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Sawbridgeworth Town Council launches citizen science project with aim to educate about area's biodiversity




Residents, schools and community groups are being urged to join in a citizen science initiative which is aimed at helping people learn about and protect Sawbridgeworth’s biodiversity.

It follows an extensive eco-audit covering natural habitats in the area, compiled and written by Bob Reed, chairman of Friends of Pishiobury Park.

A webinar hosted by the town council will be held at 7.30pm on Tuesday (Sept 14), supported by community group Sustainable Sawbridgeworth. It will provide an insight into the wide range of habitats in the area and invite residents to join a group to monitor these natural assets.

The project was launched following an eco audit by Bob Reed, chairman of the Friends of Pishiobury Park. Pic: Vikki Lince (50841297)
The project was launched following an eco audit by Bob Reed, chairman of the Friends of Pishiobury Park. Pic: Vikki Lince (50841297)

The eco-audit provides a written record and description of these areas along with location listings, including wildlife sites such as the park itself, which recently achieved Local Nature Reserve status.

Actions include looking at water quality in the River Stort, assessing air pollution levels, finding noise hotspots with sound meters and testing soil quality.

Mr Reed said: “Having lived in this area for over 70 years I thought I knew it quite well, but doing this audit has been a revelation as to what we have on our own doorsteps.

A jay taken in Sawbridgeworth on the River Stort towpath south of Pishiobury Park. Picture: Kevin Bunten
A jay taken in Sawbridgeworth on the River Stort towpath south of Pishiobury Park. Picture: Kevin Bunten

“We tend to think we need to travel long distances to experience wildlife and countryside. But if this account makes you think twice and causes you to take a walk and investigate and appreciate what we have locally in terms of biodiversity and wildlife, then I will have achieved my aim.”

Cllr Annelise Furnace, the town council’s green champion, added: “This group will be vital in helping to spread understanding of our local environment and looking after areas that are absolute jewels in terms of their biodiversity.

“It is also a key way to raise awareness of the place and role of humans in the environmental eco-system, especially in the face of global warming.”

Mayor Cllr Greg Rattey said: “The town council is extremely grateful for all Bob’s hard work and this initiative is a brilliant opportunity for residents, schools and community groups to get directly involved in looking after our environment.”

To register for the webinar email info@sawbridgeworth-tc.gov.uk. More details are available at http://www.sawbridgeworth-tc.gov.uk/town-council/eco-audit-the-town



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