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Environmental Citizen Science Project launches in Andover

Individuals from Andover and the surrounding villages are being asked to take action and contribute to a new environmental citizen science project.

Andover, 29 March 2021 Developed by local environmental charity, Andover Trees United, the Nature In Harmony: Citizen Science project, which launches on 10th April, will work with ordinary people, of all ages, to carry out wildlife surveys at Harmony Woods in Andover. 

Citizen science is a branch of scientific research conducted by non-scientists; by enrolling the help of volunteers into scientific research the capacity of the scientific community is improved and the public’s understanding of the science is increased.

Nature In Harmony: Citizen Science has two goals: Firstly, to enhance current scientific understanding of the 44 acres of new woodland, located between Augusta Park and close to Enham Alamein. Secondly, to give individuals who take part the opportunity to take action in their own community and improve their understanding of ecology and conservation.

The charity is looking for 12 members of the community to act as recording assistants to take part in regular wildlife surveys. No experience is required as training will be given in field survey techniques and species identification by the project ecologist.

Over the next 3 months, Andover Trees will also be running an exciting programme of events to complement the scientific research activity. Funded by the Nineveh Charitable Trust, the events, which are open to all, will include a bat detecting walk, pond dipping activities and wildflower identification workshops. A full list of events will be published on the website soon.

The project marks phase 2 of the organisation’s Nature In Harmony programme. Alex Marshall, project Ecologist explains “a baseline database of the existing state of the site has already been collected; this includes a range of wildlife surveys on both plants and animals”. She continues, “The data participants collect is so important and will give policymakers, researchers, and the public alike more accurate information about our local environment and biodiversity.”

Wendy Davis, Andover Trees United founder and manager, said, “Although it had been our intention to increase community involvement in data collection before now, the pandemic has prevented this. However, we have worked hard to bring in Covid-secure measures and procedures to protect our staff, volunteers and participants and with all the events taking place outdoors the risk of infection is very low.”

For more information on how to get involved please visit www.andovertrees.org.uk/nature-in-harmony.

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