Earthwatch, the international environmental charity, is appealing for local wildlife lovers to head down to Wytham Woods this summer to join a six day conservation project that will contribute to a nation wide mammal monitoring programme.
The aims of the project include, assessing the badger population's capacity to cope with changing climatic patterns, establishing rabbit and fox numbers, surveying river habitats for the field signs of otters, mink, polecats and water voles and monitoring the abundance of deer and bat species in the woods.
Volunteers will be given full training in field research and the opportunity to work with a variety of species. All of your hard work and the data that you help to collate will go towards the 'Oxfordshire Biodiversity Action Plan'.
As a volunteer you could be involved in a number of activities including, badger watching to observe and record behaviour, the counting of badger cubs in order to establish population numbers and the setting up and checking of traps for small mammals, which will then be identified, marked and weighed before being released.
At dusk you and your team will be driven around the woods with lamps to count the number of rabbits, hares and deer by eye shine, you will also use a bat detector to pick up bat ultra sound and determine numbers.
Oxford volunteer Katie Wilson recalls, 'The most fantastic part of this project for me was being able to get close to a variety of wildlife and discovering so much more about species that are really just on our doorstep. It was a fantastic few days, I learnt a great deal about conservation and I had the opportunity to work with some new and interesting people.'
£295 will secure your place on this 6 day project and in return Earthwatch can offer you comfortable accommodation in Oxford centre, hearty meals, a host of new skills, and a rewarding and team building week. Anyone is welcome to join in and no experience is necessary. Projects operate in April, May, August and September.
To find out more about dates and prices, visit www.earthwatch.org/europe or call + 44 (0) 1865 318838.
For press information, images and interviews contact Zoe Gamble, Press Officer + 44 (0) 1865 318806/ firstname.lastname@example.org/ or Natalie Pritchard, PR Manager, +44 (0) 1865 318820/ email@example.com
Photo credit: ©Emily Cantrell/EWE