A few short years ago the area of private swampland between Hamp, Westover and Durleigh, known locally as ‘The Meads’ was brought into public ownership by Sedgemoor District Council in a landswap with Summerfield Homes. The result was the new Housing development south of Durleigh road, which wasn’t terribly popular with some residents and the shaving off of a corner of the Fairfield to provide an access road (opposed by the Town Council). But on the positive side the people of Bridgwater now have access to a swathe of land where the biodiversity can be protected, people can wander freely and a welcome addition to the town’s threatened green spaces can be celebrated.
Led by Sedgemoor’s chief ecologist Peter Grainger, the group now plans to hold a series of days they are calling ‘Bioblitz’ events. Pete explains “You can become a wildlife explorer for the day and discover what’s living right on your doorstep by joining us at our first Bioblitz events at The Meads Eco Park in Bridgwater. You can enjoy one or both of the two free guided walks around The Meads Eco Park on Tuesday 23rd June. We are offering two different Bioblitz’s on the 23rd – one during the day starting at 1:00pm and the other starting at 09:00pm. The meeting point for both events will be the Westfield Street Café, West Street, Bridgwater (outside Westfield Church) or you can join us on-site. Please make sure that you wear suitable clothing for the terrain and weather conditions and bring a torch for the evening event! Children supervised by an adult are welcome to both events, although we would recommend only young people over the age of 14 attend the evening event.”
What’s a Bioblitz
A Sedgemoor District Council spokeswoman said ‘ A Bioblitz is a period of ecological surveying in an attempt to record all living species within a designated area. A group including our Ecologist, Friends of The Meads and volunteers will conduct an informal field study over the two time periods to identify as many plants, animals and other organisms as possible. The day walk around The Meads, which is managed by Sedgemoor District Council, will look at the birds, insects, plants and other daytime organisms with the night-time event looking to identify bat and moth species. You don’t need to be a wildlife expert just come along with a willingness to learn and explore’.