This month the school are hosting a ‘Bio Blitz’ on campus, when a variety of specialist surveys will take place throughout the day, with experts on hand to explain how each species’ data is collected, facts about their behaviour/natural habitats and how they are protected. Our campus is heaving with species! Here, Jacob Coles, Postgraduate Researcher SAC shares his excitement for the upcoming event and shares why he feels it is significant.
‘Ever since I first heard of the Bioblitz, I thought it was a brilliant idea, in my view any efforts to try and carry out any biodiversity recording is a great thing. My past few summers have been spent back in Somerset dealing with Ash Dieback, a fungal disease almost exclusively fatal to the European Ash. To the passive observer the woodlands would look mostly healthy, but to someone who’s actively searching the area it’s a totally different story. It’s not a nice feeling, walking into a wood for the first time with a chainsaw and seeing a woodland where almost every tree has been turned from a lovely, springy, endlessly versatile timber, to one that shatters when it hits the ground and is dangerous to be left standing. Woodlands like these will eventually have to be cleared of all ash before replanting with other timber species like Beech and Hornbeam.
Projects like the Bioblitz can start to get everyone truly looking at their woodlands and understand their health. This is something mirrored in my own research, where a species, once found across Kent, has now become almost extinct in the county, with just one flowering plant found in the whole county in 2019. Declining by about 80% across its British range and still being seldom seen in any research and seemingly continuing to decline.’
The BioBlitz will be taking place on Saturday 29th May from 8am-9.30pm.
Find out more information and sign up to one of our activities here!
Our postgraduate programmes cover a broad range of topics in social and biological anthropology, ethnobiology, and biodiversity conservation, find out more here.