Recording wildlife, fauna, and habitats to inform future planning.
Introducing a routine of recording the bio-diversity around the reservoir will help us know exactly what we have 'on our patch'. This data will be used to protect wildlife and habitats, as well as make informed decisions on habitat development.
Chairperson, Kevin Stych, met with Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust over the last quarter, to see what advice and help they may be able to give in terms of improving and developing habitats. The big take away from the meeting was that we need to collect regular data on the bio-diversity of the reservoir's green spaces before they, or we, should do anything else. This, to make sure we don't disrupt an important habitat that is currently there.
Luckily, Eco-records, have been collecting information for many decades and over the last year we have been collecting as much bio-diversity data on the reservoir as possible from sources such as Eco-record. It's clear that recording is irregular, and that mostly, the south (Severn Trent Land) and west (Frankley) of the reservoir is lacking information. FOBR Member Kate Ashley, was good enough to plot the data that made this clear and obvious to us. We continue to contact specific wildlife groups and charities to collect as much historical data as possible.
However, what about recording for ourselves going forward? We are currently working on an annual programme of recording, including 'Eco-Blitz' days/weekends - likely to coincide with the City Nature Challenge at the end of each April, and another in August., We are currently working towards our first this Saturday, August 12th. This will include a number of 1-2 hr events, such as bat walks, bug hunts, butterfly walks, and bird walks, which will be led by a volunteer with some knowledge in the area. People taking part will take photos and record on the iNaturalist App.
This will provide annual comparable data whilst providing us with important species and habitat information that will be valuable for a number of reasons. Quality data will allow us:
To know our area of interest better.
To make sure we don't disturb something that's already there when planning projects.
To access grants that require us to prove we are increasing biodiversity, and so need baseline info.
To provide data to protect areas - so much private land means that it is possible for Severn Trent to sell it and has received housing applications in the past. Being green belt no longer protects it absolutely.
Eco-data recording and the Eco-Blitz event is currently being led by Kate who has conservation experience. If you would like to get involved with recording then please contact us on friendsofbartleyreservoir@gmail,com. All data will also help inform our Bio-Diversity Action Plan which is currently being created.