Garden Challenge 2023

Following the great interest the Garden Challenge had in 2020 we want to resurrect it for 2023 to encourage more recording within gardens and other public spaces around the county.

There are no limits or boundaries for recording, and we encourage you to observe and record whatever you find. If you don’t have a garden, then we’ll gladly welcome records from local churchyards, parks and greenspaces which you enjoy visiting regularly (just make sure you have permission to access the land and to collect samples, if required).

To focus recording we are going to suggest some target groups/species for each season (see below), but please record anything and everything. The relevant recorders can be contacted to help with identification if you need it (see the WRIS at the back of this issue, or the website), or you can also use the GNS Playground (on Facebook). Please also come along to the GNS ‘Pub Chat’ Zoom meetings (every 3rd Wednesday of the month) to share what you’ve found with other members.

Please send your records to me using the details at the end of this article, so they can be collated at the end of the year, and we can feedback on the findings. Please send as a minimum:

  • Date
  • Location (name of location and minimum 6 figure grid
    reference)
  • Species
  • Recorder’s name

It would also be useful to have a note on abundance, habitat/behaviour and where appropriate, a description of the species or notes on how identification was made. Please include ‘Garden Challenge’ in your email heading or on any post. Any photos, stories or notes on interesting finds are also welcome, to be shared on Facebook/website/GNS News.

So for this coming Spring season (March to mid-June) please keep an eye out to record Amphibians and Bumblebees which will be especially active in the next few months.

Here are some helpful identification links for our target species:
https://www.bumblebeeconservation.org/bumblebee-species-guide/
https://www.arguk.org/downloads-in-pages/resources/id-guides/441-amphibian-id-guide-revised-2019-pdf/file
https://www.bmig.org.uk/page/online-woodlice-waterlice

And drumroll… our target group to be recorded in 2023 is the humble Woodlouse which are no doubt abundant in most of our gardens but very overlooked. Tips on identifying the target species for this season/ year will be available on the website (https://glosnats.org/garden-challenge/).

Pencils, pooters, nets and notepads at the ready….! Happy Recording
Kate Kibble
(56 Penrith Road, Cheltenham, GL51 3QB; kkibble@sky.com)



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