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Time to find the animals and plants that live in York


7:23am 15th June 2012

A 24 hour attempt to seek out every species of animal and plant in York Museum Gardens is taking place next month - and we need your help.

BioBlitz will see natural history experts come to the Gardens to record as many species of flora and fauna as possible - from bats to birds, foxes to foxgloves!

The public can help safely trap, track and count the animals, birds and plants as well as speaking to the experts and taking part in a wide range of drop in activities.

 The event is being held by York Museums Trust, The University of York's Open Air Laboratories (Opal), Natural England and North and East Yorkshire Ecological Data Centre (NEYEDC).

Isla Gladstone, curator of natural sciences at the Yorkshire Museum, said:

"This is a really exciting challenge and the first time we have ever tried to do something on this scale. We have experts coming from across the county to help us seek out and catalogue as many species as possible and we are sure we will find species which we didn't know were living here".

"It is a great chance for people to come and get close to some of the animals and birds and learn something new about them."

The public event will start on Friday June 15 with a series of Kestrel Parties for children. These will take place at 12pm, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm and feature creative activities for children with the Hawk & Owl Trust.

The animal detecting will start at 9.30pm when special equipment will be used to find out which species of bat are living in the gardens. There will also be the chance to see live bats up close.

The rest of the events will take place on Saturday June 16, the first being a dawn chorus walk at 5am, where an expert will talk about the different birds singing.

At 7am, 8am, 9am and 10am people will get the chance to see birds up close when trained specialists fit tiny rings to the birds to monitor how they migrate.

At 8am, different experts will check the traps for mammals such as shrews, voles and mice. And at 9.30am the moth traps will be checked to find out which moths live in the Gardens.

For all of these activities booking is essential.

This can be done by phoning 01904 650333 or groupbookings@ymt.org.uk

Further events will take place throughout the day between 10am and 4pm, such as bug hunts, worm hunts, a wildflower walk and a Tansy Beetle walk. Booking is not essential for these but it is advised to guarantee a place.

As well as the times walks there will be drop in activities, including storytelling, mini-beast face painting and make your own bee hotel.

Stands and experts from national and regional wildlife groups will also be there to offer advice on encouraging wildlife into your garden.

For a full list of activities and times, please click here.

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