For those spending the summer in St Andrews, the St Andrews BioBlitz is a great excuse to escape ongoing dissertations and research to enjoy a bit of nature. Taking place on 13th-14th June at East Sands, the BioBlitz involves recording as many plant and animal species as possible within 24 hours.
Some of the day’s plans include visits to rock pools, bird and wild flower walks, collecting insects and moths, a seashell safari, sampling plants and lichens, beach games and craft activities. So whether you’re interested in biology or wildlife, or simply want to enjoy a (hopefully) sunny day in the nature, the BioBlitz has plenty to offer. And it’s all for a good cause too. As one of the organisers, Dr. Alfredo Ojanguren, told us, “The information collected will be publicly available and used by scientists from the Centre for Biological Diversity and elsewhere to further understand patterns of distribution and abundances of UK biodiversity.”
And if you’re interested in finding out more about St Andrews’ wildlife, experts and volunteers will be on hand to answer any questions. The Scottish Oceans Institute will also be opening its doors for participants to help sort and identify samples. The event, organised by the University of St Andrews and funded by the British Ecological Society will bring together organisations such as the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), the Marine Biological Association of the UK (MBA), the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Bug Life as well as local groups including Fife Nature Records Centre and Transition University of St Andrews. All will have information stands and provide activities throughout the event.
Jack Sewell of the Marine Biological Association said, “This is a great opportunity to learn about and contribute to scientific research as well as being aware of the rich biodiversity that surround us in our everyday lives”.
This certainly sounds appealing – who wouldn’t like enjoying some relaxing time in the nature and also helping science advance. So give it a go – especially as the organisers promise two great days in the outdoors.
If you’re interested, you can find out more on the BioBlitz Facebook page or by emailing bioblitz @st-andrews.ac.uk.
Photography courtesy of Tom Ashton & BioBlitz St Andrews