From the very start, I feel as if the project has had a real buzz around it! We started in the midst of the Shrill Carder flight season and so dived, pots and nets in hand, straight into surveying. Now, looking back over the last couple of months, it’s crazy to think about what we have managed to achieve, especially considering the weather we have had over our “summer”. Although Shrill Carders are now searching for a place to overwinter, we have no time to rest as the planning for next year begins.
The project aspires to work with local landowners to advise and assist in the creation of pollinator friendly habitat, with particular focus on the features that Shrill Carder’s love. For example - in addition to providing somewhere to call home, we hope to aid the development of flower-rich areas that include plants such as comfrey, clover and Red Bartsia. But, as research indicates that Shrill Carders do not forage too far away from the nest, we need to understand their distribution to inform this work.
To do this, the project plans to arm communities in the local Somerset and Thames Gateway areas with the knowledge and skills on how to identify this unassuming but distinctive species; something both Rosie and I are really looking forward to getting underway in the spring!
In the short period that the project has been going so far, I have been astounded by the enthusiasm of everyone involved, from landowners and partner organisations to volunteers. I really hope this can continue and look forward to working with more people in the future.
If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, please keep an eye out for all the exciting events, talks, ID sessions and more that are coming up soon.