Being surrounded by large patches of countryside, and with most of us having a small garden at least, Draycott-in-the-Moors is a great place for anyone wanting to help the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust with its Wildlife Sighting project, which it is doing in partnership with the Staffordshire Ecological Record.
You don’t have to be an expert to help; and all it requires of you is that you fill in a short form each time you see a particular species of animal or insect or bird, or even fish.
It could be a great summer activity to do with the kids, or grand-kids too…
It’s not just a paper exercise either. Your forms will go to making up a species-distribution list, which is then used by planning authorities, among others, to map the ecology of an area.
Give your help…
Each time you spot, say, a woodpecker, all you have to do is record: the type of the species; the location (i.e. where you saw it); and the date of the sighting. Easy!
Of course, it’s not always that simple identifying the type of species, but if you have a good camera, take a picture and then just email the photos to firstname.lastname@example.org and they will identify it for you.
The Wildlife Trust is especially interested in ‘protected’ and ‘priority’ species, i.e. ones listed on the Staffordshire Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP), so if you spot any of those, well-done to you…!
The Cresswell Community Group is already taking part in the project; and at some stage hopes to put up a board in the hamlet listing some of the more interesting wildlife to be found here.
CCG told us that they already have sightings recorded of fauna such as the otter, water vole, shrew, stoat, weasel, badger, hedgehog, bats and brown hare, though they are still waiting to record a dormouse…
The great crested newt also has habitat in the area.
In the bird world, the CCG say people should be able to spot the barn owl, bullfinch, cuckoo, dunnock, starling, house sparrow, kingfisher, lapwing, reed bunting, skylark, snipe, song thrush, tree sparrow, and yellowhammer.
You’ll be very fortunate though to spot golden plovers and wheatears – though there have been rare sightings.
Jacquie from the CCG told us: “Cresswell is a good area for the project as it has areas of wetland that species such as snipe and curlew like. It also has areas of farmland that are not heavily cultivated, which attracts skylarks and lapwings.
“In fact… it would be brilliant if we could have hides in the area so that people could watch and study the birds especially!”
Remember – each record of a sighting helps to build up an ecological picture of Draycott / Cresswell / Totmonslow – so it’s all worth it.
* For more information on the project, see the Recording Wildlife Factsheet (opens as WORD document)
For information on some fauna you are likely spot, click here
To find a sightings form online, click here
To download (and then print off) a form, click Species Recording Card (opens as pdf)
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