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Taunton Wildlife Week, June 4 to 9

PUBLISHED: 11:39 28 May 2014

Photo by Emma Bradshaw

Photo by Emma Bradshaw

Archant

Boat trips, bat surveys and photography workshops are amongst the week of events taking place across the town for Taunton Wildlife Week. From, June 4 to 9, residents of Taunton will have a unique chance to see their town in a fascinating new light, with a week-long series of events to celebrate the town’s green spaces and its amazing wildlife.

Organised by Somerset Wildlife Trust, its partners and volunteers, the events are part of the Routes to the River Tone project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The project aims to encourage local people to explore the wildlife on their doorstep and, with their help, to improve the town’s green spaces and waterways protecting rare species like water vole and bats.

Most events are free of charge and the programme kicks off on Wednesday (June 4th) evening with ‘Walkies with Wildlife’ where people can enjoy a walk in Longrun Meadow with their canine companion. Other highlights include wildlife painting in Vivary Park and wildlife watching on a canal boat on Friday (6th), a bicycle safari on Sunday (8th), and canoeing on Monday (9th.) Also, starting at 12noon on Saturday 7th and running until 12noon on 8th people are invited to join in 24-hours of wildlife watching on Longrun Meadow.

Project Manager, Nick Tomlinson, from Somerset Wildlife Trust, said: “We are often told that our towns and cities are barren places, where no decent wildlife can be found, but, amidst the concrete and cars and the supermarkets and steel , wildlife will thrive, if we give it the space, and the helping hand it needs.

“Running through Taunton is a rich network of waterways and green spaces which provide some amazingly rich places for wildlife and, what is good for wildlife is good for us. Our project is about helping people to see the beauty that already exists in their town and, with their help, make the town a richer place for wildlife and for them.”

Full programme: Taunton Wildlife Week, Wednesday 4 June - Monday 9 June

• Wednesday 4th June

Walkies with Wildlife 7pm - 8.30pm (Longrun Meadow)

Conference: Urban greening; politics, practice, possibilities, 10am to 3pm (Taunton Conference Centre, cost £30, booking required on 01823 252934)

• Thursday 5th June

Camera meets Wildlife 6:30pm ­ 8pm (Hankridge Retail Park)

Discover Wild Spots & Hidden Gems 7pm - 9pm (French Weir Park)

• Friday 6th June

Painting Wildlife 10:30am ­ 12 noon (Vivary Park)

The world in miniature 4pm - 6pm (Goodlands Gardens)

A Watery Walk 7pm - 9pm (Goodlands Gardens)

Messing about on boats 7pm - 9pm (Firepool Lock, cost £10, booking required on 01823 270529)

• Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th June

Daytime, Dusk, Dark, Dawn: Wildlife Identification on Long run Meadow, including butterflies, flowers, spiders, mammal tracking and bats. Starting at 12noon on 7th until 12noon on 8th.

• Sunday 8th June

Cycle Safari 5pm - 7pm (French Weir Park)

• Monday 9th June

Push Chair Wheel 10am - 11:30am (Goodlands Gardens)

Experience a swan’s view of the canal (River Tone at Priory Bridge, cost £4, booking required on 01823 270529)

Taunton Wildlife Week is amongst the special events taking place during the Trust’s 50th Anniversary year to encourage local people to ‘Love Somerset, Love nature.’ Throughout the year the Trust is running four campaigns to celebrate some of Somerset’s best natural wonders - it’s woodlands, meadows, wetlands and coastline.

Routes to the River Tone is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF.) The project aims to engage local people with the wildlife on their doorstep and, with their help, to improve the town’s green spaces and waterways which provide important wildlife habitat for rare species like water vole and four species of bat including brown long-eared and lesser horseshoe bats. It is a partnership project led by Somerset Wildlife Trust and including Taunton Deane Borough Council, Environment Agency, Somerset County Council, Natural England, the Canal and Rivers Trust and the Taunton Deane Area group of Somerset Wildlife Trust.

Some events require booking and have a small charge – see somersetwildlife.org for full event programme and to find out more about Routes to the River Tone.

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