Events diary

Walks, talks, work parties and other activities in the Dorset area

Wednesday 20 June

Haddon Hill and Haddon Moor  

Exmoor

Joint with Somerset and Bristol Branch The Heath Fritillary is the target species at Haddon Hill. Situated above Wimbleball Reservoir, it also has Large and Small Skipper, Green Hairstreak and Small Heath amongst its resident species. Haddon Moor is a BC Reserve holding wet grassland with Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary and it has considerable botanical interest. Meet at 11.00 am in the parking area on the north side of the B3190. Stout footwear is recommended.

Contact: Dave Ayling   Phone: 01643 821664


Grid ref.: SS979285
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Sunday 24 June

Open Day at Two Nature Sites in Sherborne  

Sherborne

The Quarr is Sherborne’s local nature reserve, an area of young woodland, scrub and grassland off the Bristol Road. The Terrace Meadow is a fascinating patch of limestone grassland adjacent to Sherborne’s Terrace Playing Fields sports facilities. It is of particular interest as the soil is unusual for the area, and supports flowers (including orchids), butterflies and other species not generally seen in the locality. Join us for one or both guided walks, with flower and insect identification sessions. We will meet on the Quarr at 11.00 am and at the Terrace Meadows SNCI at 2.00 pm. Tea will be available afterwards.

Contact: Nigel Spring   Phone: 01963 23559 or 07981 776767
Email: nigelspring@yahoo.co.uk

Meeting point: For the Quarr, meet at the entrance by the Carpenters Armspub off the Bristol Road at map ref ST637174. For the Terrace Meadows, park in the Terrace Playing Fields Car Park (map reference ST 641156), signposted off the A352 just south of Sherborne and follow the footpath back towards the town through the patch of newly planted trees and up a few steps (map reference ST 637156).

Sunday 1 July

Guided Walk on Broadcroft Quarry Reserve  

Portland

At this time of year there should be plenty to see! An impressive colony of Silver-studded Blues can be found in this quarry reserve. Meet 11.00 am for approx. two hour walk.

Contact: Bernard Franklin   Phone: 07711 304412

Meeting point: For Broadcroft Quarry Reserve, turn left off Easton Road onto Grove Road and about 100 yards on the right is a track which leads to the car park.
Grid ref.: SY695723

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Wednesday 4 July

Guided Walk - Slepe Heath  

Near Wareham

For flowers, dragonflies and butterflies This event will be run by the Dorset branch of BC in conjunction with The National Trust and the ‘Dorset’s Heathland Heart’ Back from the Brink project which is promoted by Plantlife and Buglife. This should be a perfect date for a wide range of species – damselflies, bees and wasps, wonderful wildflowers and of course butterflies, particularly the Silver-studded Blue. Waterproof footwear is recommended.

Contact: Diana Hall   Phone: 07584 123419

Meeting point: Meet at 2.00 pm at the National Trust entrance off Soldiers Road between the Halfway Inn and Arne
Grid ref.: SY946860

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Friday 6 July -
Saturday 7 July

Moth Trapping on Slepe Heath  

Near Wareham

This event will be run by the Dorset branch of BC in conjunction with The National Trust and the ‘Dorset’s Heathland Heart’ Back from the Brink project which is promoted by Plantlife and Buglife. We will be setting up moth traps on the heath at 8.00 pm, then will be closing the traps down at dawn and going through the moths from 9.00 am on the Saturday morning. All welcome to the morning analysis. Please let John Winterbottom know on 07845 712532 if you are planning to bring a trap on the Friday evening.

Contact: John Winterbottom   Phone: 07845 712532

Meeting point: The National Trust entrance off Soldiers Road between the Halfway Inn and Arne
Grid ref.: SY946860

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Saturday 7 July

Guided Walk - Blandford Forest  

Near Okeford Fitzpaine

This will be an exploration of field margins as well as mature and coppiced woodland. Silver-washed Fritillary will be among the regular summer species to be seen here.

Contact: Richard Norman   Phone: 01258 472887

Meeting point: Meet at 1.00 pm at the picnic area on Okeford Hill
Grid ref.: ST812094

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Sunday 8 July

Guided Walk - Durlston National Nature Reserve  

Durlston Country Park near Swanage

There are 3 National Butterfly Transects based at Durlston and there should be up to 15 species on the wing, including Lulworth Skipper.

