Citizen Science at LEAF’s Open Farm Sunday

16 June 2023

One aspect of the SHOWCASE project is investigating ways of increasing important data collection on farmland biodiversity. Particularly, the project aims to discover what is the possible role of citizen science in that landscape. 

To that end, SHOWCASE partners from the University of Reading and LEAF paired up with experienced volunteer recorders from the Butterfly Conservation. They engaged with members of the public on the value of citizen science and biodiversity monitoring on farmland during LEAF’s Open Farm Sunday

Timed butterfly count surveys were conducted throughout the day on three participating farms giving members of the public an insight into how simple, fun and valuable citizen science can be. The records will be uploaded to the Butterfly Conservation website as well as presented back to farmers, establishing baseline surveys of butterfly presence on their farms. 

Questionnaires were provided to farmers, butterfly recorders and members of the public allowing SHOWCASE to gain insights into how each party perceived their experiences. Such questionnaires may assist us in understanding how farmer-recorder relationships can be established and maintained with future goals of creating long-term monitoring plans of farmlands. 

Photo: Alice Mauchline and Andrew Wood at LEAF's Open Farm Sunday.