Nature experts and enthusiasts alike gathered at the Hidden Heritage Secret Streams Bioblitz this May, with the aim to count all the birds, bugs and beasties they could find on the riverside in just one day. The Bioblitz took place on an important wildlife site in Chesterfield, rarely opened to the general public.
After a day of exploring, the watermeadows were found to be home to 104 different species. 23 different species of bird were heard or spotted, with finds including green woodpecker, buzzard and a very tuneful skylark. Footprints, skulls and burrows also revealed signs of mammals, including roe deer, fox and hare. 62 different invertebrates were discovered, including fascinating insect eggs and Scentless Plant Bugs, pictured below.
The blanket of wildflowers across the site included yellow water-lily, colts-foot and bird’s foot trefoil. Invasive, non-native species were also recorded, such as Giant hogweed and Himalayan balsam.
During the event, DCRT’s director Ed Shaw, led a guided walk across the site to explain plans for the restoration and regeneration of the river Rother.
Sara Pexioto, from the University of Sheffield, demonstrated how new technology in DNA studies can help us identify water-dwelling wildlife. Sara said “All living organisms leave traces of DNA in their surrounding environments, reflecting their current or past presence. Using environmental samples (eg. water or soil) and genetic tools we can now detect any living organism more efficiently”
Thank you to all the volunteers and recorders that came down to survey the site. If you would like to see the full species list please click here: River rother Bioblitz results.