Full City Nature Challenge programme announced

Families can take party in free activities across the region as part of international competition

With just three weeks to go until the region’s first City Nature Challenge kicks off, the full programme of events and activities in Bristol and Bath has now been announced.

Running from 27-30 April, the epic four-day challenge will give nature lovers in the region the chance to take part in free activities including bug hunts, bat walks and nature spotting trails as part of an international race to discover and record as much wildlife as possible.

Residents across Bristol, Bath and the surrounding areas are needed to help showcase as much of the area’s flora and fauna as possible as they go head-to-head with 64 cities on five different continents including Plymouth and London in the UK. There are two prizes up for grabs: one for the greatest number of species found and the other for the largest number of people taking part in a city.

From spotting bugs and birds to amphibians and fungi, families can embark on a wildlife spotting spree in the garden or local park to snap photos of creatures and record findings on the iNaturalist app.

Residents can also take part in free events across the region, including:

  • Friday 27 April, 9.30am – 12.30pm: Help Bristol Ornithological Club record the surprising variety of birdlife in the city on a walk around the Bristol Docks and Castle Park. Families might even spot urban Peregrine Falcons – the fastest creatures on the planet!
  • Friday 27 April, 3pm – 5pm: Join Bristol Avon River Trust as they get up close to invertebrate species in the River Trym to test how healthy the river is.
  • Friday 27 April, Saturday 28 April and Sunday 29 April, 8pm -10pm: Take part in a walk at Eastville Lake to spot bat species with Avon Bat Group. Find out more about the creatures and discover how to use a bat detector to listen to bat echolocation calls.
  • Saturday 28 April, 11am-12pm and 1pm-2pm: Nature detectives are needed to help Avon Wildlife Trust and Midsomer Norton Town Council in a Wildlife Identification Walk. Learn how to identify wild flowers, plants and animals and add native species to the iNaturalist app.
  • Sunday 29 April, 12.30pm – 3pm: Enjoy a spectacular walk along the Bath Skyline and photograph fascinating fauna and flora to add to the iNaturalist app. Finish off the day at the Ring O’Bells for a well-earned rest and refreshments.
  • Monday 30 April, 4pm-6pm: Explore 37 acres of wild flower meadows, wildlife ponds, woodland plus a trip into the new exciting new Treehouse during a guided walk around Bath City Farm. Families can also explore the farm anytime over the week to record findings on the iNaturalist app.

There are also plenty of BioBlitz events taking place in various locations over the weekend including: The Community Farm, Newbridge Slopes, Keynsham Memorial Park and Manor Road Community Woodland.

Booking is essential for most activities. For further information on how to book please visit: http://www.bnhc.org.uk/festival-of-nature/events-and-hubs/

Wildlife enthusiasts can join the region’s Survey Teams. The teams will be tasked with the challenge of gathering most of the species data and showcasing Bristol’s and Bath’s critters. For more information on how to join the team please visit: http://www.bnhc.org.uk/festival-of-nature/survey-team/

Residents can access more information and collect free resources by dropping into We The Curious in Bristol or Bath Central Library over the weekend.

All data collected through the app will contribute to local, national and international decisions about conservation, parks and wildlife management. Follow the City Nature Challenge on Twitter at @FestofNature, on Facebook at @festofnature and on Instagram at @festofnature