I think I told you some time ago that I was working on a new project… well this is it “Nature Watch Corfe Mullen”. So what is it?
A couple of years ago I emailed the Dorset Environmental Records Centre (DERC) in Dorchester to see what flora and fauna records they held for my parish of Corfe Mullen. When I got the list back I thought it was a joke. There were hardly any records. Why? I just couldn’t understand it.
Corfe Mullen is surrounded by rare lowland heaths, the beautiful River Stour valley and wildlife rich lowland meadows. I knew that the wildlife was out there. It just needed to be found and recorded.
So the idea of a community led “nature watch” was born. With over 10,000 people living in Corfe Mullen surely there were some who would help me record the wildlife, and help to increase the DERC records.
I needed to make it fun, easy and informative. That way everyone in the village could get involved, from 7 year old kids to 80 year old grandfathers. Most people have internet nowadays, so the website was my starting point.
I bought the domain name www.naturewatched.org and the pages for the Nature Watch Corfe Mullen site started to take shape; downloadable recording forms, reference material, news, local wildlife photographs and videos… even my garden webcam. Even Dorset Wildlife Trust agreed to get involved, by running four wildlife events in the village over the summer.
Last week I made the website (home page pictured above) live. This week I shall be sending a press release to the papers. Next week I will start to design a poster which can be stuck up around the village.
I’ve already been sent the first records, and received an interesting photograph of a bumblebee for identification today. I can tell that this project is really going to increase my own knowledge of wildlife. I will let you know how I get on.
Wish me luck… I need it!