Nature hunt against the clock
Published: 14th May 2012Paignton Zoo’s first ever “BioBlitz” will bring together school children, visitors, wildlife enthusiasts, Zoo staff and expert naturalists in a 24-hour race to discover…
Paignton Zoo’s first ever “BioBlitz” will bring together school children, visitors, wildlife enthusiasts, Zoo staff and expert naturalists in a 24-hour race to discover native species.
The aim is to find and identify as many native species as possible. The hunt will take place in the grounds of Paignton Zoo and in the charity’s two local nature reserves, Primley Park and Clennon Gorge. There will be daytime and evening sessions.
The Paignton Zoo BioBlitz runs from midday Friday 22nd June to midday Saturday 23rd June.
Organiser Samantha Branch said: “A BioBlitz is a concentrated effort to find and identify local plants and animals. We want to highlight our local biodiversity and how important it is. This is an ambitious event – loads of people can get involved searching for plants, birds, bugs and butterflies.”
Tracey Hamston, UK Conservation Officer, added: “Local schools and the Zoo’s two junior members’ clubs - the Gibbon Club and Gorilla Guerrillas – will join in the fun – and we’ll be joined by scientists from the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, experts from the Torquay Natural History Museum and lots of local naturalists.”
The Zoo’s Education Centre will be at the heart of the event, with classrooms equipped with identification aids including microscopes.
On Friday evening anyone over 12 can visit Paignton Zoo after hours and take part in a series of exciting activities including pond dipping, bat detecting and moth hunting, before settling down in the Zoo’s purpose-built hide to watch wild badgers. The evening, which runs from 7.00 to 10.00 pm, costs £12 (£10 for Zoo members) including refreshments.
On the Saturday morning people will be able to help experts working to survey Primley Park, the public open space opposite Paignton Zoo. Primley Park is free to enter. Standard admission prices apply for Paignton Zoo.
To book tickets for Friday evening, please call 01803 697500. Places are limited to 20 and you must be over 12 years old. Paignton Zoo Environmental Park is a registered charity. For more information go to www.paigntonzoo.org.uk.