TV nature man Chris Packham launches a ‘bioblitz’ in Grangemouth and Falkirk

Chris Packham.
Chris Packham.

TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham will be in Grangemouth and Falkirk today to launch a local bid to save threatened wildlife species.

He will be at Grangemouth’s Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre from around 10am and at Callendar Woods from around 4pm, for special events aimed at raising cash for projects designed to protect wildlife habitats.

Callendar Wood.

Callendar Wood.

The events are part of a UK-wide “bioblitz” - a term used to describe an intensive field study over a set period of time in which all living species in a designated area are recorded.

Chris will be helped by local naturalists in the effort to identify every species - and local residents, along with their children, are being encouraged to join them.

He said: “The UK is home to remarkable and beautiful wildlife and some wonderful habitats, but it’s also in big trouble, and in the case of some species this means we are fast approaching the last chance to make a difference.”

The Jupiter centre, open all year round, is said to be a great example of how wasteland can be transformed into urban green space able to provide a rich habitat and haven for wildlife, including woodland, a wildlife pond, meadows and gardens.

A Comma butterfly at Grangemouth's Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre.

A Comma butterfly at Grangemouth's Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre.

At Callendar Woods, meanwhile, there will be wildlife sessions and activities from 10am to 5pm with Forest Enterprise Scotland at what’s promised to be a (free) fun-filled day.

Chris and his Bioblitz team will be there from 4pm, and again will talking about potential threats to wildlife.

Throughout the day, visitors can enjoy activities including edible foraging, badger and bat awareness sessions, tree ID walks, bugs and butterfly talks, plants and their medicinal use sessions, “Bioblitz bingo” and face painting.

The Bioblitz events aim to create a benchmark that will help measure the rise and fall in numbers of different species across the country.

The team will investigate and discuss all forms of wildlife from flies, fungi and moths, to mammals, birds and butterflies.

Romana Grant, community engagement and employment skills manager at Forest Enterprise Scotland, said: “We’re very much looking forward to welcoming Chris and his team to this weekend, and pleased to be supporting them on their UK tour.

“With the sun shining and the school holidays underway, it’s the perfect time for families to get out and enjoy their local woodlands, whilst learning all about the wildlife that live nearby.”

Visitors are welcome to bring a picnic along on the day.

For further information on the Callendar Wood day, visit https://scotland.forestry.gov.uk/visit/callendar-wood