Spring cherry blossom

Wow, what lovely weather we've been having the past few days - and it's due to get warmer over the weekend.  If you're looking for an outdoor activity and can't wait for the OPAL Water Survey to start in two weeks time, how about giving the Natural History Museum's cherry tree survey a try? Cherry trees are so easy to spot at ths time of year as they are in full blossom. Find out more on the museum's website.

The sunshine will also be bringing lots of butterflies out, and I'll be out looking for them as I've signed up to record butterflies in my little patch of Sussex. A couple of weeks ago I went to a conference funded through the OPAL Grants Scheme where lots of butterfly recorders got together to kick-start the process of creating a new butterfly atlas for Sussex (a book of maps and photos that details where all the different species can be found in the county). I really enjoyed the conference and was impressed at the turnout and the enthusiasm of the Butterfly Conservation Sussex recorders. As a result I've been inspired to give it a go in my local area!  Will keep you posted with my progress.  I saw a Holly Blue last weekend, but unfortunately didn't have my camera with me so can't share a photo with you.  Will post some piccies as and when I get them.

Unfortunately I'm not spending as much time outdoors as I'd like because we're really busy at work.  The OPAL Grants Scheme closes to applications in the next 2 weeks so I'm busy answering enquiries and sorting out all the paperwork.  We also have two BioBlitzes (24 hour wildlife survey events) coming up at the start of June so we're busy booking marquees and generators, inviting local naturalists, recruiting volunteers, and designing activity sheets and displays. Busy busy, but good fun too!

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