As part of the Porlock Marsh Vision, we held a 24 hour Bioblitz– this is when a group of people gets together over a short space of time, and record as many species as they can find within a specific area. This Bioblitz took place at the eastern end of Porlock Bay, the first for the area, and was organised with the help of Exmoor National Park and National Trust and hosted by the Porlock Manor Estate and the National Trust’s Holnicote Estate. There were many other organisations taking part too, including Natural England, Somerset Rare Plants Group and the Fields Studies Council.
The Bioblitz gave people of all ages and experiences the opportunity to explore and investigate the species that live at Porlock Marsh and the surrounding area, while collecting crucial data that will broaden the understanding of the area’s wildlife, and help shape conservation plans for the future.
A very wide ranging programme was on offer with everything from guided walks looking at birds, butterflies, lichens and salt marsh plants, to stream dipping, moth trapping and a night-time bat survey.
The weekend was a huge success, both in terms of how it ran and the level of enjoyment from the public that attended. Those who came thoroughly enjoyed themselves, learnt a lot about the local area and its wildlife and were keen for a repeat event soon. This was not to mention the excitement that resulted from seeing eight harbour porpoise very close to the shore off Hurlstone Point!
Researching our coastline is crucial!
A lack of knowledge about our coastal wildlife, alongside increasing pressure from development, reinforced coastal flood defenses and energy generation could lead to irreversible consequences for wildlife. That is why we have launched Somerset's Brilliant Coast Appeal, to raise funds so we can better understand coastal wildlife, and deliver a conservation programme that will protect it. In the last year we have been carrying out exploratory surveys, including Somerset's first dive survey in more than 30 years. Even with this limited effort we found that our coast is home the stalked jellyfish – a new species for Somerset and one of national conservation importance. We need to continue this work, and we need your help to make it happen. The county's widlife is waiting to be discovered, understood and protected, so please take action now by donating to Somerset's Brilliant Coast Appeal.