Walk and work – behind the scenes at Birkhams Quarry

Join us next week (Wednesday 8th August) for this unique opportunity to carry out some practical conservation work in a working quarry.  We will walk from the old Haig Mining Museum, passing signs of Whitehaven’s mining past up to Birkhams Quarry where we will get a chance get a behind the scenes view of this sandstone quarry. When we’re there well spend a short time carrying out some conservation work on an area of restored wildflower grassland and record what species we find. For more information or to let us know you’re coming along email sophie.badrick@nationaltrust.org.uk

Big Butterfly Count!

If you’ve got 15 minutes to spare over the next few weeks then why not get outside with the family and join the big butterfly count.

Run by Butterfly Conservation the big butterfly count is a nationwide survey aimed at helping us assess the health of our environment. It was launched in 2010 and has rapidly become the world’s biggest survey of butterflies. Over 60,000 people took part in 2017, submitting 62,500 counts of butterflies and day-flying moths from across the UK.

We’ll be doing some butterfly counts at Haig over the next few weeks so why not come along and give it a go – no need for any special equipment as we’ll have ID guides and recording sheets.

Drop our project officer Sophie an email if you’d like to know more sophie.badrick@nationaltrust.org.uk

An unfortunate discovery

While beach cleaning last week our Project Officer discovered a porpoise washed up on Whitehaven’s North Shore.  While the creature had clearly been dead for some time, so there was no question that it could be a live stranding, we still reported the individual to the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP).  They confirmed the individual as a female harbour porpoise due to the spade shaped teeth (dolphins have needle shaped teeth).  Due to the level of decomposition there was no way to determine cause of death.

cof

cof

The UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP) has been running since 1990 and is funded by Defra and the Devolved Administrations. They coordinate the investigation of all whales, dolphins and porpoises (collectively known as cetaceans), marine turtles and basking sharks that strand around the UK coastline.   As well as documenting each individual stranding, they also retrieve a proportion for investigation at post-mortem to allow them to establish a cause of death.  Strandings that undergo post-mortem examination provide valuable information on causes of death, disease, contaminants, reproductive patterns, diet and also useful pointers to the general health of the populations living in the seas around our coasts.  This provides useful baseline data to help detect outbreaks of disease or unusual increases in mortality. The CSIP depends on the publics help in the reporting of strandings around the UK.

More information about the CSIP and what to do if you find a stranded animal can be found on their website or by reading their strandings leaflet which they have kindly let us share CSIP_leaflet

Introduction to insects workshop

We have the final workshop in this summers Nature Recorders series coming up next week.  So if you’ve always wanted to know the difference between moths and butterflies or how many legs an invertebrate has and why spiders are bugs not insects then this free workshop is for you!

The workshop will be held in Whitehaven on Thursday 19th July, from 10am until 3 pm.  It’s free to attend but places must be booked via sophie.badrick@nationaltrust.org.uk

 

35628686_1273428079461276_3221624929728331776_o