Nature Survey Event on Summerleaze Downs

BSTC Councillors Join Forces to Boost Biodiversity

Nature Survey Event Volunteers

Last Sunday, a team of enthusiastic volunteers, including four councillors, teamed up for a trial nature survey on Summerleaze Downs. Under the guidance of Hilary Phillips from Bude-Stratton Town Council’s (BSTC) Environment and Climate Change Committee, the group used an innovative app called iNaturalist to capture images and record sounds of the area’s ecology. In just one session, the group amassed an impressive 400 photos and sounds, creating a valuable baseline for the nature that already thrives in the area.

The survey is part of BSTC’s changing land management approach, aimed at promoting biodiversity through a reduction in mowing, elimination of chemical use, and encouraging the re-establishment of native species in select areas of the Downs. By comparing this baseline with data collected later in the summer and in subsequent years, BSTC hopes to track the impact of these efforts.

Ribwort Plantain found on Summerleaze Downs

Councillors Philippa Purchase, Simon Browning, Sian Dearing, and Jackie Diffey were among the participants, all eager to contribute to the conservation of the Downs. Cllr Philippa Purchase said, “I was really pleased to be involved in the survey. It was interesting and fun, and I learned a lot about the plants and animals already on the Downs. Doing these types of surveys is critical for us as a council and as residents to help us plan how we will manage the Downs and other areas of Bude-Stratton to help increase the biodiversity in the area at a time when nature is in such crisis. My thanks to Hilary for all the work she put in to organise the event and I’m looking forward to helping carry out the next survey later in the year.”

Keep your eyes peeled for details of the next survey, set to take place later this summer!