Ecological recording and skills sharing day

Saturday 30th June 2018

Friends of Fineshade paired up with the WILDside project, based in Northamptonshire's Biological Records Centre to organise an unusual event. Expert biological recorders from across the East Midlands were invited to spend a day surveying in Fineshade - an event that is sometimes called a Bio-blitz. What made the Fineshade day different was that we also invited keen younger naturalists from Rutland Water's Wild Horizons group, giving them an opportunity to shadow the experts and learn about biological recording. 

The team started with the open area and pond in front ot the Wildlife Hide

Using a sweep net to catch Grasshoppers 

Kevin Rowley (far left) specialises in aquatic invertebrates.

Looking just in two ponds he found 53 species that had never been recorded in Fineshade before.  There are many more ponds that remain unsurveyed in the wood - Kev says he'll be back!

Steve Lane (above) and Andy Brown recorded  an amazing 212 species on the day including 102 types of beetle and 55 bugs.  7 of these were nationally scarce species

Graham Warnes (aquatic invertebrates) and John Showers (flies) at work with keen helpers from Wild Horizons

WILDside's Ryan Clark is a bee specialist but is an all-round naturalist . He found 11 new Fineshade species - plants and insects

David Needham and Phil Rudkin concentrated particularly for orthoptera and butterflies 

In the afternoon most of the team moved to a shaded area where a stream and another pond provided a completely different set of species

Just part of the team - some people were still out recording!

What were the outcomes?

At least 230 species, previously unrecorded in Fineshade were found. At the time of writing there are still some records that need confirmation.

But also, two generations of naturalists came to work together, enjoyed each other's company and learned a lot from each other.

A thoroughly good day for Fineshade. Thanks to all those who participated and to Phil Rudkin for many of the photos.

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