National BioBlitz Network
Wildlife recording in the UK is a triumph of public contribution to our collective knowledge of the natural world. Devoted volunteers and enthusiasts generate vast databanks supporting environmental policy, research and practice with baseline data for thousands of native and non-native UK species. However, as threats to UK wildlife mount and the need to grow the evidence base for effective conservation becomes increasingly dire, are we currently harnessing the full potential of public participation in environmental recording? One way that many groups are trying to broaden participation and showcase the amazing value of biodiversity data is BioBlitz.
WHAT IS A BIOBLITZ?
‘Bio’ means ‘life’ and ‘Blitz’ means ‘to do something quickly and intensively’. Together they make ‘BioBlitz’, a collaborative race against the clock to discover as many species of plants, animals and fungi as possible, within a set location, over a defined time period (usually 24 hours).
It is an informal and fun way to create a snapshot of the variety of life that can be found in an area. Bringing scientists, students and members of the public together, it provides an opportunity for participants to learn together and share their expertise and enthusiasm for nature. This is a great way of breaking down barriers to engagement with science and raising awareness of the role of biological recording, upskilling wildlife enthusiasts whilst casting the net wider to introduce new audiences.
THE NATIONAL BIOBLITZ NETWORK
Since 2010, BioBlitz events have become an increasingly popular format for engaging the public in conducting local, intensive biological surveys. Having discovered and trialled the format (originating in the U.S.A.) in 2009, the Natural History Consortium worked with partners, such as the Natural History Museum and the International Year of Biodiversity Secretariat, to facilitate networking between interested groups, the media, volunteers and event organisers for a national programme of 36 BioBlitz events across 2010.
The Natural History Consortium (NHC) has been heavily involved in developing the format with local event deliverers and strategic partners ever since, coordinating the National BioBlitz Network since 2010 and co-chairing the European Working Group on BioBlitz since 2017. Each year between 50 and 80 BioBlitz events receive support from the network. As a collective, we continue to build a strong community of practice around BioBlitz and its derivative formats, providing advocacy, conducting research into the outcomes and developing new resources for the sector.
On this website you can explore a calendar of UK BioBlitz events, archives from past conferences and workshops discussing BioBlitz and related formats, free downloadable toolkits and resources for event organisers.
If you’d like to get in touch about BioBlitz and related formats for engaging people with biological recording feel free to give us a call on 0117 925 3931 or drop an email to email@example.com