In August we held Kirrie’s very first BioBlitz weekend. Find out how we got on!

Sustainable Kirrie’s Biodiversity group had been thinking about running a BioBlitz for a while but unfortunately the Covid pandemic scuppered any plans until Spring 2022.  At that point, the volunteers felt it was possible to start planning an in-person event. Led by BioBlitz Coordinator, Ann, a sub-group was formed, made up of other volunteers who were interested in making this happen and they started rolling up their sleeves!

The plan was to hold a BioBlitz that covered the twin aims of counting as many species groups as possible whilst involving local people in a variety of ways. We brought together numerous local nature experts and enthusiasts and planned a weekend of guided nature walks and counts.  A Nature Hub in the Northmuir Hall was also organised with a variety of family-friendly activities and provided coffee and refreshments to experts and volunteers.

The guided walks and counts were held in multiple locations across Kirrie from Kirrie Hill, Kate’s Wood and The Quarry, to Westmuir Community Woodland, The Den and even some back gardens! They covered birds, fungi, plants, trees, amphibians & reptiles, water mini-beasts, insects, swifts, bats and moths. At the Nature Hub, members of the public were able to make bird & bug boxes, dissect owl pellets, view our nature art mini-exhibition, and get involved in different nature-themed crafts. Angus Rangers also provided information films about wildlife in the local area.

We were delighted to have input from RSPB Assistant Warden Ami Kirkbright who ran a kick-sampling session in The Den, and the Buglife B-Lines project worker and FIT Count trainers Claire Pumfrey and Melissa Shaw, who ran FIT count training and carried out some intensive surveying at our community garden. Volunteers from Scottish Wildlife Trust also came along to support the Nature Hub. The Nature Hub provided an excellent networking opportunity for walk leaders and experts, and the soup and cake was greatly appreciated!

Over 100 people joined the guided walks and counts over the weekend as well as 50 children from Northmuir Primary School. All the data that was collected was gathered up and inputted into iRecord by our staff and volunteers; this will not only help us create a Kirrie Nature Report in early 2023, but it also contributes towards research and decision making at a national level.

What Next?

The enthusiasts and experts loved being involved in the weekend and are already planning further counts to be carried out next year at different times to explore what life there is around Kirrie during other seasons.  We are also hoping to widen our species lists counted, so are hoping to contact other experts; please get in touch if you can help. Our hope is that as a group, we can gain greater knowledge about the nature of our town and the wider area through this process. We can then use this knowledge to take action to improve opportunities for nature in the town, expand local habitats and inspire local people to do what they can for nature.

Keep your eyes peeled for news of our BioBlitz Report in early 2023!

Fancy running your own BioBlitz?

Are you interested in running a BioBlitz in your local area? We’d love to help! Contact us for advice on how to get started now!