1. Connecting Communities through Action (CCA)

CCA03 Big Washlands Watch

Helping schools, families and individuals to identify and record wildlife species in our landscape.

Project Summary

This project encompasses a range of events and activities to engage a broad-range of people to provide them with support and resources to be able to identify and record species.

  • Wildlife recording: we have worked with the Field Studies Council to produce a bespoke self-guided identification pack featuring a number of species found within the Trent Valley. It can be used by families, schools and community groups who can then share their findings with us. We have an active group of ‘Wildlife Recording Volunteers’ who regularly submit wildlife records to iRecord to help us understand the biodiversity of the landscape. Find out more on the ‘Wildlife Identification and Recording’ resources page, or the ‘Volunteers‘ page to get involved.
  • Specialist group expertise: we are engaging with specialist groups such as Bumblebee Conservation Trust volunteers to deliver training and information talks, as well as give us species level data which can be submitted to Staffordshire Ecological Records (SER) and Derbyshire Biological Records Centre (DBRC) to increase the quality and quantity of biological records in the Trent Valley.
  • Training courses and family activities: public events are held across the year at key sites providing an opportunity for the surrounding communities to have access to a range of subject area specialists such as mammal group, butterfly group etc. Check out our Eventbrite page for upcoming activities.
  • Families engaged will have a greater knowledge of habitats and ecology. They will have learnt about species present in the landscape, how to identify them, record them and provide data to the biological recording centres to assist with mapping and planning requests in future.
  • We will leave behind a network of experienced recorders with wide knowledge of sites and species within the Trent Valley, with good contact links and networks between specialist groups and the ecological records centres.

Project Lead

Nicola Lynes
Community Engagement Officer Support Staffordshire


Big Washlands Watch Blog

© Copyright Owner

Protecting your Local Environment – A Guide to our Resource Pack

Spotting wildlife – birds, butterflies or even plants – is something we all find a little joy in doing. But what if finding and snapshotting the species we see could have a big impact on how our environment is treated? Well, it does. Our upcoming wildlife resource pack tells you how to identify a variety of species from a Brown Hare to an Emperor Dragonfly, and how best to help them thrive in the Trent Valley area, and we are offering it to you for use in the Trent Valley for free!

© Copyright Owner

I’ve seen some interesting wildlife – what should I do next?

How many times have you been out on a walk and seen an interesting animal, bird or plant, and managed to take a half-decent picture on your phone? You bring it home, do a bit of research and see that you’ve spotted quite a rare species for your area! Then what do you do? You probably tell your family and friends, but who else wants to know?

© Copyright Owner

A morning birding at Croxall Lakes Nature Reserve

Our Wildlife Recording Volunteers are an enthusiastic bunch, using their local nature reserves for daily exercise and letting us know what they see. One of our group visited Croxall Lakes recently, a Staffordshire Wildlife Trust reserve, and despite the weather, had a successful morning birding!

© Copyright Owner

Support Plastic Free July with Sisters Against Plastic

In 2018, my sister and I made a resolution to reduce our plastic use. To achieve that goal we made a year-long plan that worked really well for us. It worked so well in fact that I reduced my plastic use by 91% and Mary managed to reduce hers by 73%! Here’s how we did […]

© Copyright Owner

RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch.

You might have seen that one of the projects running within the Transforming the Trent Valley scheme is the ‘Big Washlands Watch’, which is all about citizen science – engaging people with their local wildlife and teaching them how to identify species and submit biological records.

© Copyright Owner

Call for Citizen Scientists.

Transforming the Trent Valley scheme is launching our ‘Big Washlands Watch’ project in 2020. This project aims to learn more about the number and types of species living in the Trent Valley area by encouraging local people to get involved in some citizen science activities. We would like to hear from people and groups within the Transforming the Trent Valley scheme area who want to learn more about the wildlife on their doorstep and would like to help us to record it.