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This wildlife count is going to be wild!

Local people are invited to the launch of Wild Ipswich and a 24-hour Big Wildlife Count at Belstead Brook Park this weekend.

It’s certainly going to be wild as volunteers will be set the challenge of finding as many species of wildlife that they can.

Hedgehogs, moths, bats, dormice and birds – organisers want to find out about populations and habitats of these and other animals.

It all starts at 8.30pm on Saturday evening with a Night Safari using thermal imaging and torches and then goes on through Sunday, with the launch of Wild Ipswich and other activities, including a Dawn Chorus Walk at 5am. Who wants to stay in bed on a warm June morning!

Other attractions are a Wildflower Walk, a Bug Hunt and making wildlife homes. Why not bring a picnic and make a day of it.

The 24-hour Big Wildlife Count is being organised by Suffolk Wildlife Trust, the Greenways countryside project, Ipswich Borough Council and the Suffolk Biodiversity Information Centre. All four organisations, along with Ipswich Wildlife group, are behind the Wild Ipswich initiative.

Wild Ipswich aims to maintain and develop all the green networks which link open spaces in Ipswich for the benefit of wildlife.

Greenways Project Officer James Baker explained: “Wild Ipswich benefits all of us and protects the diversity of our wildlife. Networks can be through gardens, parks and other open spaces. We think of it as a wildlife road map and we want to spread the word about what all our wildlife groups and supporters are doing to enhance it.”

A Suffolk Wildlife Trust spokeswoman added: “This is a fantastic opportunity to find out more about all the different plants and animals that can be found in the park. With lots of expert-led walks and family-friendly activities, there will be plenty for everyone to join in with, whether you’re an amateur naturalist or a family.”

The official launch of Wild Ipswich is at 1pm on Sunday.

The meeting place for all of these events is off Marbled White Drive / Ellenbrook Road in IP8. Please feel free to turn up, and leave, at any time. It is all free – thanks to support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.


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