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Friday, 10 June 2011

Come and join in the fun at a 24-hour New Forest National Park wildlife dash

Launch of 24 hour wildlife ‘Bioblitz’ and beach safari!
Date: 17 June 2011
Time: 3:30pm
Location: Lepe Country Park

National Park Officers and Ecologist will be available for media interviews to talk about the 24-hour wildlife bonanza; what they hope to find and how families can get involved. Also attending from 3.30pm will be schoolchildren from the Blackfield Primary School and Fawley Infants School. Starting at 4pm on Friday and finishing at 4pm on Saturday this jam-packed event explores the diverse habit of England’s smallest National Park – for media contact details see bottom of release.

Launch of the 2010 New Forest National Park Bioblitz

Following on from its success last year the 24-hour wildlife record dash is back for the second year. Come and join in the many activities designed for all of the family; from bug hunts and seashore safaris to experiencing the dawn chorus and learning more about things that go ‘bump in the night’.

This free event starts at 4pm on Friday 17 June to Saturday 18 June with the aim of getting as many people as possible involved in recording as many wildlife species as possible in the New Forest National Park.
Jim Mitchell, Interpretation Officer at the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘This event is so important; it provides a ‘snapshot’ of the wildlife living in the National Park.

‘Last year we were joined by hundreds of wildlife enthusiasts. We recorded approximately 500 species including the ‘Scarce Merveille du Jour’ moth in Denny Wood near Lyndhurst. This species is classified as rare nationally and is the subject of a special protection plan in Hampshire, as well as being a New Forest speciality.

‘These types of events are great for getting younger participants interested in wildlife and who knows, they may choose to become a wildlife expert in the future.’

Ian Barker, the New Forest National Park Authority’s Ecologist, said: ‘The New Forest National Park has a higher concentration of sites of national or international importance for nature conservation than any other English national park. We have 61 square miles of heathland – a habitat which is rarer globally than rainforest - and around 700 species of wildflowers are said to grow in here – nearly a third of the total found in Britain.

‘These are just a few of the reasons why we’re Bioblitzing the Park – there is such an abundance of wildlife here and there are still large gaps in our knowledge. We’d like everyone to join us to discover more.’

The 24 hour event will have specialists from the New Forest National Park Authority, Forestry Commission and Hampshire County Council, all with an expert knowledge of wildlife, trees, birds, plants and animals.

For updates follow the newforestnpa on twitter or the New Forest National Park Authority on Facebook or for more information visit


Beach Safari:
Friday 17 June 4-6pm
Lepe Country Park
Suitable for all ages
Free event
Grid reference SZ 455 986
Join us at Lepe Country Park to launch the 2011 Bioblitz and find out about all the creatures you can find living on the New Forest coast.

Early morning bird-song:
Saturday 18 June 6:30-8:30am
Please book in advance by calling 023 8028 6840
Free event
Grid reference SU 242 086
Join bird expert and National Park Officer Nigel Matthews early Saturday morning and learn how to identify different birds by song. You may recognise Nigel, he was on Countryfile last year identifying the dawn chorus by sound alone.

Bioblitz activity day:
Saturday 18 June 10:30am-4:00pm
Free event
Grid reference SU 242 086
A full day of activities including tree surveys, bird walks, insect and bug hunts and much, much more. Wildlife activity walks leave at 11am, 12 noon, 1pm and 2pm. Total species number announced at 4pm.

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