Data Capture Drive

The 21st June - Summer Solstice & Longest Day saw another milestone in our Nature Reserve project. A group of Year 7 students ably guided by Miss Willemse and assisted by Year 10 students set to work on installing 4 wildlife cameras and a survey of the site.

On arrival we were greeted by a slow worm. While not uncommon they are like many species suffering a decline through loss of habitat. Of course, you should not interfere with reptiles (despite its name, a slowworm is actually a legless lizard), we needed to move it to a safer location. At least we know we have one species of reptile in our Reserve.
Look what greeted us!

The major job of the day was to scout the area and decide where to site the 4 wildlife cameras. This required that the students keep an eye open for possible animal runs. 

The cameras need a fair amount of prep and placement. After formatting the devices, they are fitted into locked metal cages and then secured using steel zip ties.

Wildlife Cams being Prepped 

There is a tell tale sign of a fox or large mammal pathway between the reserve and the 'outside world'. Ideal spot to see what we can record. We'll be back in a few days to let you know what has happened.

Fox Cam at the ready

A clump of wild cherry trees look like an ideal spot. The masses of ripening fruit is sure to attract birdlife and mammals. 

Wild Cherry

My money is on squirrels and pigeons being the most frequent visitors. Like the fox cam, we'll be back to report on any action.

Cherry Cam being fixed in place

Look to the right - you'll the metal tie tool.
Word of advice, turn the camera on before fixing it!

Lower down on the ground, we have a developing bramble patch. A little thorny for us maybe but ideal for lower living mammals and insects. Give this anther 2 weeks and the fruits will be offering a source of energy.
Bramble Patch

I'm expecting a fuller report on the insect and other life investigated today. As you might imagine, there is quite a lot of it at this time of year, analysis underway.

After a time to embed and monitor the performance of the solar power plant, we will shortly be installing our second solar panel. This will give us extra capacity on the site.

Coming soon, we will focus on hymenopetra and diptera species with the deployment of a malaise trap:

Malaise Trap

The hymenopetra is one of the largest order of insect species. Depending on your research source, this could be anywhere between 130,000 and 150,000 species. The diptera are orders of insects that have 2 wings. It is estimated that there are around a 1,000,000 species of diptera. I think we'll need a larger jar!

Keep checking back - more news to come.