Volunteers needed to monitor biodiversity of North Somerset

North Somerset Council have asked people to start monitoring biodiversity.

North Somerset Council have asked people to start monitoring biodiversity. - Credit: NSC

People in North Somerset have been asked to 'get involved' with monitoring the biodiversity of the area this summer.

In a scheme launched by North Somerset Council and Avon Wildlife Trust - and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund - people will now get the chance to 'make a real difference' to their local green spaces by tracking the districts flora and fauna, including butterflies, bees, bats and buttercups. 

It is hoped that by monitoring the areas wildlife, the authority can better manage its natural spaces to increase its biodiversity. 

The council says last year, a 'marked difference' in the abundance of plant and insect species was found between areas of longer grass and those regularly mown, and in some areas volunteers recorded more than five times the number of species.

Avon Wildlife Trust will offer free training in species identification and survey techniques, with a number of sessions across Clevedon, Nailsea, Portishead and Weston throughout the summer.

Project lead at Avon Wildlife Trust, Jamie Kingscott, said: "Volunteers will use a range of surveying techniques and it's a great way to get out and explore the wildlife on your doorstep.

"We're hoping that last year’s trend will continue and we’ll discover many more species thriving in North Somerset’s new wilder waysides."

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This comes after North Somerset Council began its re-wilding project in 2019 where some areas of council-owned land saw its natural grassland grow longer before it was cut.

The project was unanimously approved on the council after a public consultation which reduced maintenance costs and provided improved habitats for wildlife.

As part of the council's commitment to carbon neutrality by 2030, the scheme will help 'address the climate emergency in North Somerset', according to the executive member for neighbourhoods and community services, Cllr Mike Solomon.

He said: "As we alter the way we manage some of our open spaces, it’s important that we're able to monitor the changes to biodiversity and see the benefits it's having for our local wildlife.

"We’re really excited to be working with Avon Wildlife Trust to deliver these opportunities for residents to get involved and make a difference in their local area."

To volunteer for the roles, visit the Avon Wildlife Trust website at www.avonwildlifetrust.org.uk/NSRewilding.