Last week, we met with Ben Deed at Merseyside BioBank to discuss what we can all be doing to draw greater attention to the vast array of wildlife to be found on our amazing country park.
We learned about his work at the recent Green Summit, held by the LCR.
One of the reasons we’re exploring this avenue now is that we know Highways England has requested that its subcontractor, RPS, carries out environmental surveys in order to gain a picture of the biodiversity of this piece of land.
More details on its environmental surveys can be found here.
What is biodiversity?
“the variety of plant and animal life in the world or in a particular habitat, a high level of which is usually considered to be important and desirable”
In other words, this can be anything from a small patch of moss to an all-important water vole… and EVERYTHING in between!
Based on what we learned at Highways England’s public information events, these surveys will be carried out just one or two days per month. Furthermore, they’re beginning this work this winter.
We believe that there is a serious risk that this level of study will not paint a true picture of the plant and animal life on Rimrose Valley.
We therefore need everyone to play their part in making sure we represent Rimrose Valley and its wildlife properly.
Rimrose is a huge and varied piece of land with wetlands, woodland, grassland and its own nature reserve.
It will be home to countless species of wildlife – we need to make a record of as many as possible!
Why is this so important?
Some of these species, like the water vole, are fully protected under the Wildlife & Countryside Act. Their presence can make life extremely difficult for anyone wishing to develop the land.
It is in all of our interests to document all plants and all creatures (great and small…) as there may be other, equally important species who like to call Rimrose ‘home’.
Highways England will rely on its subcontractor’s findings AND the records held by Merseyside BioBank in its environmental reports during a later phase in the planning process.
As it stands, the information held on Rimrose Valley needs some attention.
Sadly, not only are many of the records out of date; those which do exist aren’t anywhere near a true reflection of a piece of land the size of Rimrose Valley.
The good news is that it is incredibly easy for each and every one of us to get out there and build up a true and accurate picture of the flora and fauna to be found on our country park.
This is where YOU come in!
How you can help
In the new year, we’ll be bringing people together to head out on to Rimrose Valley to capture images of anything and everything which makes up this important ecosystem.
We’ll be inviting others to come and talk to us about how it has become a real passion – even an obsession – and we hope to involve schools and community groups in this effort.
It not only gets you out in the fresh air, it’s a way of bringing families together, exploring all that Rimrose has to offer… and learning in the process!
BUT there’s no need to wait…
You can get started NOW by following the simple steps below:
1. Use your smartphone to download the iNaturalist app… or go to their website (see instructions below)
2. Create an account – you can even login using Facebook
3. Get snapping! Head out on to Rimrose Valley, click ‘Observe’ and take a photo of a plant, an animal… or any living thing!
Warning! The mobile app (on iPhone and Android) is a great way to share and explore observations. However, it will use your mobile data allowance to do so, so please be aware of this when uploading photos. Alternatively, take your photos, then upload them when you get home, or anywhere else you have access to WiFi.
What about pictures that aren’t on my phone?
We know that lots of you are keen photographers and are sure to have some amazing images of birds, insects and many other things it’s not always possible to capture on a mobile phone.
The great news is that you can use the website to sign in on your laptop or PC, upload your pictures and record your sighting from the comfort of your own home.
So, what are you waiting for?
We know it’s cold and the days are short, but this can be a great way of getting out and about for some much-needed fresh air over the festive period.
You can’t “break” this; it’s all about getting out there, taking part and helping us to document every living thing on Rimrose.
To help get you underway, click here for some instructions on how to use the website and the mobile app.
These aren’t 100% exact and will differ from device to device… but we’re sure you’ll get the hang of it.