VOLUNTEERS are needed to help record the vast array of plants and animals at Moors Valley Country Park.

The 800-acre park already benefits from regular surveys of its butterfly, dragonfly and damselfly populations, and keeps an on-going record of bird sightings.

Now, with the help of additional experts, the rangers are hoping to broaden their knowledge of the park’s many other inhabitants.

Countryside education ranger, Katie Davies, said: “We are organising a 24-hour Bioblitz at Moors Valley on July 24 and would love to bring some new volunteers on board to help discover and record particular species.

“We are hoping lots of members of the public will also want to join in, but obviously they will need guidance, so knowledgeable experts will be welcome.”

The rangers are also keen to increase the scope of the regular surveys, so welcome support from volunteers who cannot make the Bioblitz but would be keen to get involved.

It is thanks to regular survey work that Moors Valley is recognised as one of the best places in the UK to see dragonflies and has recently had a highly-successful water vole reintroduction programme. Katie added: “As the third most visited country park in England we have to work extra hard to ensure we balance the needs of our visitors with those of the many plants and animals spread across the park.

“It would be immensely helpful to be able find out more about them. In particular we’d be interested in working with anyone with knowledge of amphibians, mammals and invertebrates – including my personal favourite – beetles. We are also keen to record more of our flora, an area which has never been fully explored.”

For details of how to take part in the Bioblitz or to find out more about becoming a wildlife volunteer at Moors Valley contact Katie Davies on 01425 470721 or email ktdavies@christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk