News News BioBlitz Nature Festival at West Horsley Place On 14th May, we surveyed, explored and enjoyed the natural world across our estate in our first ever BioBlitz. Supporting the wildlife and nature in our estate and gardens is a priority here at West Horsley Place and something we focus on with our newest recruit, Yendle Barwise, Environment & Sustainability Manager, and our Estate Manager, Matt Link. Supporting Biodiversity An important part of our BioBlitz was a day-long study of the biodiversity across the estate, and our team was delighted to log a magnificent total of 284 species in their survey with Surrey Biodiversity Centre. Exploring West Horsley Place's Flora and Fauna With the help of our expert partners, visitors explored the estate on a series of walks, including an early start for an inspiring dawn chorus walk led by Mike Waite of Surrey Wildlife Trust. We had badger walks, as the West Surrey Badger Group helped us understand the badgers' home among the bluebells in our woods. A fungus walk with the West Weald Fungus Recording Group demonstrated how the variety of trees and plants on our estate provide the setting for a range of fungi at different points in the year. Butterfly Conservation Surrey led popular butterfly walks and we rounded off the day with a late-night bat walk with Surrey Bat Group. Learning about Wildlife In Place Farm Barn, you could find out about a range of creatures and their world talking to wildlife experts and enthusiasts, including the chance to find out about Surrey's birds, dormice, badgers, bats and much more. We looked in detail at dormice footprints and even a live video feed of peregrine chicks in their nest on a tower block in Woking. Hands-on with Nature Outside there was a chance to get close to birds and find out about leaves in 'leaf-bingo'. Our gardens were open to explore and local herbalist, Janine Gerhardt led a walk looking at medicinal plants. Our 'bug hotels' enabled younger visitors to look for creepy-crawlies of all sorts and enjoy creating a suitable habitat. We also planted seeds with Grace and Flavour, our local community garden. A Wonderful Day in the Natural World The sun shone and we were delighted to welcome over 250 visitors, of all ages, both knowledgeable nature enthusiasts and people who'd come to find out more. It was a marvellous opportunity to learn but also just to relax and enjoy nature in our very special estate. Thanks to everyone who came, and our expert groups and individuals, too many to list, who shared their passion for the natural world. Thanks too to National Heritage Lottery Fund - and all the Lottery Players - for their funding support. Looking forward to the next one!