The biodiversity of Medway is unique in many ways. The rich mixture of habitats, from the river to the grassland and woods of the North Downs, allows for a huge range of species to thrive. Even in the urban areas we can find such rarities as bats, stag beetles and orchids.

Over many years we have done our best to preserve this richness and we are now doing more than ever to achieve this. Many of our greenspaces have new meadows, we have been planting trees and we have now stopped using herbicides across most areas of Medway.

All these great projects will bring about a steady increase in our biodiversity. Starting at the very heart of the food web; the greater variety of plants we have then the more insects and other invertebrates we have. This then brings in more birds and mammals.

It is important that we record this biodiversity so we know that what we are doing is successful and this is where we need your help.

When you are out and about in your garden, your greenspace or your neighbourhood take a notebook to record what you see and then when you have a moment let us know what you have seen using one of the forms.

There are two forms in Excel format you can download. One for recording what you see in a particular place and the other for recording what you see in many different places. Simply fill them in and send them to the Forum by email; there is no need to print anything:

Single location data sheet
Multiple location data sheet (single day)

We just need to know what you saw, where you saw it and when. Any further information you can give is always helpful as well.

For example, you might want to simply build up a picture of the wildlife in your own greenspace or garden. Gradually recording everything will give us a clear idea of the wildlife in your area and help us to protect it. If you or your Friends Group plant some bulbs or create a meadow, make a record of what species you use and any new species that are attracted to what you have done.

If you are unsure of what you have seen then try to take a picture to send to us and we can help you identify it.

Over the coming months we will let you know what to look out for, especially as Spring arrives, and we will also be providing some on line help and support with identifying things as well.

Following the brilliant work that many of you did for the tree canopy survey I am sure we will soon have an excellent picture of the wildlife of Medway.