Last week we held a bioblitz on our beautiful Lee Abbey estate.

We were joined by a number of nature experts who assisted us, as we carried out a mass survey of flora and fauna across our 288 acres in five days. Working alongside us were representatives from A Rocha Partners in Action: Hilfield Friary; Saint Madoc Centre in The Gower; Brunel Manor, Torquay; and Adventure Plus, Oxfordshire. A Rocha, a Christian charity working for the protection and restoration of the natural world, is identified with five core commitments which partners like us endeavor to support and uphold.

A Rocha values:

1) Christian: Underlying all we do is our biblical faith in the living God, who made the world, loves it and entrusts it to the care of human society.

2) Conservation: We carry out research for the conservation and restoration of the natural world and run environmental education programmes for people of all ages.

3) Community: Through our commitment to God, each other and the wider creation, we aim to develop good relationships both within the A Rocha family and in our local communities.

4) Cross-cultural: We draw on the insights and skills of people from diverse cultures, both locally and around the world.

5) Cooperation: We work in partnership with a wide variety of organisations and individuals who share our concerns for a sustainable world.

The key purposes of our bioblitz were to investigate all the types of plants and animals across the estate, to receive suggestions on how we might manage habitats differently for the benefit of the wildlife here, and to assist with our future land management plans. It has been a vital project.

Jo Greenwood, our Environmental Coordinator commented:
“It’s been great to have so many Partners in Action working together with us. On Community we promise to cherish and protect God’s creation, and so the bioblitz is a brilliant way of expressing this. The results will help us recognise practical ways that plants and animals here can thrive and will also help us to be intentional about improving our stewardship of this spectacular estate within Exmoor National Park.”

The week was a great success and the survey drew interest from many of our younger guests visiting for the week on their half term break. They were delighted to find out that we have 35+ newts and to hear that we have 321 plant species! But for the moment we await the full report of this significant and valuable project.

A Rocha Partner in Action Manager, Lydia Reese concluded:
“It’s been a delight to enjoy this place with other people who have been so enthusiastic about it. I’ve really enjoyed how much the children and other guests have been interested in our work, especially through the bat detecting and moth trapping – a wonderful week!”

This was posted on 4 June 2019.

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