Tehidy BioBlitz 2022

Base camp at Tehidy Orchard on Friday

What a fantastic BioBlitz event at Tehidy Orchard and surrounding area!

A massive shout out to Budding Nature CIC and the amazing team of volunteer experts who helped us record species and teach people (including me – I learnt lots!) how to search for and I.D. different creatures and plants. Over 100 people, around half of them children, came to the 24 hour event on 29th and 30th July to join in, whether identifying species, learning from the experts, taking part in a nature walk, art activity, searching for spiders, or moth identification. Many of the core participants camped over night and stayed up late to catch the night-time creature activities.

This community BioBlitz event was made possible thanks to the Neighbourhood Fund grant from South West Water which was provided to Resilient Orchards Cornwall CIC. Traditional Orchards are designated priority habitats, and this project is part of our ongoing mission to raise awareness of the importance of orchards, not only as an important local food resource, but also for their amazing habitat value to local wildlife.

There are many people to thank including Sally & Derek from Budding Nature, Andy (Dunamic Dunsescapes) and Nick Taylor (Penwith Landscape Partnership) for loan of equipment; John and Frank (moths), Tylan (spiders) Sam, Jos, Heidi & family, Rosie, Laura, Abi, Martin (Birds), Tony (Cornish language in the Orchard!), Andrew for coming to talk about the orchard and it’s health, biodiversity and history, Vicki for leading an engaging art session on Saturday morning, Gavin and Stuart from Cormac for helping us with organisation and setting up and taking down, Charlotte from Cornwall Council for supporting the idea and helping us with permissions and organisation, the CN4C community group ‘Why Don’t you Club’ led by Rosi; Sally and Mark from Resilient Orchards Cornwall, Jen & Jowan and Dave, Frida and Tam, and not forgetting everyone else who came to join in and help us search for wildlife! And others I may have forgotten – apologies if I have missed you out.

The 24 hours started on Friday midday with a visit from The CN4C Why Don’t you Club where lots of families went searching for creatures alongside the experts using nets in bushes to find spiders and other creatures, magnifying glasses in the woods to find beetles and spiders, and pond dipping in the garden area, the older children and parents enjoyed learning about the different uses of various plants around the site too, from medicinal uses to edible uses.

A highlight for many was opening up the moth boxes early on Saturday morning that had been out all night to see which moths live there (over 70 species identified!), and other creatures including two rare spiders. There were huge numbers to work through including Buff tip moths (that look just like apple twigs!), magpie moths, Elephant hawk moth and Privet hawk moth.

Comments such as ‘my best day ever’ came from children plus adult participants who said they’d never visited the orchard before and had no idea it was even there.

The Bioblitz has raised the profile of the orchard at Tehidy and the emerging importance of this area of Tehidy Country Park. There will be a report detailing the species found plus an overview of biodiversity specifically within the orchard

We hope to go on to conduct further studies into Cornish orchards and learn more about how best to support the creatures that call it home. If you have any interesting studies on Cornish orchards we’d love to hear from you. Please email us on resilientorchardscornwall@gmail.com