We had another long drive ahead of us after work on Friday, this time up to the Peak District for a weekend of good company, even better weather and cake. Lots and lots of cake. If you’ve been keeping track of our adventures these last few months then you’ll know that we’ve been criss crossing the country like nobodies business. This has undoubtedly enabled us to have some great experiences but I can officially declare myself sick to the back teeth of motorways, road closures and my fellow drivers. Desperately searching for something to break the monotony of another four hours behind the wheel I suggested that we return to our citizen science objective for #30DaysWild and conduct a detailed survey for Project Splatter. Behind that great name is a serious piece of research being undertaken by Cardiff University to map wildlife roadkill, identify hotspots and ultimately work towards keeping more of our critters safe. With our planned route travelling through a wide variety of habitats from city to countryside I was sure there was something we could add, though truthfully I wasn’t expecting to see much beyond an occasional unfortunate Badger or Fox.

The reality proved quite horrifying. Before darkness brought a premature end to proceedings we’d recorded no fewer than thirty seven individual casualties, but the true total was likely much higher. Several were unidentifiable but those that were covered a broad cross section of our natural fauna from a variety of birds through to small and medium sized mammals. Most surprising? That has to be the anatomical model of a human skeleton currently hanging out on the central reservation of the M5.

Here then is our full list of sightings, all of which will be winging their way to Project Splatter very shortly. It’s interesting to note that from even this small set of data there are two clear hotspots emerging, Abergavenny and Monmouth. Both are major transport intersections surrounded by countryside and I would suggest best avoided if you’re an animal or bird.

Unidentified small mammal – Junction 43 M4

Rabbit – A465 Neath

Hedgehog – A465 Merthyr Tydfil

Magpie – A465 Abergavenny

Unidentified small mammal – A465 Abergavenny

Squirrel – A40 Abergavenny

Unidentified small mammal – A40 Abergavenny

Squirrel – A40 Abergavenny

Badger – A40 Raglan

Unidentified medium sized bird – A40 Raglan services

Woodpigeon – A40 Cwmcarvan

Rabbit – A40 Wonastow

Unidentified small mammal – A40 Monmouth

Rabbit – A40 Monmouth

Woodpigeon – A40 Monmouth

Rabbit – A40 Monmouth

Pheasant – A40 Marstow

Badger – A40 Goodrich

Rabbit – A40 Hom Green

Woodpidgeon – A40 Hom Green

Unidentified small mammal – A40 Ross on Wye

Rabbit – A40 Ross on Wye

Unidentified small mammal – M50 Linton

Fox – M50 Gorsley

Pheasant – M50 Four Oaks

Carrion Crow – M50 Four Oaks

Unidentified bird – M50 Ketford

Woodpigeon (x3) – M50 Redmarley

Rabbit – M50 Pendock

Hedgehog – M50 Birtsmorton

Pheasant – M50 Birtsmorton

Carrion Crow – M5 Rashwood

Badger – M42 Blackwell

Rabbit – M42 Newton Regis

If you fancy taking part in this valuable study then head on over to the Project Splatter homepage where there are links to a variety of apps and more traditional reporting methods through which to submit your sightings. As with all citizen science research, the more of us who take part the bigger the dataset and the more accurate and reliable the conclusions.


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