It’s, it’s a BioBlitz ... at Brancaster

Children explore the marsh & creeks of Brancaster Harbour on a Coastal Safari led by National Trust learning officer Emily Chittenden. ENGANL00120130708170419
Children explore the marsh & creeks of Brancaster Harbour on a Coastal Safari led by National Trust learning officer Emily Chittenden. ENGANL00120130708170419

The National Trust team at Brancaster is hosting an exciting 15 hour long BioBlitz to record coastal wildlife at the site.

The outdoor event is one of 25 interactive wildlife surveys happening across NT coastal sites on Monday, July 20. For 15 hours, the charity’s wildlife experts will work closely with staff, volunteers and the public to discover and record as many animals and plants as possible.

This much loved stretch of coastline attracts thousands of visitors every year to its shores, many of who visit because of the fantastic wildlife found there.

All discoveries will be recorded and then submitted to local wildlife record centres and the National Biodiversity Network to help understand how wildlife along the coast is changing and how best to protect it. The NT will also use the findings to determine the conservation management needs of Brancaster Estate.

David Bullock, head of nature conservation for the NT, said: “We know that people visit Trust properties on the coast because they are so beautiful. But we also know that many would like to get under the skin of what is there; the special plants and animals that live there.

“Our coastal BioBlitzes offer a unique opportunity for experts to tell us more about the wildlife that is on our coasts, and for visitors to learn more about what is in the sand dunes, salt marshes and mud, and what is flying around at night on our coasts.”

Volunteers with wildlife knowledge can help out with the event from leading on identifying species to talking to visitors about the work that’s taking place.

Visitors are also invited to join in with the fun by taking part in the free activities available on the day.

Keith Miller, coastal ranger for the Brancaster Estate said: “We know there is lots of fantastic wildlife to be found on this stretch of the Norfolk coast but we don’t have actual documented records. It’ll be great to find out what we have here but also to have the general public help us to do so.”

The focus of the BioBlitzes on coastal wildlife is part of the conservation charity’s celebrations of the coastline. 50 years ago the Trust launched its Neptune Coastal Campaign [3] which has since raised £65 million to help look after the English, Welsh and Northern Irish coastline.

A number of events as well as significant conservation work are taking place at sites along the 775 miles of coastline that the NT looks after, including the Big Beach Picnic taking place at Brancaster beach on July 4.

To find out more about how to take part in the BioBlitz go to www.nationaltrust.org.uk/brancaster-estate or call 01263 740241.