WWF urges families to join 'garden bioblitz' this weekend
The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) has invited UK families to get involved in a nationwide 'garden bioblitz' this weekend to help scientists monitor biodiversity.
Starting on Friday 22 May – the International Day for Biological Diversity – the bioblitz will see families help identify and record as many species as possible using the Seek app by iNaturalist.
This can be done from a garden, allotment, local green space, or even a window box, helping measure everything from birds and insects, to plants, flowers and fungi using the app's artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
The data will allow scientists to build a picture of biodiversity trends, with the recordings also shared on social media and with the wider Seek community.
This comes as the spring weather transforms outdoor spaces, with many native plants and wildlife returning to gardens, parks and woodlands as COVID-19 lockdown measures are eased.
“New technologies such as the Seek app mean we can all do our bit to help scientists monitor the health of our precious natural world,” said WWF education manager Matt Larsen-Daw. “By doing so, we can also unlock the fascinating mysteries of the world of wildlife on our doorsteps.”
Kick-starting the virtual, nationwide event this Friday will be zoologist and WWF ambassador, Sophie Pavelle – an explorer whose conservation work is rooted in UK nature.
She will be sharing her own garden bioblitz this Friday at 11am on Facebook, along with an introduction to why protecting biodiversity is so important.
Pavelle said: “There’s never been a more important time to cherish the natural world, and an easy place to start is in our homes and local communities.
“A garden bioblitz is a great way for families to reconnect with nature and explore what’s buzzing, growing and foraging right on their doorstep. Not only is it lots of fun, but it will also give WWF a critical snapshot of British biodiversity. I look forward to seeing what treasures are found.”
To join WWF’s garden bioblitz from Friday 22 May, download the Seek app by iNaturalist for free here.
You can find out more about WWF’s Learn to Love Nature educational initiative, which provides free live-learning events, activities and resources for students, teachers and families to use as part of remote schooling, here.
Image credit: Ola Jennersten
Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM