City Nature Challenge
Last weekend (26th – 29th April 19) saw an international celebration of wildlife in cities take place; with our very own North East England joining in for the first time.
This celebration, a global bioblitz of cities, is called the City Nature Challenge, which invites members of the public to download the iNaturalist app to photograph and identify every single species they discover in their city – from Feral Pigeons to obscure Lichens, steadfast Dandelions to seafaring Kittiwakes.
The City Nature Challenge came to the North East this year thanks to the coordination of the Great North Museum: Hancock, the Natural History Society of Northumbria (NHSN), and the Environmental Records Information Centre (ERIC North East), who hosted a series of events throughout the weekend to survey the wildlife of Newcastle and the immediate surrounding urban areas. (P.s. If you haven’t already, make sure you check out NHSN, they organise incredible wildlife events and activities)
Of course it wasn’t just NHSN leading events for the City Nature Challenge, other small organisations and charities got involved too, take a look at the full events listing to see who got involved.
As part of the City Nature Challenge, we linked up with NHSN to host an exploration of wildlife in one of our favourite places – Ouseburn, Newcastle – on Sunday 28th April.
If you haven’t been, Ouseburn is a lively hub of independent pubs, coffee shops, breweries, art galleries, musicians – even an urban farm – surrounding the River Ouseburn. So when you throw wildlife into that mix, you’ve got an intriguing place indeed.
The walk was quickly fully booked! With 20 NHSN Members geared up to explore and record the wildlife of this eclectic hub. We wanted to show that wildlife and human life can not only live together, but can thrive, no small feat in the 3 hours we’d given ourselves.
In the end, we had barely even touched the sides by the time our walk had completed. Every wall, nook and cranny was thriving with plant and insect life, the river and neighbouring wild spaces were abundant with nesting/ foraging birds, wildflowers, self-seeded trees, signs of mammals – intricate ecosystems living amongst a thriving community of people. The juxtaposition of wild spaces and species beneath motorway bridges and between buildings gives an essence of rewilding, which in some areas is exactly the case; soil has been disturbed and the seed bank within has simply taken hold and succeeded, enabling insects, birds and mammals to colonise the area.
Our full species list of the day can be found below, we recorded 86 species overall!
We’d like to thank the NHSN, their members who joined us, and the Ouseburn Trust for their support and endless enthusiasm on the day. Thanks of course to our intern James Hughes for capturing the day on camera too!
We will certainly be hosting more wildlife events at Ouseburn, so watch this spaces. We’ve already got Bats & Pizza Nights, how does Nature & Nachos sound…?
Ouseburn Species List | Sunday 28th April 2019
- Alder Alnus glutinosa
- Ash Fraxinus excelsior
- Birch sp. Betula sp.
- Bird Cherry Prunus padus
- Black Medick Midicago lupulina
- Blackthorn (AKA Sloe) Prunus spinosaBramble Rubus fruticosus
- Broad-leaved Dock Rumex obtusifolius
- Coltsfoot Tussilago farfara
- Common Groundsel Senecio vulgaris
- Common Vetch Vicia sativa
- Cushion Xanthoria (lichen)
- Daisy Bellis perennis
- DandelionTaraxacum officinale
- Elder Sambucus nigra
- Feverfew Tanacetum parthenium
- Field Maple Acer campestre
- Garlic Mustard Alliaria petiolata
- Germander Speedwell Veronica chamaedrys
- Greater Plantain Plantago major
- Goosegrass (AKA Cleavers/ Stickyweed) Galium aparine
- Gorse Ulex europaeus
- Hairy Bittercress Cardamine hirsute
- Hawthorn Crataegus monogyna
- Hazel Corylus avellana
- Herb Robert Geranium robertianum
- Himalayan Balsam Impatiens glandulifera
- Ivy-leaved Toadflax Cymbalaria muralis
- Hogweed Heracleum sphondylium
- Lesser Celandine Ficaria verna
- Maidenhair Spleenwort Asplenium trichomanes
- Marsh Marigold Caltha palustris
- Ragwort Jacobaea vulgaris
- Red Clover Trifolium pratense
- Ribwort Plantain Plantago lanceolata
- Rough-stalked Feather-moss Brachythecium rutabulum
- Spanish Bluebell Hyacinthoides hispanica
- Spear Thistle Cirsium vulgare
- Stinging Nettle Urtica dioica
- Sycamore Acer pseudoplatanus
- Teasel Dipsacus fullonum
- White Clover Trifolium repensWhite Deadnettle Lamium album
- White Poplar Populus alba
- Black Aphids Aphis fabae
- Black Garden Ant Lasius niger
- Buff-tailed Bumblebee Bombus terrestris
- Common Carder Bee Bombus pascuorum
- European Comma Polygonia c-album
- Green-veined White butterfly Pieris napi
- Grey Field (AKA Milky) Slug Deroceras reticulatum
- Harlequin (AKA Asian) Lady Beetle Harmonia axyridis
- Honey Bee Apis mellifera
- Nursery Web Spider Pisaura mirabilis
- Orange-tip butterfly Anthocharis cardamines
- Peacock butterfly Aglais io
- Sawfly sp.
- Seven-spotted Lady Beetle Coccinella septempunctata
- Sloe Bug Dolycoris baccarum
- Small Tortoiseshell butterfly Aglais urticae
- Speckled Wood Pararge augeria
- St. Marks (AKA Hawthorne) Fly Bibio marci
- Tree Bumblebee Bombus hypnorum
- Two-spotted Lady Bug Adalia bipunctata
- Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla
- Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus
- Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
- Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
- Dunnock Prunella modularis
- Feral Pigeon Columba livia domestica
- Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis
- Great Tit Parsus major
- Greenfinch Chloris chloris
- Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
- Herring Gull Larus argentatus
- House Sparrow Passer domesticus
- Kestrel (Eurasian) Falco tinnunculus
- Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla
- Long-tailed TitAegithalos caudatus
- Magpie (Eurasian) Pica pica
- Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
- Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus
- Moorhen (Eurasian) Gallinula chloropus
- Mute Swan Cygnus olor
- Song Thrush Turdus philomelos
- Starling Sturnus vulgaris
- Stock Dove Columba oenas
- Wren Troglodytes troglodytes