The community incentive scheme (CIS) has been one of the success stories of the CatchmentCARE project. In the Blackwater Catchment alone 23 successful community projects have been supported and delivered over two phases of the scheme. In Phase 2 of the scheme, 12 projects were funded which included access works, community river trails, funding for volunteer training and supply of specialised equipment, bio–blitz events, citizen science projects and interpretation and signage.
Bioblitz Events build a picture of river wildlife
In Phase 2 of the CIS, six local community groups were interested in running Bioblitz type events to help upskill their members and local community as to the Biodiversity of their local river / watercourse.
What is a Bioblitz?
A bioblitz is a biological surveying method in an attempt to record all the living species within a designated area. Groups of scientists, naturalists and volunteers conduct an intensive field study over a continuous time period – this mixture of wildlife experts and the wider public is key to the BioBlitz concept. It is an informal and fun way to create a snapshot of the variety of life that can be found in an area and provides an opportunity for participants to learn together and share their expertise and enthusiasm for nature. This is a great way of breaking down barriers to engagement with science and raising awareness of the role of biolo gical recording. It also gives the public an opportunity to contribute to a genuine scientific survey.
In 2021, local environmental expert Karl Hamilton ran these events for the Blackwater Community Barge, Emyvale Tidy Towns, Eskra Community Association, Mongahan Tidy Towns, Torrent River Enhancement Association and Castlecaulfield Horticultural Society.