At least 150 species were recorded in a day of “citizen science” in Otley’s Irish Fields.

Residents and nature lovers turned out for the Otley Nature Network’s ‘Bioblitz’ - a sunny day of wildlife recording at the East of Otley site at the end of June.

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.

The Otley Bioblitz invited local residents to get stuck in, helping with the surveys. The day included guided bird and botany walks, a mini-beast hunt, a tree trail and pond dipping, as well as crafts and games.

The Otley Nature Network, which includes Otley 2030, Wharfedale Naturalists and Wildlife Friendly Otley, also arranged bat and small mammal surveys in the evening.

Organisers say the day was a huge success - with children enjoying a variety of nature-based activities - and they say it was useful too.

The Bioblitz experts are still working on the data, but at the last count more than 150 species were found.

An organiser said: "It was a day of wildlife walks with wildflower, tree, moss and lichen, bird walks and pond dipping. We also had storytellers, which the children loved.

"Highlights of wildlife seen included: small elephant hawkmoth during moth trapping, noctule and small pipistrelle bats during the bat watch, and lots of wood mouse, bank vole, and shrew during the small mammal survey.

"Special thanks go to Yorkshire Mammal Group and West Yorkshire Bat Group for leading surveys."

River Six, Coordinator at Otley Nature Network said: “We chose the Irish Fields for our first Bioblitz as it is Otley’s most endangered green space. With the risk of development imminent, we set out to discover how many species will be displaced, as well as share with the public what could be lost. We’re still working on the data, but so far at least 150 species have been identified.”

The Irish Fields are part of the East of Otley site, which currently has a planning application for 700 houses to be built on it.

The East of Otley Action Group is urging residents to comment on the planning application by the deadline of July 16 at Search for Planning Applications using Public Access.The planning application reference is: 21/01671/OT

Campaigners are inviting local people to visit for detailed guidance on how to respond to the East of Otley planning application.

They are also asking them to sign the petition at

The East of Otley Action Group has also organised a legal fundraiser and is asking people to donate at

Further information about the group and its campaign can be found at Facebook: @eastotleyaction and