Catch up with what’s new with our community wildlife-recording project
If you haven’t yet caught up with the North Pennines AONB Partnership’s new wildlife project, WildWatch North Pennines, you have three chances to catch up at one of our Winter Gatherings in November and December.
The project which is running with a grant of £316,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) – has already been highly successful in getting residents and visitors alike mapping and recording the wildlife that is hopping, buzzing and flying all over the North Pennines.
Since the launch events in March 2012 the Partnership has arranged over forty training sessions about wildlife identification and recording, ranging from reptile recognition to grassland fungi recording. Over 180 individuals have been trained and over 6,500 new wildlife records have been sent to the project’s website and then passed on to the regional record centres – a massive boost to our wildlife knowledge.
The free Winter Gatherings are an opportunity to reflect on all that has been achieved in the first year of the project and to share our thoughts and plans for next year. At the end of each event there will be an opportunity to help shape the formation of one of three new wildlife groups for the North Pennines.
There is a guest speaker at each event as well as a hot buffet meal and plenty of opportunity to discuss the project with the AONB Partnership’s WildWatch Project Co-ordinator Andy Lees and Education and Events Officer Fiona Knox.
Wildwatch North Pennines Winter Gatherings (Booking is essential):
- County Durham: Wednesday November 28th, 5.30pm for 6pm – St Thomas’s Church Hall, Stanhope, Weardale (hot buffet meal at 7.15pm). Guest Speaker – Dr Phil Gates.
- Northumberland: Saturday December 1st, 5.30pm for 6pm – Allendale Village Hall, Allendale (hot buffet meal at 7.15pm). Guest Speaker – Keith Bowey
- Cumbria: Sunday December 2nd, 10:30am for 11.00pm – Alston Primary School, Alston, (hot buffet lunch at 12.30pm). Guest Speaker – John O’Reilley.
Andy said: “WildWatch is open to complete beginners or experienced wildlife watchers, and next year’s training programme will include something for everyone. We would love to see new faces as well as familiar ones and this is an ideal time to get involved as we hope to be setting up three new local wildlife groups which will help carry the project forward. The events will also be our chance to share our experience of the last eight months and to get help with planning surveys and training for the coming year.
“Our hope that people living in and visiting the North Pennines would become the eyes and the ears of the project has been realised. Thousands of new wildlife records have been shared with the regional data centres, making sure that they can be used for the purposes of conservation. Now we just want to build on this momentum and ensure that wildlife watching and recording keeps growing in the North Pennines for the foreseeable future.”
Released: 12 November 2012