Contact: Brian Arnold   Phone: 01929 480224 or 07740 980056 on the day

Meeting point: 10.30 am at Durlston Castle (not the educational centre). Follow the brown signs to the car park where charges apply.
Grid ref.: SZ034773

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Wednesday 11 July

The Butterflies of Lulworth  

Bindon Hill, Lulworth

The Lulworth Skipper will be a target species on this, the second of the walks organised by The Heritage Centre at Lulworth Cove in conjuction with BC. The walk will involve a climb onto Bindon Hill which will be steep in places. The event is free for BC members but pre-booking is advisable as numbers are limited. Charges apply in the large car park next to The Centre. The start time is 11.00 am and it is expected that the walk will last about 2 hours after which you may wish to stay on the hill with lunch or visit The Heritage Centre. For further details and booking ring The Heritage Centre.

Contact: The Heritage Centre   Phone: 01929 400155

Meeting point: The Heritage Centre, Lulworth.
Grid ref.: SY822801

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Wednesday 11 July

Guided Walk - Sunnyside near Wareham  

Stoborough Heath, Ridge

This event will be run by the Dorset branch of BC in conjunction with The National Trust and the ‘Dorset’s Heathland Heart’ Back from the Brink project which is promoted by Plantlife and Buglife. The target butterfly species will be the Silver-studded Blue but we hope also to see Grayling and other heathland wildlife. The walk will last about 2½ hours. There is a brown sign to Stoborough Heath outside the entrance.

Contact: Tony Long   Phone: 01202 880508

Meeting point: Meet at 11.00 am at the entrance to Sunnyside Farm. From the B3075 Wareham to Swanage Road, take Nutcrack Lane towards Arne and the car park for the Sunnyside Reserve is on the right after about a mile. There is a brown sign to Stoborough Heath outside the entrance.
Grid ref.: SY938863

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Saturday 14 July

Guided Walk - Chase Woods  

Rushmore Estate, near Sixpenny Handley

A guided walk in old woodland with Silver-washed Fritillary and White Admiral among the target species. Bring lunch and plenty to drink. Joint with Wiltshire Branch.

Contact: Tom and Jean Smith   Phone: 01305 567537 or 07717 437250 on the day

Meeting point: Meet 11.00 am inside the gate to Greatstone Coppice on the north side of the B3081, about one mile west of Sixpenny Handley.
Grid ref.: ST978173

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Sunday 15 July

Guided Walk - Ringstead Bay  

Ringstead Bay, between Weymouth and Lulworth Cove

This cliff top walk from Ringstead towards Lulworth will be an all day event, so bring a packed lunch. The walk is steep at one point. Marbled White, Grayling and Lulworth Skipper should all be seen.

Contact: Bernard Franklin   Phone: 07711 304412

Meeting point: Meet at 11.00 am in the National Trust car park (at top of hill, not the lower car park).
Grid ref.: SY759824

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Friday 20 July

Guided Walk - Beautiful Butterflies  

Knoll Gardens near Wimborne

Keith Powrie has been recording butterflies in the gardens for many years. He will be leading a walk to locate and identify the many species at Knoll. The walk from 11.00 am to 12.30 pm is free but booking is essential. Donations to Knoll Gardens Foundation will be welcome. To book, ring 01202 873931. Knoll Gardens are just south of the Wimborne to Ferndown road.

  Phone: 01202 873931


Grid ref.: SU059000   Postcode: BH21 7ND
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Saturday 21 July

Field Trip - Motcombe Meadows  

Motcombe, North Dorset

This 25-acre site has been managed as an amenity for the village and a refuge for wildlife. Over and above a high density of many of the more common species, especial butterfly interest includes Purple Hairstreak, White-letter Hairstreak and Essex Skipper. The site may be wet underfoot if there has been a lot of rain.

