What better way to while away the summer than by spending six days in the outdoors appreciating the surrounding countryside and the dramatic South Devon coastline and at the same time, playing a valuable part in a conservation project?
The six day Earthwatch project Bush Crickets and Butterflies operates over the summer and offers volunteers the opportunity to learn new skills and enjoy a team building and hands on conservation experience.
The project will look at two issues within the same study area, the ecology of the great-green bush-cricket and the issue of whether butterflies use green lanes and hedges as wildlife corridors.
On the first day, volunteers will be given training in field research, plant identification, and the recording of data. You will then help to compare green lanes, narrow roads, hedgerows, grass banks and uncropped land around coastal farmland as habitat for the great green bush-cricket. Cricket abundance will be mapped by locating singing males and searching for females.
Butterflies will be tracked and marked with unique codes, you will then help to plot changes in location, and carry out manipulative experiments by making 'green lanes' from plastic windbreak and recording changes in abundance.
The results of the project will provide information needed to help local organisations conserve green lanes, regenerate field boundaries and improve habitat for the great green bush-cricket in its stronghold and butterflies in the wider countryside.
Former volunteer Jackie Ross recalls, "I would never have imagined that counting butterflies in Devon could be so exciting. There is the clouded yellow, holly blue, peacock, small copper, meadow brown, speckled wood and the painted lady. I saw my first ever glow worm, my first great green bush cricket, my first badger and had my first ever swim in the English Channel. The sun was shining, the views were breathtaking and the company was great.'
For £275 you will not only have six fun packed days but also enjoy comfortable accommodation, 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 July and August.
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/ email@example.com
Photo credit: ©John Dover/EWE