Canterbury Cathedral to hold ‘bioblitz’ to record the wildlife in its gardens and precincts

31 May 2019


CANTERBURY Cathedral is to hold its first “bioblitz”, recording the wildlife in its gardens and precincts with the help of “citizen scientists”.

People of all ages have signed up to help with the bioblitz and record species with the aim of promoting biodiversity.

The head gardener, Philip Oostenbrink, said that the cathedral already had a wildlife-friendly approach to gardening, but wanted more detail of the creatures that live in the cathedral’s grounds, to ensure that its policies encouraged more biodiversity.

“Holding a bioblitz offers us a unique opportunity to record the birds, reptiles and amphibians, insects and mammals that find a home here.

“We plant open flowers to encourage pollinators such as Salvia, ornamental oregano, and Aquilegia — Granny’s Bonnets — for the bees. We make sure we have early spring flowers for food, and our borders keep enough natural debris..

‘Studying a number of different habitats would help us gain more knowledge for our wildlife-friendly approach to gardening these wonderful spaces.”

The home of the Canon Missioner, Dr Emma Pennington, has a newly colonised beehive, and a log pile which has become a home for endangered stag beetles. She said: “A key area of the cathedral’s commitment to the environment is to care for, protect, and promote wildlife and biodiversity in the precincts.”

The cathedral, she said, wanted to record species in order to “monitor progress of the diversity in our natural environment”.

The bioblitz will take place this summer.

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