Contact: Peter Cooper   Phone: 01747 850968

Meeting point: Meet 1.00 pm in car park at map reference ST 846 260, at the top of Prideaux Drive, Motcombe. If driving north, look for red front door of the first house.
Grid ref.: ST846260   Postcode: SP7 9NN

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Tuesday 24 July

Guided Walk - Langton Westwood  

Langton Matravers

This is our first visit to this National Trust-owned wood since 2001. They have carried out extensive coppicing in recent years and we may see the benefit for the woodland butterflies that will be on show including Silver-washed Fritillary.

Contact: David Lonsdale   Phone: 01202 743609

Meeting point: Meet 1.00 pm. At the south end of Corfe turn right. Follow the road through Kingston and use the Acton Lane car park just before Langton Matravers.
Grid ref.: SY989787   Postcode: BH19 3JN

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Saturday 28 July

Guided Walk - Alners Gorse  

Alners Gorse Reserve

The Brown and Purple Hairstreaks will be among the targets, along with other summer species like the Silver-washed Fritillary. There may still be White Admirals and White-letter Hairstreaks on the wing. We plan to have a picnic lunch by the hut at around 1.00 pm.

Contact: Martin Warren   Phone: 07775 590750
Email: martin.warren@bc-europe.eu

Meeting point: Meet 11.00 am at the Alners Gorse reserve entrance which is on the road from Kings Stag to Hazelbury Bryan beside the Hazelbury Bryan village sign and 30 mph sign. Park on the wide straight road verge on the Kings Stag side of the village sign, well away from the dangerous bend.
Grid ref.: ST736100

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Friday 3 August -
Saturday 4 August

Moth Trapping and Inspection  

Gorwell Farm, Abbotsbury

This event is being run in collaboration with the South Dorset Ridgeway Landscape Partnership. We will meet with moth traps and generators at 7.00 pm on the Friday evening to set up the traps. Please let Nigel Spring know if you plan to bring your own moth trap to put out and if you intend to camp overnight. We will then carry out the analysis of the traps from 9.00 am on the Saturday morning until approx. 11.00 am. Bring a packed lunch if you want to join in the butterfly walk from Little Bredy at 11.00 am. Contact is Nigel Spring on 07981 776767 or email nigelspring@yahoo.co.uk

Contact: Nigel Spring   Phone: 07981 776767
Email: nigelspring@yahoo.co.uk

Meeting point: Gorwell Farm
Grid ref.: SY575873   Postcode: DT3 4JX

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Saturday 4 August

Butterfly Ramble  

Little Bredy and Long Bredy Area

This event is being run in collaboration with the South Dorset Ridgeway Landscape Partnership. It will be a leisurely ramble looking at butterflies, day-flying moths and other wildlife in this beautiful area of west Dorset, led by Becky Williamson and Paul Dexter. The walk will be approx. 5 - 6 miles long and you will be able to buy a cream tea after the walk (finishing around 3.30 pm). Wear suitable footwear and bring a packed lunch. We will be doing a Big Butterfly Count at a chosen place on the route.

Contact: Becky Williamson   Phone: 07967 205229

Meeting point: Meet by the bus shelter at Little Bredy at 11.00 am
Grid ref.: SY587891

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Sunday 5 August

Rodwell Trail - Butterfly Identification Walk  

Weymouth

A walk along the old railway line between Weymouth and Portland.

Contact: Bernard Franklin   Phone: 07711 304412
Email: bernard_franklin_h@msn.com

Meeting point: Meet at 2.00 pm at the café in Sandsfoot Castle gardens, Old Castle Road, Weymouth.
Grid ref.: SY675775   Postcode: DT4 8QE

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Monday 6 August

The Butterflies of Lulworth   

Bindon Hill, Lulworth

The Chalkhill Blue will be among the target species on this, the third of the walks organised by The Heritage Centre at Lulworth Cove in conjuction with BC. The walk will involve a climb onto Bindon Hill which will be steep in places. The event is free for BC members but pre-booking is advisable as numbers are limited. Charges apply in the large car park next to The Centre. The start time is 11.00 am and it is expected that the walk will last about 2 hours after which you may wish to stay on the hill with lunch or visit The Heritage Centre. For further details and booking ring The Heritage Centre.

Contact: The Heritage Centre   Phone: 01929 400155

Meeting point: The Heritage Centre, Lulworth.
Grid ref.: SY822801

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Sunday 12 August

Guided Walk - Tyneham and Coastal Path  

Tyneham Village

This walk may be steep in places but will bring rewarding sea views. We will hopefully catch the emerging second brood of Adonis Blue and Wall and find Lulworth Skipper which will be coming to the end of its flight period. Bring a packed lunch.

