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News - August 2010 - Making wildlife count

A new wildlife monitoring group had its first session at Paxton Pits Nature Reserve on Tuesday 3 August.
The group, run by the Friends of Paxton Pits Nature Reserve and supported by Huntingdonshire District Council's Countryside Services, has been set up to help record and survey the huge variety of wildlife on the reserve.

On the first session the group used sweep nets in the long grassland to find grasshoppers, long winged coneheads, leaf hoppers, common blue butterflies and many other invertebrates. The volunteers also identified the wildflowers in the meadow and looked at ways of surveying the mammals on the reserve.

Councillor Hyams, Executive Councillor for Operational and Countryside Services said: "This brand new wildlife monitoring group is made up of volunteers who are interested in learning about different groups of animals and plants. The first session was a good start and everyone enjoyed themselves too. It is great to see people getting involved in learning new skills from each other and contributing valuable information to Paxton Pits at the same time. As the reserve expands in the future, wildlife monitoring will be particularly useful to help with the management of the site."

A full programme of surveying sessions is planned so that the group can build up a comprehensive picture of the wildlife present on the reserve. The group is looking for more volunteers, not only for fieldwork, but also to help with putting the survey results into a computer.

To find out more contact Mike Thomas on telephone 01480 387749 or email
Mammal expert John Green explains how to detect harvest mice to the new wildife survey group.

The new wildlife survey group gets close-up with wildflowers.