Help needed for Southrepps Common wildlife survey

A nature reserve is asking for help in doing a mini 'census' of who lives there.

Southrepps Common near North Walsham is a wildlife haven with habitats ranging from woodland and wet fen.

The 12ha site which is managed by a trust of local volunteers is home to orchids, dragonflies, buntings and warblers.

But it is its more everyday residents such as swifts, peacock butterflies and hedgehogs that it needs to chart.

It is part of a wider Norfolk Wildlife Trust survey encouraging communities to discover and record their local flora and fauna.

Commons Trust information officer Duncan Westlake said that was because the commoner species often went uncharted - with records showing only a small part of Norfolk had any rabbits!

It was asking visitors to the reserve to log sightings of housemartins, swallows, swifts, hedgehogs, and three kinds of butterfly - yellow male brimstones, peacocks and speckled woods.

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'We also want to know when these creatures appear and disappear - such as the first swallow of the year has now been seen at the junction of Chapel Road and Lower Street,' he added.

The survey, which has just started, is also after information about the location of the bird species' nests - but with a strict reminder not to disturb them.

A map reference would be ideal to log all sightings but if not a good description or postcode would also help.

People can complete survey forms on line through the common's website www.southreppscommonstrust.org.uk which also has information to help with identification. Forms are also available from the information point on Lower Street, the Post Office and the Vernon Arms pub. For more information call Mr Westlake on 01263 834966.