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Getting a worm’s eye view of natural world
Nicola Bridge with an earthworm she found in South Park during an experiment to entice them out of the ground with bongo drums. Pictures: OX52708 Jon Lewis
ALL creatures great and small were unearthed during a ‘BioBlitz’ in east Oxford.
Science Oxford brought together nature lovers of all ages for a special 24-hour survey of wildlife in a square kilometre of open spaces, gardens, rivers and woods between Cowley Road, South Park and the River Cherwell.
It was the world’s first urban BioBlitz, and aimed to discover and record all of the flora, forna and wildlife living in the area of the city.
Julie Thomas, from Benson, visited the event with her niece Teri Coupar and nephew Ben Coupar, both from Wallingford.
Teri, eight, found a long-jawed orb spider in Angel and Greyhound Meadow on Saturday.
Ms Thomas said: “They both loved it, it was just a shame about the weather.
“Teri in particular is really into all wildlife, from bugs right up to lions.
“She found a ladybird that was a species that they hadn’t found that day, so that was really exciting.”
Previous UK BioBlitzes have focused on nature reserves run by organisations such as the Wildlife Trusts or the National Trust but this is the first time that such an event has been staged in an urban residential environment.
The data will be sent to Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre so that the findings are available for anyone studying the area in the future.
Wildlife experts from the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust were on hand to demonstrate pond dipping, bug-hunting and tree trails, and fun activities were also held at Science Oxford over the weekend.
They included a host of fun science games.
Six-year-old Olivia Clark, from Headington, was enjoying the games with godmother Liza Aldridge from Cowley.
Ms Aldridge said: “We found out about the day through school and thought we would come along.”