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26 May 2020

Explore nature with the Big Brum BioBlitz

As we spend more time at home and exploring our local areas, Birmingham Museums is launching a new nature challenge to encourage families, young people and adults to become environmental explorers with the Big Brum BioBlitz. 

The Big Brum BioBlitz is for everyone across the city to enjoy the benefits of exploring nature on their doorstep, expand their knowledge, and develop new skills to build a picture of the biodiversity in neighbourhoods across Birmingham. 

Over the coming months Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum, part of Birmingham Museums Trust, is encouraging local people to find and identify as many species of plants and animals as they can see in a short period of time, giving a snapshot of the natural environment.
There are four easy steps to follow – observe, record, identify and share. Find out more at www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/blog/posts/the-big-brum-bioblitz.

Start by taking a look out of the window or wander around the garden to discover what animals and plants can be found. Look under stones, plant pots or bushes. Have a pen and paper ready and write down, sketch or take a picture of what can be seen, along with the date and time.

There is so much to discover from birds, butterflies, ladybirds and spiders to daisies, trees, leaves, and logs. The challenge is an ideal chance to get absorbed in nature, being mindful of sights, smells, and sounds.

Birmingham Museums is encouraging everyone getting involved to download the iNaturalist App and add any photos so fellow nature explorers can help to identify species.

For younger family members try Seek by iNaturalist which is designed to help families explore nature in a fun and engaging way with the chance to earn badges for challenges.

The iNaturalist database is used by environmental scientists to find out what is happening in local areas.

Finally, the Thinktank team would love to hear about your discoveries via social media or email so they can build a picture of how nature is changing and flourishing at this time.

Andrew Fowles, Head of Learning and Access at Birmingham Museums Trust said: “Getting outdoors and identifying plants and animals is good for our wellbeing and is particularly important when our normal routines have changed so much. The Big Brum Bio Blitz is ideal for all ages, and especially families looking for fun activities to do. You don’t even need a garden - you can explore your local area or simply look out the window and observe what you see.

“Over the coming weeks we’ll be sharing tips and advice so the people of Birmingham can become confident in their detective skills and discover just how much nature is on their doorstep.”

Share discoveries at Twitter, Instagram and Facebook using #BigBrumBioblitz. Or email them to blitz@birminghammuseums.org.uk.

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