Today is officially the most depressing day of the year, so it is a good time to get outside! If you feel like getting out and about and learning some new ID skills at the same time, then OPAL is running two sessions over the next couple of weeks just so you can do this! Spaces are limited so email me to book a place: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winter woodland surveys and ID workshops:
Wednesday 30th January 1-4pm – Soil invertebrate ID & surveys: We’ll be carrying out the national OPAL Soil and Earthworm Survey and doing some deadwood surveys. There are 26 species of earthworm in Britain, so plenty to find out about! We’ll also cover some deadwood invertebrate ID.
Wednesday 6th February 1-4pm – Winter plant ID workshop, Ham Woods: We’ll be doing a mix of ID for winter trees/twigs, lower plants (ferns and mosses) and herbaceous species. We will tie this in with a survey to record the distribution of ancient woodland plants and invasive species. This will be helping with some preliminary data collection for a research project at Ham Woods, to help the local ‘Friends of Ham Woods’ community group assess the impacts of different management regimes on woodland ground flora. We will be looking for volunteers to help with the surveys for this work in the future, so if you are interested in this then come along to this session.
Natural History Competition for Schools:
OPAL is also running a competition for local schools to encourage them to explore their local environment, and we need some enthusiastic volunteers to help! Primary and Secondary schools are being encouraged to enter any projects they have worked on to do with local wildlife and nature (e.g. creating or restoring a habitat, monitoring biodiversity at their school). They will be invited to an exhibition at the University in May, to showcase their project to University scientists. We want to make this a great day for all the schools that come along, and will be running activities in Drake’s Place Gardens on campus and in Labplus. Volunteers will be needed to accompany school groups around the activities, to engage with the children/young people, and help inspire them about science and nature. Drop me an email if you'd like to help out.