Leaders Mark Hill in collaboration with the Cambridgeshire Mammal Group, Rosie Earwaker, Monica Frisch and Duncan Mackay
Urban domestic gardens occupy a substantial proportion of the area of British towns – about 20-25% according to a study in Sheffield. They are a notable resource for wildlife and full of interesting plants. In summer 2016 we developed a protocol for recording species in gardens and tried it out in four. We are looking for gardens in as many Cambridge monads (1-km squares) as possible. We are trying to spread the gardens out so that we have only one in each monad.
In each garden we note the weeds in flower beds and all species in the lawn. We ask the householder to tell us of the vertebrates that they have seen in the past two years. We also record those that we find when we go there. We ask the householder for information about management, in particular pest control and wildlife management. We make records of (1) Vascular plants (summer, including a separate list for the road verge outside the property) and (2) Bryophytes (winter). As part of the plant recording we take soil samples and note the weeds in two squares of size 1 m² placed in flower beds.
Gardens with contacts January 2018
This diagram shows monads where we have contacts whose gardens have, or
will be, surveyed. We need gardens in the blank monads.
Rosie Earwaker being interviewed for Cambridge TV
The last garden of 2016 was sampled in October, and we were interviewed for Cambridge TV by a team led by Jamie Wyver. This was an unusual garden in that there were no flower beds but lots of bushes and trees with berries. Of course, there is no such thing as the average garden. If you have a garden that you are willing for us to record, or if you would like to join the garden survey team, get in touch with us at NatHistCam@gmail.com . We will send you a prospectus and questionnaire for our survey.