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Hundreds of residents explore wildlife at Dinton Pastures

Hundreds of residents explore wildlife at Dinton Pastures

07 July 2022
[ Zoom ]
A boy looks down a microscope inside a classroom at Dinton Activity Centre

A thousand adults and children in Wokingham borough became citizen scientists at Dinton Pastures Country Park in Hurst.


They joined the first weekend BioBlitz event hosted by the British Entomological and Natural History Society (BENHS) to mark its 150th year as a society. 

The event on 18 and 19 June 2022 was held in conjunction with the annual Amateur Entomologists’ Society (AES) “Bug Club” annual family day.

The BioBlitz was a community nature survey, focusing on identifying as many species as possible in the country park in 48 hours. Its aim was to inspire people, especially the younger generation, to take an interest in and learn about the importance of wildlife in nature. 

Based at Dinton Pastures, BENHS worked in partnership with Wokingham Borough Council and AES to organise this celebratory event, which was free and open to all residents in the borough.

Hundreds of species identified


Cllr Ian Shenton, the new executive member for environment, sport and leisure, said: “It gives me great pleasure to congratulate BENHS on its 150th anniversary and for hosting such a wonderful event at Dinton Pastures.

"The BioBlitz was a remarkable success with an impressive turnout and positive feedback from participants. It provided residents with an excellent opportunity to discover the diversity of wildlife in our country park. I look forward to seeing more events like the BioBlitz in the borough in future.”


Jon Cole of BENHS, said: “We are glad to see so many families and individuals take part in the BioBlitz and record what they saw at Dinton Pastures. It is particularly exciting to see how the children were fascinated by the species they saw, especially under the microscope, and challenged the experts with their intelligent questions. 

"So far, over 300 animal and plant species were identified, but more are expected after the results have been fully compiled. 

"We are thankful to the experts from our partners including AES, Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre, Butterfly Conservation, Friends of Ruscombe Wood,  Berkshire Moth Group and Reading and District Natural History Society for supporting the event and answering questions from the members of the public.”

Fun learning activities for all ages

During the two-day event, there were a range of fun learning activities for all ages including guided walks, conservation activities and wildlife recording and surveying. Participants were also able to see and experience a lot about nature at the designated “base camp”, the new Dinton Pastures Activity Centre.


Children were encouraged to pick up a BioBlitz Explorer Activity Book from the activity centre and take on the challenge to find various species like White-tailed Bumblebees, Germander Speedwell and Robins in the country park. 

They could earn a BioBlitz sticker or an exclusive BioBlitz Pin Badge depending on what kind and how many species they discovered.


The most popular attractions of the event were the displays of live moths in a moth trap, different birds’ nests, and an intact shed skin of a grass snake (Natrix helvetica) found by a young boy.


Dinton Pastures has long been working closely with BENHS in promoting the identification, recording and conservation of the natural history of insects and other invertebrates. Residents can apply to become a member of the society and join its activities including member study days held at Dinton Pastures.

More from Wokingham Borough Council


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