top of page

Longshaw: Buds, Berries and Leaves

The 25th of February saw SUCV off to Longshaw for another round of survey training with Moors for the Future. This time we were learning how to survey for their new citizen science project, ‘Buds, Berries and Leaves’. This project is all about tracking the phenology of key moorland plants, such as heathers and bilberry. Phenology is the timing of key events in organisms life histories, such as when leaves first appear, when berries form, or when leaves begin to drop. This is really key because climate change could be affecting the timing of these events in organisms across the globe. Plants and animals are closely linked - i.e. plants need pollinators, birds need plants for food (and so on) - if they respond at different rates to climatic change this will create a mis-match in event timing, with potentially severe consequences for the survival of these species.

Upland heathlands, such as in the Peak District, are key habitats for a number of rare and migratory animal species. Hence, it is crucial to understand if and how plant phenology is changing here so we can monitor potential impacts on other species, and how management may mitigate or enhance these impacts.

The survey simply requires people to walk a defined transect and record the stages (leaf, flower, berries, leaf fall) that the four key plant species (ling, bilberry, crowberry and rowan) are in. We had a practice with identifying these species so when we conduct the actual surveys we’ll be able to help out! However, if you fancy a go yourself there’s plenty of information, including survey forms and an ID chart, on the Moors for the Future website: -science/berries-buds-and-leaves

We will be conducting this survey - along with the Bumblebee ID skills we learnt last year - soon. We have organised a date towards the end of the year for this, so keep a look out if you are interested!

Overall, it was a thoroughly informative and enjoyable day. Moors for the Future are really great at pitching the training sessions for people of all abilities, and we got to have a practice with the experienced rangers (learning a few extra species ID along the way!). I’d recommend attending any other training events that they run if you are lucky enough to be around next year!


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
No tags yet.
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Facebook Round
  • Twitter Round
  • Facebook Round
  • Twitter Round
bottom of page