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Wildlife Canterbury Cathedral’s pilot BioBlitz – recording our wildlife with citizen science

Wildlife Canterbury Cathedral’s pilot BioBlitz – recording our wildlife with citizen science

Canterbury Cathedral is planning its first ever BioBlitz to record wildlife around the Precincts and gardens.

Visitors to the Cathedral’s Open Gardens Weekend on May 25 and 26 2019 will have priority to register their interest in a pilot initiative.

Head Gardener Philip Oostenbrink said: ‘Holding a BioBlitz offers us a unique opportunity to record the birds, reptiles and amphibians, insects and mammals that find a home here.

Head Gardener Philip Oostenbrink appeared on BBC's Gardeners' World on Friday 17 May.
Head Gardener Philip Oostenbrink appeared on BBC’s Gardeners’ World on Friday 17 May.

‘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.’

Canon Missioner the Revd Dr Emma Pennington’s residence at the Cathedral is also home to a log pile for endangered stag beetles and a newly colonised beehive.

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.

‘This event would offer a great start to recording these numbers so we can monitor progress of the diversity in our natural environment.

‘We hope it can become an annual feature and involve as many citizen scientists as possible.’

For your best chance to support local wildlife and charities while enjoying the glorious grounds teeming with plants and animal life, visit Canterbury Cathedral’s Open Gardens Weekend.

Find out more about Open Gardens Weekend; part of the National Garden Scheme’s Open Gardens. Entrance charges apply.

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