Welcome to the BioBlitz Arts page, home to our exciting new programme of virtual events, funded by Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB.
This page is here to tell you a little about BioBlitz Arts and how accessible it is to anyone interested in wildlife. These videos are free to all and suitable for all ages. We hope they encourage you to get out into the countryside and interact with the landscape in a creative way.
About BioBlitz Arts
What is a BioBlitz?
Although it might sound rather scientific, a BioBlitz is something anyone can do. Essentially it is the act of recording varieties of plants, insect and other wildlife or biodiversity in a given area.
A BioBlitz is an event that focuses on finding and identifying as many species as possible in a specific area over a short period of time. At a BioBlitz, scientists, families, students, teachers, and other community members work together to get a snapshot of an area’s biodiversity. These events can happen in most any geography—urban, rural, or suburban—in areas as small as a backyard or as large as a country. – National Geographic
As an organisation driven by our connection with the local landscape, and in the wake of our Bugs & Blossoms themed events, our Vice Chair Melinda Appleby was inspired by this notion of recording wildlife. She wanted to create events around this that would lead to a creative outcome in response to discoveries in our own wildlife areas. Thus, BioBlitz Arts was born.
BioBlitz Arts was set up earlier this year by a small W&BA team who have reached out to local Churchyards, asking those who upkeep them to create conservation areas or ‘wild patches’ where the grass is left to grow long, allowing wildflowers and insects to come back into the area. Since the start of lockdown at the end of March, we’ve seen amazing results in St Mary’s Churchyard in Bungay, and Holy Trinity Churchyard in Blythburgh, with copious varieties of wildflowers and insects establishing themselves in the unmown grasses.
We’re launching our short programme of BioBlitz Arts events with this video by Norfolk-based Ecologist Sam Sewell, supported by his film-maker partner Becky Demmen, who have filmed this BioBlitz survey of Holy Trinity Church in Blythburgh.
In the video, Sam shares details about the insects and plants he discovered around the churchyard and the church itself, which is one of the origins of our BioBlitz Project where the grass has been left to grow long and encourage more wildlife into the area. Sam will help you with some tips on how to spot species when you’re visiting the church yard, or exploring your garden at home.
If this video inspires you to create your own BioBlitz survey, perhaps in your garden, local park, church yard or even at Blythburgh Church itself, let us know how you get on by tagging us in your posts and using the hash tags #wba2020 and #bioblitzarts Have fun!
Launching on 25th & 27th August
Join Artist Holly Sandiford for two family-friendly and free creative workshops where she will show us how to make art inspired by the natural habitats and wildlife at the Suffolk Coast AONB.
Drawing To Nature Sounds: In the first workshop Holly guides you through a soundscape made from the sounds she captured on her trip to Blythburgh Holy Trinity Church. Follow the sounds with your pencil to listen in closely. Explore the acts of mark making without focusing on the end result. This workshop is very freeing and requires no previous skills or art knowledge. Great for all ages.
Collage Map Making: In the second workshop Holly helps you to create your own collaged ‘map’ based on a virtual photo-walk she will take you on. Use Holly’s guidance to help you to explore the landscape on a trip to the Suffolk Coast AONB yourself and make your own map inspired by your walk. As with Holly’s first workshop, this one requires no prior art skills and is perfect for the whole family to enjoy.
You can now see both of these 50 minute workshops on our YouTube Channel by clicking the buttons below.
Launching mid September
In these workshops, Poets Derek Adams and Dide will guide you through different approaches and prompts to create poetry inspired by the landscape at the Suffolk Coast AONB.
In our first poetry workshop on 10th Sept, award winning artist and writer Dide will help you tap into the detail of the Suffolk landscape, connect with your emotions and craft these ideas into poetry. Then on 14th Sept, poet and photographer Derek Adams will show you how to dive into discovering wildlife using words and capture your findings in inspiring phrases and poems.
We’re pleased to be aided by Suffolk Coast & Healths AONB whose aim is to conserve and enhance the habitats and biodiversity of the special heathlands, woodlands, estuaries and coast in our area.