A chance to go wild in the country

A natural history “time team” will be searching for Dumfries and Galloway’s hidden wildlife treasures at Barstobrick on Saturday, July 13 … and they need your help.

Celebrating the 2013 Year of Natural Scotland, the wonderful Barstobrick Visitor Centre will play host to a “BioBlitz”, run in partnership by Dumfries and Galloway Environmental Resources Centre (DGERC) and the Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT).

A BioBlitz is a festival of biodiversity, bringing together wildlife experts and beginners, to find, identify and record as many plant and animal species as possible, all in short period of time.

The Barstobrick Visitor Centre has an excellent network of paths through farmland, woodland and wonderful ponds which support a wide array of dragonflies, butterflies, flowers and much more.

Throughout the day there will be a programme of guided walks led by local wildlife experts and activities such as pond-dipping and dragonfly watches showcasing the wonderful wildlife that live there.

DGERC manager Mark Pollitt said: “We’re certainly hoping to unearth some real wildlife jewels – emerald damselflies, golden-ringed dragonflies and perhaps a diamond-backed moth. Maybe we’ll even find something rare or new to the region. We need people to come along and help us search.”

Graham Smith, secretary of the Galloway SWT group, added: “It’s a fun event, and a great opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to get close to some of the wonderful wildlife that Dumfries and Galloway has to offer. But it has a real purpose too. The information we gather will be carefully recorded and used to improve our knowledge of the species that live on the site.”

Activities will run from 10am to 4pm. Barstobrick Visitor Centre is located two miles north of Ringford on the A762 Laurieston road.