Discoveries from the 2018 Wardsend Cemetery Bioblitz

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Wildlife organisations, experts and scientists came together on Saturday 11th of August to survey, identify and record the wildlife at Wardsend Cemetery, with the aim of counting as many species as they could within one day.  This year’s grand total was he grand total at the end of the day was an incredible 190 biological records, counting 131 different species of plant and animal (click here for the Bioblitz species list). Check out last year’s blog to compare our finds!

Photo credits: Kinder Kalsi

What is a biological record? A biological record documents the sighting of a plant or animal, in a place and at a time. A record includes four bits of essential information: the name of the person that  saw the species, what the species was, the location it was found in and the date it was seen – the Who, What, Where and When.

Collecting this information builds up a detailed picture of UK biodiversity. Combined, the biological records allow scientists to observe changing patterns in how different species live and behave. This is especially important for conservation as it helps scientists understand which species are in decline and need our help.

Experts and nature enthusiasts led wildlife walks throughout the day for visitors. Julie Riley and Lizzie McBride identified plants (wildflowers and trees) in the cemetery. Sally Hyslop led bug-hunting along the river and Jim Clarke showed the public how to listen out for and spot birds. Chris Firth demonstrated fly-fishing throughout the day on the River Don.  Any unknown finds were taken to the Investigation Hub for further identification.

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As well as walks, there were stalls throughout the cemetery with activities including ‘Who Dung it’ (identifying which poo belonged to which UK mammal!), bats and butterflies and Otterly Amazing, showing footage of otters and their pups found in Derbyshire. A huge thank you to all the volunteers, experts and organisations that ran these fantastic stalls including the University of Sheffield, the Friends of Wardsend Cemetery and Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust.


This event was part of DCRT’s Heritage Lottery Funded Living Heritage of the River Don project. A big thank you to all the scientists, experts and visitors that joined us on the day to record and celebrate the nature found at Wardsend Cemetery and along the River Don.

Photos by Kinder Kalsi.

MAp for Bioblitz