With seventy visitors from Chester and many local residents joining in, it was a busy day at the Overwater Marina yesterday as wildlife experts showed the less expert just what lurks in the bushes, fields and trees.
It was a unique occasion bringing together many of Cheshire's key ecologists and conservationists for a totally 'wild' recording session. The organisers were Count Me In! which is a joint project run by RECORD* and Chester Zoo.
Guided tours around the nearby fields were organised with expert introductions to a spectacular wild flower meadow. It was then on to the art of using a beating tray. This consists of a pale coloured cloth that is stretched out using a frame. The frame is then held under a tree or shrub and the foliage is shaken or beaten with a stick. Invertebrates fall from the foliage and land on the cloth where they can then be examined.
Angus and Janet Maughan of Overwater were on hand to explain the Countryside Stewardship scheme they are heavily involved in. The tour visited a field planted with millet, quinoa, kale and barley which will provide seed for small birds during the difficult months of February and March. They have three fields planted like this on their farm.
A full report will follow with details of the many species spotted during the Recordathon. In the meantime, after a very enjoyable few hours, your Audlem Online reporter now knows more about ladybirds than he ever expected to learn in a lifetime!
*RECORD deals with all data for Cheshire's wildlife, biodiversity, nature, county-wide habitats and wildlife sites as well as Cheshire geology, geomorphology and geodiversity. RECORD is a charity and a non-profit making organisation.
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