The Inner Forth Landscape Initiative (IFLI) team has launched a programme of FREE wildlife identification and survey skills workshops for 2015, and are keen to encourage local people to come along.
Forth Nature Counts Workshops 2015 http://www.innerforthlandscape.co.uk/eventscal
Through the Forth Nature Counts project, IFLI has worked with its partner organisations, conservation charities and knowledgeable local volunteers to develop a whole programme of free workshops for 2015. The aim is to encourage the people who come along to use their new-found skills and confidence to keep a record of the wildlife that they see in the Inner Forth area. This will help to increase conservation scientists’ knowledge of the plants and animals found here, and tell them how well or badly they are doing.
Kate Fuller, IFLI’s Community Engagement Officer commented, “Through Forth Nature Counts, we hope the Inner Forth will be a hive of nature recording activity. February 2015 has already seen two popular workshops - Winter Tree ID and Distance Wading Bird ID - take place. Participants were delighted to find a spotted redshank at Kinneil Lagoons - very few of these wading birds overwinter in the UK. We hope our expert-led workshops throughout 2015 will give people the confidence and enthusiasm to identify species and share their records of local wildlife with us.”
Distance Wading Bird ID Workshop at Kinneil Lagoons, Falkirk (Credit P. Barclay)
So far 12 different wildlife ID and survey skills workshops are planned, including bats, invertebrates, saltmarsh plants, and wading birds. People of all ages will also have the chance to become citizen scientists at four Bioblitz that will take place at Balallan House/Central Stirling (Stirling), Gartmorn Damn Country Park and Nature Reserve (Clackmannanshire), SWT Jupiter Nature Reserve (Falkirk) and the Kinneil Foreshore (Falkirk). No prior knowledge or specialist equipment is needed to attend the workshops. Sessions are open to everyone and free of charge, thanks to the way that IFLI is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund. To see the full list of wildlife identification and survey skills workshops on offer, check the IFLI events calendar at http://www.innerforthlandscape.co.uk/eventscal.
If you would like to become a citizen scientist today, the IFLI team is inviting people to submit their wildlife sightings to the online recording scheme called iRecord, where IFLI has its Forth Nature Counts form. The vital components of a record are what species you saw, and when and where you saw it. A photo can be useful for verification purposes. The Forth Nature Counts form on iRecord can be found online at http://www.brc.ac.uk/irecord/enter-inner-forth-records.