As the seasons shift once again and autumn really sets in, so too comes the end of another fantastic year of Festival of Nature events!
2015 has seen the Festival of Nature team bring together a whole host of different organisations, groups and charities as well as thousands of families and school children at our Bristol and Bath festivals in June, which were again a huge success and seem to only get bigger and better every year!
But as usual the festival didn’t stop there, as we rolled out our wildlife identification station at an array of amazing green spaces around Bristol. We held 15 separate public events bringing people together with ‘Friends of’ groups, naturalists and experts to celebrate nature in their local green spaces, parks and nature reserves. There were some great turn-outs , and seeing so many smiling and inspired people, enjoying and learning about what their local green space has to offer, makes it all worthwhile for us!
Throughout the year we were surprised and delighted to find such a wealth of wildlife inhabiting the green spaces we visited. This year we recorded over a whopping 1000 different species at our outreach events alone! Let’s hope to record even more next year! Everything from a lime hawk moth caterpillar at Dame Emily Park in Bedminster, digger wasps at Horfield Common, a 24 spot ladybird at Lamplighter’s marsh to an emperor dragonfly laying her eggs at Callington Road Nature Reserve and dippers and kingfishers at Oldbury Court, to name but a few
We helped people tune in to the nature on their doorstep and take notice of the wildlife that calls Bristol’s parks and reserves home, which to many people are everyday places that they often pass through without a second thought. Thanks to the help from invertebrate experts Tony Smith and Mark Pajak, we were also able to show people up close, the overwhelming numbers of tiny insects and spiders that could easily go unnoticed, turning children and parents alike into keen bug hunters!
A massive thank you goes out to all the various organisations, activity providers, friends of groups, local schools, charities, and community groups that we worked with to make the events happen and who helped to make them such a success. Also not forgetting our wonderful team of volunteers whose invaluable input we simply couldn’t do without!
Another big thank you is, of course, to the dedicated naturalists and experts that have given so much of their time to the Festival, without which we wouldn’t have the incredible depth of knowledge and species records which are such a vital contribution to local wildlife conservation.
So that’s it for the Festival of Nature for now – but not for long! We’ll be back in force next year with loads more in store for 2016. We hope to see you there!