Posted 13th Jul 2018 by Peter Byrne
TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham will be attending Prees Heath Common Reserve in Shropshire on Thursday 19 July, which will be part of the first independent wildlife audit of its kind to be conducted in the UK
The purpose of the study is to find out the extent to which the nation's wildlife is threatened and to meet and raise money for the local projects which work on wildlife habitat conservation.
Starting in the Scottish Highlands on 14th July, Chris will then spend a fast paced 10 days travelling across Northern Ireland, Wales and parts of England.
Prees Heath near Whitchurch is one of 50 sites that Chris will be visiting, with members of the public invited to come along to join in providing the chance for children and young people to get involved and engage with the natural world. This is being done in the hope of inspiring them to conserve and protect this as they grow up.
The first family activity will begin at 8am, providing a chance to look at colourful moths and small animals found on the reserve.
Other activities will include a bird identification walk at 10am, a grasshopper and cricket walk at midday, the chance to learn about pond life at 2pm, and a guided butterfly walk which starts at 3:30pm.
Commenting on it, Chris said: "I need to see it for myself. I need to meet the people with their fingers on the pulse of our wildlife the length and breadth of the UK, those unsung heroes, the great British naturalists who know their stuff and are making a difference. I need to get a complete first-hand experience of the natural health of the UK."
"I’m excited and terrified at the same time. I love learning and seeing new places and species, but I fear that I will also bear witness to a landscape in huge trouble. I want to spread an awareness of the successes and failures and to raise some money to help combat the latter. And to encourage people, particularly young people, to come out and see the beauty for themselves - to touch it, smell it, feel it. If just one youngster learns to love wildlife, then it will all be worthwhile. This is not a ‘last chance to see’ - this is a big chance to make a difference before it’s too late."
The UK Bioblitz team is made up of 100's of experts, species specialists, young conservationists and film makers, who are combining their expertise to highlight the plight of our wildlife and the desperate need for centralised action to be taking to ensure we keep our wildlife everywhere.
Photo courtesy of Jim Asher