Fen Meadow is a wonderful site, tucked away between The Abbey school grounds and Cumberland Street in Woodbridge. It is a space for local people to enjoy and is a rich and diverse site for wildlife in its meadow, scrub and woodland areas.
In 2013 Ann Bannister, along with the other members of the Friends of Fen Meadow group, decided to find out more about the wildlife on site. They set up a number of specialist species surveys and began using an online recording system called iRecord to log the results. Using this system has meant their records have been fed through to the local biological records team based at Ipswich Museum.
To date they have carried out extensive moth, botanical, mammal and bird surveys – and are on their way to logging 400 different species. These species range from hedgehogs to 7 spot ladybirds.
After the group decided they would like to begin looking at invertebrates Suffolk Wildlife Trust organised specialist training with a local expert. The group also borrowed mammal footprint tunnels from the Trust to help monitor mammals at the site, which is how they discovered that hedgehogs were using the meadow – as well as several neighbourhood cats!
This year the group hope to continue surveying for invertebrates as they realise this is such a large and diverse area, they are also hoping to carry out a fungi survey.
If you would like to find out more about the Friends of Fen Meadow please get in touch with Ann Bannister through the Trust on 01473 890089. The group are particularly interested to hear from people that could help with photography and website creation as they are keen to spread the word about the group and the surveys. On the surveying side, they would love to hear from a fungi expert – although they are keen to stress that the group is open to all and they hope to involve as many local people as they can in next year’s surveys.