Swooping swallows, buzzing bees and darting dragonflies – they all count at RSPB Pulborough Brooks.

Bug hunting at Pulborough Brooks
Bug hunting at Pulborough Brooks

Whilst the RSPB might be best known for their work with birds, the team at Pulborough Brooks nature reserve is celebrating their 20th anniversary by attempting to count every creature they can find.

Over the half term week they’ll be holding a ‘big wild stock take’ and are inviting people to help them spot and identify everything that flaps, flutters, buzzes, creeps or crawls.

Anna Allum, RSPB Visitor Officer, said:”In the 20 years that we’ve been open, the reserve has become an important refuge for threatened birds like lapwings and nightingales; but the work we’ve done here has made it a great place for insects, amphibians, reptiles and mammals too. We decided to hold a big wild stock take to see exactly who makes their home here, and the more pairs of eyes and ears to help find things the better!”

Pulborough Brooks is playing host to some very special wildlife stars this year; adders are basking in the sunny spots around the trails, friendly house sparrows can be seen nest- building under the eaves of the visitor centre, swallows swoop low over the water in search of insects and nightingales sing throughout the day and night along the hedgerows. Out on the pools, the ducks have broods of fluffy ducklings, dragonflies patrol the ditches, and butterflies flutter around the wildflowers.

Anna added: “Over the week, we’ll have roving wardens, spotting booklets and lots of hands-on activities to get people up close and personal with some of our great wildlife, and to ensure we get the longest list! Families are very welcome, but anyone can come along and pond-dip even if they don’t have a child in tow!”

You can take part in activities, spot and record all the wildlife throughout the week from Monday May 27 to Sunday June 2). There will be friendly helpers on hand to help you find and identify the creatures, and activities include pond and ditch dipping, evening walks, magnificent moths and a session for intrepid insect hunters.

For further details on activities, including times and prices, please contact the visitor centre on 01798 875851, or email pulborough.brooks@rspb.org.uk. The reserve is located off the A283 between Pulborough and Storrington.