Help chart wildlife

STAFF at the RSPB Old Moor nature reserve are calling for nature detectives everywhere to help them in their quest to record as many different species of wildlife as possible in the Barnsley area.

The Barnsley Bioblitz will be launched at the Wombwell-based reserve this weekend, September 21 – 23.

The event will see scientists and members of the public working together to survey the area and find, identify and record as many species as possible over 48 hours.

Working with the Sorby Natural History Society, RSPB staff and volunteers will be holding a number of guided walks for members of the public over the 48-hour period.

All the data gathered will be fed directly into the Barnsley Biological Records Centre.

A similar event in Sheffield identified over 1100 species and the Barnsley Bioblitz is hoping to beat that figure.

Liane Holdsworth, RSPB visitor experience officer, said: “A bioblitz is a bit like a stock take for wildlife.

“It is something that anyone and everyone can get involved with.

“With the recent report from the Zoological Society of London stating that a fifth of the world’s insect population may be heading towards extinction, it’s more important than ever that we have accurate records of our local wildlife.

“As well as recording the amazing wildlife we have in the borough, the event is set to be a fantastic day out for everyone.

“It will be a great way for families to come together and have fun.“

“People don’t have to have any great wildlife knowledge to take part, as experts will be on hand to help identify anything they find.”

Aside from the bioblitz, there are a whole host of other fun activities for people to get involved with at the centre.

For those just wanting to join in the fun there’s pond dipping to have a go at and Explorer backpacks to help find anything that walks, swims, crawls or flies.

The bioblitz will launch at 3pm on Friday, September 21, with guided walks taking place throughout Saturday and Sunday.

The final count will be taken at 3pm on Sunday.

The reserve entry fee for the weekend will be waived.

For more details, please visit the website at

Alternatively, people can ring the RSPB visitor centre hotline on 01226 751593.