How to safely record wildlife in your local park

Anthony Beyga

After the exciting bio-blitz weekend of the City nature Challenge 2020, it’s time to keep the wildlife recording going all year long. Euan Burns discusses about how to safely record wildlife in your local park.

City Nature Challenge may be over for another year but the wildlife recording doesn't have to stop. Can you join in with Liverpool City Region's Greenspace Challenge as the six local authorities battle it out to see who will come out on top with the most wildlife records?

At the moment, the city area of Liverpool is leading the way for the most observations using the iNaturalist app, but Team Sefton are hot on their heels. You can learn more about the challenge and see the league table here.

Croxteth Park

Croxteth Park by Anthony Beyga

Whilst it’s great to see people getting out to their local parks and green spaces to help increase the knowledge of their area’s biodiversity, in these uncertain times, it’s important to reman both safe and responsible. Here are some thoughts from the volunteers at Croxteth Park Volunteer Group about how to use the park safely during lockdown.

The park has apparently been “very busy” during lockdown. This is because: “there is a wide range of flora and fauna all around the park but mainly in places away from the most popular parts of the park”. This means that the park is a great place to go and record some wildlife using iNaturalist, and it’s worth getting off the beaten track for the best observations.

Croxteth Park

Anthony Beyga

Here is the advice given by the volunteers for how to safely record wildlife at Croxteth Park: “Observe social distancing and only visit with members of your own household. It’s a great activity for kids, covers science, nature and lots of other educational areas! Visiting at less busy times of the day may be more beneficial to recording as well. The other issue is that the majority of the pathways in and around the park are in the main, less than 2 metres wide so this makes passing others very difficult, even for those trying to abide by the rule.”

Unfortunately, the park has had an issue with people breaking these rules, making it even more important for those using the park for the Greenspace Challenge to record responsibly: “We have had a bit of a problem with people not respecting the rules. Initially the advice was to move through the park whilst exercising or walking, however people were having picnics and meeting others in the park. There also seemed to be a lot of groups of young teenagers meeting up in the park despite the rules not allowing this.”

Croxteth Park

Croxteth Park by Anthony Beyga

Despite this, the volunteers are still encouraging people to come and use the park to help boost the research into Liverpool’s biodiversity: “Yes we’re still encouraging people to come, within the boundaries of what is safe to do and also being aware not to disturb wildlife whilst recording”.