Contact: Tom and Jean Smith   Phone: 01305 567537 or 07717 437250 on the day

Meeting point: Meet 11.00 am at the Tyneham car park (charges apply) and bring a packed lunch.
Grid ref.: SY882802

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Wednesday 15 August

The Butterflies of Lulworth  

Bindon Hill, Lulworth

Second brood Adonis Blue and Wall will be among the target species on this, the fourth of the walks organised by The Heritage Centre at Lulworth Cove in conjuction with BC. The walk will involve a climb onto Bindon Hill which will be steep in places. The event is free for BC members but pre-booking is advisable as numbers are limited. Charges apply in the large car park next to The Centre. The start time is 11.00 am and it is expected that the walk will last about 2 hours after which you may wish to stay on the hill with lunch or visit The Heritage Centre. For further details and booking ring The Heritage Centre.

Contact: The Heritage Centre   Phone: 01929 400155

Meeting point: The Heritage Centre, Lulworth
Grid ref.: SY822801

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Friday 17 August

Upton Heath Moths and Butterflies  

Upton Heath

Joint with Dorset Wildlife Trust. 9.00 am. Moths - The inspection of the overnight moth trap. 11.00 am. Butterfly Walk on Upton Heath for Grayling and other wildlife.

Contact: Andy Fale   Phone: 07970 552673

Meeting point: Meet at the Urban Wildlife Centre, Corfe Mullen.
Grid ref.: SY977948   Postcode: BH21 3RX

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Saturday 18 August

Guided Walk - Weymouth Relief Road  

Weymouth

During the construction of the road an imaginative plan was devised to create new herb-rich downland on the slopes alongside it. This event gives us the opportunity to monitor the development of this important new habitat where more than 25 species of butterfly have already been recorded.

Contact: Adrian Neal   Phone: 01305 832937

Meeting point: Meet at 1.00 pm at the truncated end of the Broadmayne road where it meets the relief road. N.B. Access is only possible from the eastern side of the relief road.
Grid ref.: SY674859

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Sunday 19 August

Guided Walk - Fontmell Down  

Fontmell, near Shaftesbury

This is a joint event with Devon Branch. The last Dorset refuge for the Silver-spotted Skipper, Fontmell offers a great opportunity to study this and other downland specialities including the second brood of Adonis Blue. Bring stout footwear and a packed lunch if staying for the afternoon visit to the lower slopes.

Contact: Paul Butter   Phone: 07807 680455

Meeting point: Meet 11.00 am at the National Trust car park, map reference ST 886 187. There is alternative parking around the triangle at ST 888 185. Contact is Paul Butter on 07807 680455
Grid ref.: ST886187

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Sunday 19 August

Guided Walk - Ballard Down  

Swanage

Joint with Dorset Wildlife Trust. A return visit to Ballard Down to see the second brood of the Adonis Blue which will now be on the wing.

Contact: Colin Nunn   Phone: 01929 439211

Meeting point: Ulwell lay-by on the Swanage to Studland road at 11.00 am.
Grid ref.: SZ021809

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Friday 24 August

Guided Walk - Osmington  

Osmington, East of Weymouth

A downland and country lane walk on which we should find at least 15 species of butterfly. The targets will include Adonis Blue and Wall. There is a choice to return to the start making a 2 hour walk or then have a picnic lunch if you wish to continue to make a total of 4½ hours walking and watching. Children are very welcome.

