Hunt for Hardwick's Wildlife

Wednesday 29th May 2019

Hardwick Green Meadows (c) Paul LaneHardwick Green Meadows (c) Paul Lane

Help is needed in a race against time to discover hidden wildlife at a Worcestershire nature reserve.

Looking at flowers (c) Jon Hawkins SurreyHillsPhotographyHardwick Green Meadows is opening for just six hours on Sunday 9th June to allow the public to see how many species of wildlife they can find.

Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, which owns the reserve, is inviting members of the public to join experts to help see what wildlife makes this special place home.

Liz Bunney, organiser of the event, explained “This mini bioblitz promises to be a really exciting way of exploring a beautiful corner of Worcestershire whilst also having the chance to get up close with wildlife.

“Summer is such a beautiful time to visit these precious meadows so as well as discovering why they’re so special for wildlife, it’s a great opportunity to have a lovely day out.

“The idea behind a bioblitz is to identify and record as many different species of wildlife as possible but visitors won’t be expected to have any prior knowledge – we’ll have staff, volunteers and local experts to help out.

“There’ll be hands-on activities too – from minibeast hunting and identifying wildflowers to wildlife-themed games and taking inspiration from the natural world for creative activities like sketching and writing poetry.”

Internationally important meadows

The 50 acres of Hardwick Green Meadows are an important refuge for wildflowers such as great burnet and corky-fruited water dropwort as well as for the insects, birds and mammals that these support.

There are just 3500 acres of floodplain meadows left in England; that’s about the same as the footprint of Heathrow Airport. Covering around 1.5% of floodplain meadows that remain, Hardwick Green Meadows is of national and international importance.

Hardwick Green Meadows (c) Wendy Carter

The network of hedgerows at Hardwick are full of birds, barn owls have been seen hunting and camera traps have caught footage of otter using the brook that runs through the site. Visitors on the day, however, are more likely to be discovering bees, butterflies and other insects.

Liz added “This is a great way of discovering wildlife that you may never have heard of before as well as contributing to science; knowing what species are where helps us to help wildlife in the future.

“The event is taking place during 30 Days Wild, which is a national campaign where tens of thousands of people undertake to get closer to nature each day throughout June. Joining us for our bioblitz at Hardwick Green Meadows will certainly help with that.”

Hardwick Green Meadows were purchased by the Trust in 2018 with the help of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Severn Waste Services, a number of charitable trusts and a successful public appeal.

The fields are rich in plants such as great burnet, pepper saxifrage and corky-fruited water dropwort and the Trust is managing the site to increase both diversity and quantity of these and many other species of plant and wildlife.

The event takes place between 10am and 4pm on Sunday 9th June at Hardwick Green Meadows near Eldersfield. The nature reserve will be signposted from the B4208, south of Pendock, on the day.

Entry is free, light refreshments will be available. Dogs are not allowed.

For more information visit www.worcswildlifetrust.co.uk/whats-on

Sign up now for 30 Days Wild.