What we do

Fellfoot Forward Citizen science

Citizen science

During our consultation period, local communities shared with us a desire to better know and understand local wildlife habitats and species, and for this knowledge to lead to positive action for local wildlife.

We know, from our work on North Pennines AONB Partnership projects such as Wildwatch and Cold-blooded and Spineless, that there is a great deal of interest from local residents and visitors in our North Pennines wildlife. Feedback from these projects, and the number of records that they have generated, have demonstrated to us the importance people attach to their wildlife and the reward that they get from learning new skills. Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre (CBDC) identified that the Fellfoot Forward area lacks species records. Training workshops and a promotion of species recording and data transfer to the Local Records Centre will enable them to build up a more accurate dataset of species present in the scheme area.

During the scheme we will run a series of identification and survey training workshops to increase the skills and confidence of the public in wildlife identification and recording. These workshops will focus on specific groups of species, and will vary in length from single afternoons, to a series of days, depending on the complexity of the species group and the depth of training involved. Through these newly acquired skills, the local community will feel confident in contributing records of species occurrence across a range of taxa that will greatly enhance the dataset held by CBDC. These records will contribute to the body of knowledge of the biodiversity of the Fellfoot Forward area and will help to map the changes that are occurring as a result of climate change.

By linking with young adults engaged with A Focus on Nature will also help to ensure that the next generation are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to continue the collection of data in the years to come. A Focus On Nature is an organisation that co-ordinates opportunities for young adults to experience and study the natural world with specialists in their field. Having developed skills in species and habitat identification, communities will be better equipped to conserve and protect their natural heritage.

The scheme has purchased some trail cameras which are available for loan by the Fellfoot Forward community. In our February 2021 local naturalist, Guy Broome, and Cumbria County Mammal Recorder, John Martin, shared their knowledge and experience in setting up cameras, using fieldcraft skills, downloading and storing images, how to identify species, and recording findings for science and county wildlife records. Watch the film of highlights of what you might find and see in the Fellfoot Forward area (filmed at an existing site), as well as Guy Broome’s advice on setting up your camera.

Guy Broome and Fellfoot Forward trainee, Lizzy Benn, led a moth morning in September in which participants were able to see the moths inside the trap and begin to learn how to recognise species, and why we are recording moths in the Fellfoot Forward LPS area. Read more.

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