Canal and River Trust – Rochdale Canal Bioblitz at Newton Heath

by Russ on August 30, 2012

Last weekend Talks and Walks went down to Newton Heath to help the Canal and River Trust with their Canal Festival. There was a variety of activities along the stretch of the canal such as classes on learning how to fish, canoe lessons and a bioblitz, which is what we helped out with.

There were plenty of bees by the canal, including White Tailed Bumblebees.A bioblitz generally takes place over 24 hours in a certain location and tries to catalogue as many species as possible. It invites volunteers and members of the public to take part by searching the site and bringing samples back to base for identification. This type of event is a fantastic way to learn about different species for everyone and for ecologists it provides essential data to help protect areas of high biodiversity. Over time the results can also show changes in population of native and invasive species.

It was brilliant to see so many people take part in pond dipping and nature walks on the day. With their help, we were able to identify over 150 species on our stretch of the canal. Some of these species included:

Long Tailed Tits,Speckled Wood Butterflies can be found in shady woodland and often choose to rest on muddy ground.
House Martins,
Roach (fish),
Holly Blue Butterfly,
Speckled Wood Butterfly,
Red Fox,
Banded Demoiselle,
Common Hawker,
Yellow Flag Iris,
London Plane,
to name just a few.

The results show that this stretch of canal is in good health with a fully functioning ecosystem. Big thanks to the Canal and River Trust for organising a fantastic day out.


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