Contact: Colin Burningham   Phone: 01935 873219 or 07849 921594

Meeting point: Meet at 11.00 am outside Osmington church.
Grid ref.: SY725829

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Saturday 25 August -
Sunday 26 August

Oak Fair  

Stock Gaylard Park

Stock Gaylard Estate is a small traditional country estate just over 4 miles from Sturminster Newton and 8 miles from Sherborne. This is a 2-day fair. Come and find us on Conservation Row where we will have a display of butterflies and moths, children’s activities and sales. Details of this popular festival can be found at www.stockgaylard.com/the-oak-fair.asp

Contact: Colin Burningham   Phone: 01935 873219 or 07849 921594

Meeting point: Follow local signs.
  Postcode: DT10 2BG

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Thursday 30 August

The Butterflies of Lulworth  

Bindon Hill, Lulworth

Second brood Adonis Blue and Wall will be among the target species on this, the fifth and final of the walks organised by The Heritage Centre at Lulworth Cove in conjuction with BC. The walk will involve a climb onto Bindon Hill which will be steep in places. The event is free for BC members but pre-booking is advisable as numbers are limited. Charges apply in the large car park next to The Centre. The start time is 11.00 am and it is expected that the walk will last about 2 hours after which you may wish to stay on the hill with lunch or visit The Heritage Centre. For further details and booking ring The Heritage Centre.

Contact: The Heritage Centre   Phone: 01929 400155

Meeting point: The Heritage Centre, Lulworth
Grid ref.: SY822801

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Sunday 2 September

Dorset County Show  

Dorchester Showground

Come and find us in the Bee Tent at the top of the field, and visit our Information and Display Stall at this busy show. Children’s activities, live moths and sales.

Contact: Colin Burningham   Phone: 01935 873219 or 07849 921594.

Meeting point: Off the B3163. Follow local signs.
  Postcode: DT2 7SD

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Sunday 2 September

Guided Walk - Winspit  

Worth Matravers, Purbeck

Adonis Blue and Wall are among the target species. Wear stout footwear and bring lunch. The walk will be steep in places.

Contact: Bernard Franklin   Phone: 07711 304412

Meeting point: 11.00 am in the public car park in Worth Matravers
Grid ref.: SY974776

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Sunday 16 September

Conservation Work Day  

Alners Gorse Butterfly Reserve

We will be continuing the woodland and scrub management work to improve our wildlife habitats. There will be a bonfire with hot drinks and cake for refreshment. Join us if you can between 9.00 am and 4.00 pm

Contact: Nigel Spring   Phone: 01963 23559 or 07981 776767
Email: nigelspring@yahoo.co.uk

Meeting point: 9.00 am at Reserve entrance on the road from Hazelbury Bryan to Kings Stag, beside the Hazelbury Bryan village sign and 30 mph sign. Park on the wide straight road verge, well away from the dangerous bend.
Grid ref.: ST736100

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Sunday 30 September

Conservation Work Day  

Lydlinch, North Dorset

Lydlinch is part of an area crucial to the Marsh Fritillary. Conservation work is vital to ensure that the habitat is kept suitable for its survival at this site. 10.00 am to 3.30 pm.

Contact: Colin Burningham   Phone: 01935 873219 or 07849 921594

Meeting point: Meet 10.00 am and park in the lay-by outside the village on the north side of the A357 near the turning to Sherborne.
Grid ref.: ST737137   Postcode: DT10 2JD

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Sunday 14 October

Conservation Action Day  

Lankham Bottom Butterfly Reserve

We continue the task of gorse and thorn scrub clearance on this important downland reserve between 9.30 am and 4.00 pm. There will be a bonfire with hot drinks and cake for refreshment.

Contact: Nigel Spring   Phone: 07981 776767
Email: nigelspring@yahoo.co.uk

Meeting point: 9.30 am. The reserve entrance is off the minor road from Cattistock to the A37 about ½ mile from the A37. Park inside the metal gate.
Grid ref.: ST606004

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Saturday 10 November

Conservation Action Day  

Broadcroft Quarry Reserve

We shall be working on the regular tasks of grass and clematis/bramble/scrub cutting and would appreciate any additional help available! Hot drinks and cake can be provided but bring your own gloves, mug and a packed lunch. Broadcroft Quarry was the county's first Butterfly Reserve. An impressive colony of Silver-studded Blues can be found in this quarry reserve and much of the practical management work is aimed at improving the habitats for this species.

Contact: Nigel Spring   Phone: 07981 776767
Email: nigelspring@yahoo.co.uk

Meeting point: For Broadcroft Quarry Reserve, turn left off Easton Road onto Grove Road and about 100 yards on the right (Opposite Portland Football Club) is a track which leads to the car park
Grid ref.: SY695723   Postcode: DT5 1BZ

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