The Friends of Goostrey Station (FoGS) are using new technology to enhance their growing range of biodiversity projects.
Members have started using a Geographical Information Service (GIS) to record different species and their locations. The system uses free Open Source Software to create maps, allowing sets of data to be stored so that users can monitor biodiversity over time.
The rural location of Goostrey provides an ideal environment for a wide variety of plant and animal species. Keen to increase biodiversity in and around the station, the group recently added several bird and bat boxes, and plants such as Buddleia, a shrub that can provide an important nectar source for butterflies, moths, and other insects.
The local Goostrey cub group also held one of their weekly meetings at the station, helping to create three bug hotels to improve the habitat for invertebrates.
Using the new technology, FoGS now create a new GIS map every month, which is uploaded to the wildlife section of their website.
The group said: “The information collected can be analysed to see which species of birds are currently using the nest boxes, and what types of bugs are living in the bug hotels. This year there’s been an increase in butterfly numbers, possibly because of the planting of butterfly-friendly plant species. In Spring 2021, FoGS members plan to erect more bird boxes, and the GIS will be updated by adding the new locations.”
When their new ideas were explained during a recent online meeting, FoGS found there was interest from other station friends’ groups, and they are keen to encourage others to adopt similar practices at stations across the country. Their work has already been recognised locally via the presentation of a Gold ‘Wild About Goostrey’ Award from Goostrey Parish Council.
For further information, visit www.friendsofgoostreystation.org.