Between 27-30 April 2018 Bristol and Bath competed with 65 cities on five continents to show the world how amazing our region is for people and nature. Together we embarked on an epic contest: to discover and record as much wildlife as possible over 4 days. Observations counted towards local, national and international efforts to learn about and protect our regions’ amazing wildlife.
Despite less than ideal weather conditions we got off to a flying start, with enthusiastic volunteers, school groups, businesses and families downloading the free iNaturalist app and uploading their wildlife sightings. Team Plant took an early lead and stunning displays of spring flowers went on to dominate the records as the animal life preferred to tuck themselves away from the drizzle until the sun finally came out on Monday.
As one of the smallest competing regions we had our work cut out for us against much bigger, wildlife rich cities like Hong Kong and San Francisco but found that we could hold our own in the increasingly hard fought battle around the top 15 to take on Stateside giants like Cleveland, St Louis and Chicago.
Hundreds of people took part in City Nature Challenge across the region with some amazing wildlife encounters reported. From a Sparrowhawk swooping after Starlings at Severn Beach to tracking bats around Eastville Park; From BioBlitzing at Chew Valley Lake to rooting around for fungi in Bathhampton, it’s been an amazing experience! Thanks for joining us!
After some colossal efforts and a series of inspiring public and private events we racked up an impressive 9,536 observations landing us in 13th place in the world, far outstripping our local rivals in London (we love you really!) and landing the top spot in Europe. Well done everyone!!
Over 16 thousand people took part across the world contributing an astonishing 425,000 wildlife observations to local and global datasets that will go to help protect and manage our urban wildlife and green spaces.
We hope you will come back to celebrate with us at the 15th annual Festival of Nature landing in Green Park, Bath for our free family festival and (more grown up) pop up wildlife party on Saturday 2nd June, before we sail back down river to Bristol for the iconic, two-day free festival on Bristol Harbourside on 9th & 10th June. Find more details at www.festivalofnature.org.uk.