Each year CBDC works with local conservation organisations to run a Bioblitz. The purpose is to record as many different species in a short period of time. These events are free and open to the public and those interested in wildlife whether you are an experienced recorder or just beginning.
Complete beginners can join in guided walks, moth trapping and family friendly activities. If you are more experienced you can come and record on your own or with fellow recorders, and, if you wish to, share you knowledge with others by helping people identify their finds or by leading activities.
Occasionally a rare species will be found at these events. Listen to expert John Read talking about the wood boring weevil he and fellow coleopterist Jim found at the Arnside Bioblitz on 29th May 2013. This was the first time this nationally notable beetle has been found in the south Cumbria/north Lancashire area.
Rusland Horizons – Bowkerstead Farm & Campsite
This was not a typical Bioblitz site with only 22 species records before the event. By the end we had 460 species on the list.
• A large orange Ichneumon fly Opheltes glaucopterus – the first time it had been found in Cumbria.
• 3 rare butterflies: Brimstone, Small Heath and the Pearl-bordered Fritillary.
• 2 records of the nationally rare Tabanus sudeticus – the dark giant horsefly. With a body length of 2.5 cm it is the heaviest fly in Europe and has a nasty bite.
• 9 protected and rare species of moths. The Ghost Moth and Pinion-streaked Snout have only been seen a couple of times before in the area.
• The once very common Garden Tiger moth is now a priority species on the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.
• Gyrinus natator is a whirlygig beetle that has become extinct in parts of the UK and is on the UK Red List for endangered species.
• Signs and tracks of Otters, Squirrels, Roe deer, moles, 2 species of shrew.
• Great footage of a badger on the camera trap.
• Adder and a dead grass snake, a slow worm and common lizard – all of which are protected in the UK as their numbers are declining.
Eycott is a new Cumbria Wildlife Trust (CWT) Nature Reserve. The weather on the day was wet and windy – not the best for spotting wildlife. However, members of the public, CWT staff and volunteers and local recorders collected 275 records and identified 125 different species bringing the total list for the site to 760.
The 2015 Bioblitz was held at the RSPB reserve Campfield Marsh. CBDC partnered with the Solway Firth Partnership and RSPB to organise another successful day.
The day was supported by 11 recorders who collected 798 records between them recording 412 species. The wetland site tested our botany recorders’ knowledge of sedges and rushes and the Coleopterists collected several beetles requiring microscopic identification.