Who is joining in this month’s Bio Blitz and why?

Sicily Fiennes – Masters Research student in Biodiversity Management, takes a rest on a hike.

Our beautiful campus is incredibly rich in species, so its the ideal location for a ‘Bio Blitz’. It offers vast greenspaces, a concentration of ecological specialists and close proximity to a city. This means expert knowledge, biodiversity, and plenty of local people to participate! One of them, Sicily Fiennes, originally a Londoner now studying a Masters in Biodiversity Management at the school, shares why she’s looking forward to getting her hands dirty.

‘Growing up in London, it is easy to miss nature, though I mean the term loosely, but in the best possible way. What I love about nature is that it can be anything, let us take the example of the forget-me-not flower. My whole childhood I thought it was the most beautiful flower and I would always collect a few to put in a glass at home yet turns out it is considered a weed by most people. We need to embrace all of nature, because it is all we have, weeds and all.

I went on my first ‘bird walk’ at university, when I was already 19 years old. I knew vaguely of the bird diversity in the UK and appreciated the slivers of birdsong that could be heard over traffic, but I never really saw or heard them. Fast forward to this bird walk and I saw my first woodpecker, right in the middle of Russell Square in the middle of London. I even saw a goldcrest, one of the UK’s smallest birds. But I also still have a lot to learn, there are so many amazing species in the UK – for me, I am looking forward to learning how to survey and record more plant species. Maybe even get into some foraging…

So come along to the BioBlitz, you might be surprised what you find! Something like this upcoming event is your perfect opportunity to see some more of the natural world around us. I hope to see you there!’

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!


Sicily Fiennes is a Masters Research student in Biodiversity Management at SAC. Find out about our postgraduate programmes here and here for undergraduate.



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