The years have rolled by, and I now feel in need of a new challenge. Something to get me out of bed in the morning, and to stop me spending all my time working. And maybe even something mildly useful in terms of adding to the sum knowledge of biodiversity? But the reality is that I am severely time-limited, by family and work. Moreover, I'm increasingly uncomfortable with burning up petrol to add the next tick.
So, the challenge I have set for myself in 2013 is..... to record 1,000 species in my home 1 km square, which goes by the name of TM2499. I live in the village of Shotesham, a few miles south of Norwich. It's a really pleasant place to live, and TM2499 is probably a bit more diverse than the average 1 km square. I have a sizeable garden, which is "managed for wildlife" (spot the euphemism). Behind me is a boring arable field, although with quite a wide margin left in recent years. But more usefully, in front is the Shotesham Common SSSI, which is basically boggy ground with a stream running through it, on its way to join the river Tas (and thence the Yare). We also have a decent sized village pond about 100 m away. Elsewhere in the 1 km square, there are more arable fields, more gardens and a few small blocks of woodland.
Surely enough to support 1,000 species. Well yes, but...just for the record, and to get my excuses in early, I'm not really an expert in most taxonomic groups, except (I suppose I'd have to accept) birds and Lepidoptera. I'm quite good at hoverflies these days too I think, and am a slightly better botanist. However, for most insects I'm still a relative beginner. I only bought my first microscope last year, and still find it mildly scary!
Anyway, perhaps it's a pipe dream and in reality perhaps I'll find no time to tackle the myriad different organisms that live in the square. But it's exciting to think about having a go. I reckon so at least. And even if 1,000 seems way out of reach, for someone with my time and ability constraints, I'm interested to see how far I can get.
I'd also be really interested to hear if anyone else out there fancies having a go. There's nothing like a bit of friendly competition and camaraderie to spur one along.
|Willow Emerald Damselfly Lestes viridis - in my garden in September 2011, one of the best finds of the year.|