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Take part in this year's Forest BioBlitz

Friday 5th July - Saturday 6th July
Gorcott Hill, Nr. Redditch

BioBlitz 2024 promises to be a jam-packed event, it’s a race against the clock to discover as many species of plants and wildlife as possible in 24 hours. This year we have a particular focus on invertebrates - in celebration of National Insect Week.

With unique surveys and fun experiences there is something here for everyone. This year we explore and record what we find at Gorcott Hill, a very special site not usually open to the public.

Join us to help create a snapshot of the rich biodiversity that can be found at Gorcott Hill. It is a fun way to learn together and share enthusiasm for nature.

We welcome experts, complete newbies, and everyone in between. You can take part in as many sessions as you like, but remember you can't be in two places at once. So, take a look at the list below to find out what’s on and book your places.

BBC Ndeavour Moth Group with participants standing around a dome light moth trap
Moth night with the BBC NDeavour Moth Group
Friday 5th July 2024
9:30pm – 11:30pm

Identify moths caught in light traps with the BBC Ndeavour Moth Group, a group of local moth recorders. Gorcott Hill has habitats ranging from ponds and wet ditches to ancient woodland and wildflower grassland, providing a varied range of habitats for different species of moth to breed in. A previous evening showed the site to have many moths present, and we hope to mirror this with this year’s bioblitz!
Poplar hawk moth
Moth morning with the BBC NDeavour Moth Group
Saturday 6th July 2024
8:30am - 10.30am

Identify moths caught overnight in light traps with the BBC Ndeavour Moth Group, a group of local moth recorders. Gorcott Hill has habitats ranging from ponds and wet ditches to ancient woodland and wildflower grassland, providing a varied range of habitats for different species of moth to breed in. A previous evening showed the site to have many moths present, and we hope to mirror this with this year’s bioblitz!
A close up of a common shiny woodlouse
Woodlice and millipedes
Saturday 6th July 2024
9.30am – 11.30am

Join Gary Farmer, local invertebrate enthusiast and manager at Vale Landscape Heritage Trust, to learn more about woodlice, millipedes and centipedes at Gorcott Hill. Gorcott Hill has a range of habitats for Isopods and Myriapods so we should find plenty there. Gary also knows many other insect groups well so may point these out also!
Aquatic invertebrates found and being surveyed by Will Watson with members of the public observing
Aquatic invertebrates survey
Saturday 6th July 2024
10.00am – 12.30pm

Join pond invertebrate expert Will Watson to see what water beetles, dragonfly larvae and other aquatic inverts can be found in the ponds at Gorcott Hill. Learn what we have in our ponds and streams here, how to identify multiple sorts of pond invertebrate and the difference between the different types of invert nymphs and larvae in our ponds.
Close up of two crickets on a males hand
Jump into our grasshopper and cricket survey
Saturday 6th July 2024
11:00am – 12:00noon

Go looking for grasshoppers and crickets with our very own Volunteer Manager, Jonathan Saunders and Assistant Biodiversity Officer Avery Hill. Learn the difference between a grasshopper and a cricket and how to identify some of the common grassland species you may see in the area.
A queen wasp on tree bark
Bees, wasps, and hoverflies
Saturday 6th July 2024
11:45pm – 13:45pm

Join Aaron Bhambra, PhD student at the University of Birmingham researching heathland pollinators in the Midlands, to find out more about bees, wasps, and other pollinators. Learn how to identify different bumblebees, the difference between social and solitary wasps, some common hoverflies and their importance.
A close up shot of an Emperor dragonfly
Dragonflies and damselflies
Saturday 6th July 2024
12.15pm – 13.45pm

Join Alan Sifford, long time dragonfly surveyor and volunteer at the Forest, to learn more about the different dragonflies and damselflies you can see in the Forest. Find out what the difference is between dragonflies and damselflies, what sort of habitats they prefer and which species you can expect where.
A close up of an orange tip butterfly spotted at Sheriffs Lench
Beautiful butterflies
Saturday 6th July 2024
1.00pm – 3.00pm

Take a walk around Gorcott Hill with Mike Slater from Butterfly Conservation Warwickshire, recording and learning about all the different butterfly species we see. Gorcott Hill is known to have a breeding population of the Silver-washed Fritillary! We may even discover a new species in this area - please bring your binoculars if you have any!
Three big thighed beetles on an ox eye daisy
Discovering beetles
Saturday 6th July 2024
2.00pm – 4.00pm

Join Wil Heeney, organiser of the National Longhorn Beetle Recording Scheme and freelance ecologist, to learn more about the different types and species of beetle you can find at Gorcott Hill. The woodland here has a variety of microhabitats beetles can breed in, so a good range should be found!
A shiny red ladybird walking across a very green oak leaf
Ladybird hunt
Saturday 6th July 2024
2.15pm – 4.15pm

Join Richard Comont, Science Manager at the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and author of RSPB Spotlight book on ;adybirds, to learn more about this colourful family of beetles. Discover the difference between the common species, as well as what they feed on through their lifecycle and what they all need to thrive. [This event is weather dependent]