Hengistbury Head Garden Competition

Win your own garden BioBlitz!

Alongside the 2018 Great Wildlife Expedition (at Hengistbury Head on June 9th), Hengistbury Head are offering you the chance to have a BioBlitz in your own garden!

The winner of our Great Wildlife Garden Competition will have a team of experts take over their outdoor space on June 16th.

Using detectors, hand lenses and lots of books, the team will identify bats, mammals, moths, birds and plants that live in, or visit your garden. You will be able to spend time with the team and learn the difference between the species that thrive on the work you have done to make your garden a place for nature.

The team will show you where to go to record your finds, adding these species to Bournemouth’s wildlife map. There will also be a talented local film maker who will capture the day, the activities and the excitement of identifying the plants and creatures that live in your garden.

To enter, use the entry form to tell us about your garden, your household, and any wildlife that you have seen in, or nearby, your garden. Please send your entry via email: hengistbury.head@bournemouth.gov.uk

Closing date: 30th April 2018 (Winner will be chosen by the Hengistbury Head Ranger team)

Terms and conditions apply – see poster for details.

Saving Europe’s Crickets and Grasshoppers From Extinction

A recent assessment of cricket and grasshopper species in Europe has shown that up to 25% are facing extinction. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the group Orthoptera, which includes Grasshoppers, Crickets and Bush Crickets, is the most threatened group assessed so far. An estimated 1000 species of Crickets and Grasshoppers are found in Europe. They play a vital role in grassland ecosystems; many species of birds and reptiles feed on them. The main factor contributing to decline is habitat loss due to wildfires, tourism and intensive farming. Many species are confined to small areas due to the break up of their natural habitats; for example the Crau Plain Grasshopper has been confined to the steppes on Southern France.

So what can be done in order to protect these insects? According to research from the IUCN Global Species Programme, more effort must be put into restoring the habitats of these insects in order to increase population size. This can be achieved using sustainable grassland management by employing traditional agricultural practices. It is imperative that these insects are saved from extinction, not only because they are very important biodiversity indicators, but also they are an integral part of grassland ecosystems.

Image Credit: Axel Hochkirch