicious cakes, locally sourced sausages and vegan options. Many thanks to everyone involved in these activities.
We had a last minute kind offer from two local ecologists, Mel and Kate, to run our evening bat walk. We had a fantastic turnout of 70 people and we managed to ‘see’ and ‘hear’ 5 different species of bat. Everyone had a great evening, and some of the children who attended were heard to say it was so much better than sitting in front of the tv all night!
I’ve not been able to make a final list of species logged for the day yet, but a rough estimate, including bats and moths is nearly 300. Including the numbers attending the bat walk we had around 300 people attend the event, so it shows that the great British weather cannot stop Ivybridge’s hardy folk getting out and enjoying nature.
Thanks you – I’ve listed some names above that helped during the day, but a special thank you to Morgana for all the time and help planning the event, to our volunteers – Clare, Mark, Hattie for planning and helping on the day, to our experts, to our activities Sara, Emma and Myrtle. Also a big thank you to Cllrs Jones, Abbott, Austin and Pringle, who made a kind donation to help run the day, Cllr Jones also kindly made a donation for the Ring and Ride. Thank you to Ring and Ride for providing the bus service and Ivybridge Cricket Club, for supporting the day. Lastly, thank you to you the public for coming along and for all the Town Hall Staff for helping me plan and deliver this day. We will start planning next year’s event shortly.
Andrew – Ivybridge Town Council Parks Ranger