A SERIES of educational and fun events, from the Friends of Ilkley Moor, have taken place during September.

The guided walks and educational sessions were organised to give people the opportunity to discover and explore the wildlife of Ilkley Moor and so people could learn skills in recording the biodiversity of the moor.

Training in Community Science Surveys for Sphagnum moss took place on Sunday, September 3, organised by the Friends of Ilkley Moor and delivered by Moor For The Future. There was an indoor session at the Cow and Calf hotel, followed by lunch and then a two hour field visit on Ilkley Moor.

The training introduced people to why Sphagnum moss is important, how to identify it and a methodology to survey it. The presentation for this training session can be found on ‘Moors For The Future’ website where those who wish to take part in the survey can find more information.

Friends of Ilkley Moor project officer Tracy Gray said: "People learnt great skills in wildlife identification and surveying at this event as well as helping out with valuable research as part of the ‘Big Ilkley Moor Survey’."

Two FoIM heritage walks also took place: Crawshaw Moss and White Wells Moorland. Copies of these walks can be downloaded from the FoIM website.

Two guided walks to discover bats also took place, one for the general public and one for Explorer Scouts. Bat detectors were used to identify the presence of bats on the moor. Pipistrelle bats were discovered.

All of the species discovered at these events, were recorded as part of the ‘Big Ilkley Moor Survey’. This survey is part of the Friends of Ilkley Moor’s new ‘Nature for all Project’. The aim of the project is to provide the local community with opportunities to identify, survey and record the wildlife of Ilkley Moor.

The project offers the local community, schools, colleges, youth groups, volunteers and other organisations and individuals opportunities to gain skills in learning how to undertake wildlife surveys using standardised methodology; and also how to identify and discover wildlife in a fun way.

The next event to take place on Ilkley moor will be the Cup and Ring GPS Trail on October 14 from 10am to 1pm. This walk navigated by the use of GPS references will take people on a discovery of eight Cup and Ring Stones over a wide area of Ilkley Moor.

The events programme and heritage walks can be downloaded from the FOIM website www.ilkleymoor.org or collected from Ilkley Information Centre and shops in the Town.