BUGS, butterflies, insects and mammals were spotted during a wildlife safari held to record the number of species living in a field.

Families took part in the free BioBlitz at Mill Field, in Old Basing, where they became wildlife explorers for the day.

Experienced naturalists and wildlife watchers were on hand to help identify birds, bugs, plants and beasts, which were then recorded by Hampshire Biological Information Centre to be included as part of local and national databases.

Organised by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, in conjunction with the Mill Field Conservation Group, the event saw around 400 people enjoy a host of wildlife themed activities including pond dipping, mammal evidence tracking, spider spotting and bug hunting.

More than 400 species were recorded on the day.

The day was held as part of the borough council’s Love Parks event, which celebrates parks and green spaces in the area.

Zoe Channon, community development officer for green spaces at the borough council, said: “The purpose of the event was to identify as many species as possible in Mill Field in one day. We ran different safaris for children and adults. We had all sorts of people attending including the Butterfly Conservation, Basingstoke and District Beekeepers Association and the Mill Field Conservation Group.”

She added: “We were trying to spark interest in nature and it was a fun day out for everyone. It was a fun and relaxed day but also gave the opportunity to learn something.”

Those attending could enjoy a barbecue and refreshments provided by Bartons Mill Pub.

More pictures from the event in your Gazette, on sale now.