Wanted – More Garden Moth Recorders in East England!
The Garden Moth Scheme (GMS) has been running now for four years in the West Midlands Region with 50 gardens taking part across six counties. Intentionally there was no fan-fare to announce the start of the scheme, as we wanted to keep it quiet while we worked out a recording system that was effective. We now have a GMS that works and want to expand it to a national scheme.
In 2007 this process of expansion started and has already been a great success. We now have GMS in Wales with 20 gardens (GMS Cymru), South East England with 20 gardens and the Essex area of East England with 10 gardens. As well as this we have additional recorders across the country from the Isle of Wight to Scotland (with two Norfolk and one Suffolk recorder). In 2007 we will have at least 110 GMS recorders and we are hoping for another big expansion in 2008.
So do you want to join in for 2008? If so, let us know – you will be very welcome, we are particularly keen on recorders from Norfolk and Suffolk joining in.
What do you need to do to take part? You just need to count the numbers of common moths you see in your moth trap, for one night every week from March to November (and you are probably doing that already). The list of moths consists of about 200 species, common in your area and those that are difficult to identify are intentionally left out. This means that the GMS is open to recorders of all abilities – you don’t have to be an expert, just get yourself a moth trap and field guide and you will be welcome! This is a rapidly expanding garden moth-recording scheme that measures the fortunes of our common moths. And to make it even more attractive to recorders the GMS now has its own popular chat-site, regular newsletter, annual report and meeting.
So what have been the results of the four years of West Midlands GMS? We have found that some moths including Dot Moth and Garden Carpet are in decline while others such as Common Footman and Blair’s Shoulder-knot are increasing. Preliminary results for 2007 are already quantifying just how bad this wet summer has been for moths. But are these just short-term changes and is this reflected across the whole country? To answer these questions we need more moth recorders throughout the UK. If you count moths in your back garden and want to make a real difference to the future of moths and our environment then get in touch with me to sign up for the 2008 recording season.
Finally, this scheme is run for the most part on a voluntary basis. Potential funders interested in providing support will also be very welcome!
So, get in touch straight away if you want to join the GMS in Norfolk or Suffolk – your records will be really valuable.
Dave Grundy, 5, Melrose Avenue, Woodfield Road, Sparkbrook, Birmingham, B12 8TG. Tel: 0121-446-5446, Email: :firstname.lastname@example.org