Due to Coronavirus this programme of events is only provisional. Please keep checking back for up-to-date information.

COVID-19 You now need to book for any event you wish to attend. See event booking for details.

If you enjoy the event, a donation would be very gratefully received. See ways to donate.

    Wednesday 14 April

    Conservation Work Party and Search for Large Tortoiseshells

    Broadcroft Quarry Reserve

    COVID-19 Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation advance booking is now essential. Please see our event booking information for further details.

    Today we will be holding a workparty to continue the task of cutting back the rampant clematis, bramble and cotoneaster regrowth on the grassland areas of the reserve. ALL WELCOME! If you can bring your own tools please do - secateurs and/or loppers will be most useful. We will have also have some to lend. Please also bring your own refreshments and gloves. Please let me know 07981.776767 or email [email protected] if you are available to join us. We shall aim to meet at 9.30am and finish by lunchtime, then will be spending the afternoon looking for the Large Tortoiseshells which are now flying on Portland. Finish around 3.30pm. We need to know in advance if you are planning to attend this task, please let me know. We shall of course be observing the social distancing rules throughout the day and it goes without saying that if you or anyone in your household is showing symptoms of the Covid virus, then you should not attend. Map: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?hl=en&mid=1IJpFFPqZjFxQ1bWTDzdysQMcLM8&ll=50.54615239733121%2C-2.429623078642207&z=18

  • Contact: Nigel Spring
  • Phone: 07981 776767
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  • Email: [email protected]
  • 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
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  • Postcode: DT5 1BZ
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    Thursday 20 May

    Guided Walk - Weymouth Relief Road

    Weymouth

    COVID-19 Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation advance booking is now essential. Please see our event booking information for further details.

    During the construction of the road an imaginative plan was devised to create new herb-rich downland on the slopes alongside it. Informal monitoring of butterflies started in 2012 and a formal transect was set up in 2018. Last year 25 species were seen and the overall total for the site has now reached 30 with an appearance of a Chalkhill Blue in 2019 for the first time. An impressive colony of Small Blues has developed.

  • Contact: Adrian Neal
  • Phone: 01305 832937
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  • Email: [email protected]
  • 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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  • Postcode: DT3 5PR
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    Saturday 22 May

    Beginners' Walk

    Clubmen's Down

    COVID-19 Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation advance booking is now essential. Please see our event booking information for further details.

    We usually run an ID workshop each year for beginners and people wanting to improve their identification skills. This year it has not been possible to plan an indoor venue for this with the possible Covid restrictions so this event is specially aimed at, but not restricted to, anyone who is not very confident in identifying butterflies. Target species include Adonis Blue, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Dingy and Grizzled Skippers plus some of the more common species. Bring your own Butterfly identification book or chart if you have one. If you have a pair of close-focusing binoculars they make butterfly-spotting and watching even more interesting. The walk is fairly steep in places and there will be a stile to cross. Numbers may be limited so early booking is recommended.

  • Contact: Robin George
  • Phone: 01747 824215
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  • Email: [email protected]
  • Meeting point: Meet 1.30 pm at the National Trust car park at the top of Spread Eagle Hill, map reference ST886187. There is alternative parking around the triangle at ST888185.
  • Grid ref.: ST886187
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    Map

    Sunday 23 May

    Butterfly Walk

    Ballard Down, Swanage

    COVID-19 Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation advance booking is now essential. Please see our event booking information for further details.

    A walk along the lower slopes of Ballard Down to enjoy this chalk downland site with its stunning views and the spring butterflies. Target species are Green Hairstreak, Wall, Dingy Skipper and the first broods of Adonis Blue and Brown Argus.

  • Contact: Lorraine Munns
  • Phone: 07973 853628
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  • Email: [email protected]
  • Meeting point: 11.00 am at Ulwell lay-by on the Swanage to Studland road.
  • Grid ref.: SZ022809
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  • Postcode: BH19 3DG
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    Wednesday 26 May

    Guided Walk - Lydlinch Common

    Lydlinch Common, North Dorset

    COVID-19 Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation advance booking is now essential. Please see our event booking information for further details.

    This is a key site for the Marsh Fritillary and our winter work programme here is designed to maintain the habitat for this species. With luck, there will be nightingales singing as well as Marsh Fritillaries flying.

  • Contact: Colin Burningham
  • Phone: 01935 873219 or mobile 07849 921594
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  • Email: [email protected]
  • Meeting point: Meet at 2.00 pm in the lay-by outside the village on the north side of the A357 near the turning to Sherborne.
  • Grid ref.: ST737137
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  • Postcode: DT10 2JD
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    Sunday 30 May

    Guided Walk - Oaks Farm

    Sturminster Newton

    COVID-19 Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation advance booking is now essential. Please see our event booking information for further details.

    Guided walk at Oaks Farm, Sturminster Newton, 2.00 - 4.00 pm. The land on this farm supports some wonderful hedges, meadows, river margins and ponds and includes an area full of Devil's-bit Scabious and Betony which looks ideal for Marsh Fritillaries. Barn Owls and Otters are regularly seen there.

  • Contact: Nigel Spring
  • Phone: 07981 776767
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  • Email: [email protected]
  • Meeting point: We will meet for a 2.00 pm start at the farm buildings near the northern end of Stalbridge Lane. Just west of Sturminster Newton Mill, turn north off the A357 onto Stalbridge Lane then follow the long track to Oaks Farm on the left.
  • Grid ref.: ST778146
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  • Postcode: DT10 2JQ
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    Sunday 13 June

    Guided Walk - Martin Down NNR

    Martin, Hampshire

    COVID-19 Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation advance booking is now essential. Please see our event booking information for further details.

    Joint with Wiltshire Branch Martin Down NNR is worth a visit at any time during the butterfly season and is also renowned for its orchids. Dark Green Fritillary should now be flying. Bring lunch if you want to stay for the afternoon but there is the option to return to the car park for those who want to leave early.

  • Contact: Maurice Avent
  • Phone: 01249 713218
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  • Email: [email protected]
  • Meeting point: We meet at 11.00 am in the car park, at the top of Sillens Lane which runs from the triangular green in Martin village
  • Grid ref.: SU058192
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    Map

    Tuesday 22 June

    Guided Walk - Slepe Heath

    Near Wareham

    COVID-19 Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation advance booking is now essential. Please see our event booking information for further details.

    This should be a perfect date for a wide range of species – damselflies, bees and wasps, wild flowers and of course butterflies, particularly the Silver-studded Blue. Waterproof footwear is recommended.

  • Contact: John and Diana Winterbottom
  • Phone: 07584 123419
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  • Email: [email protected]
  • 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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    Map

    Friday 25 June - Sunday 27 June

    Bioblitz Weekend

    Chedington Woods (north-west Dorset)

    COVID-19 Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation advance booking is now essential. Please see our event booking information for further details.

    This is a joint venture between the Dorset branch of BC and EuCAN Community Interest Company. We are looking for a team of experts and trainees, both amateurs and professionals, to take part in a weekend of surveying and recording a wide range of animals and plants in this under-recorded area of Dorset. This will include moth trapping, bird ringing, bat detecting, butterfly counts and surveys of wildflowers and lower plants. A comprehensive survey of this land was carried out between 2006 and 2010 with weekend events in 2018 and 2019. The owners and the forester responsible for Chedington Woods are very keen to continue this on a regular basis to establish a public database of information about the site. Accommodation will be in tents next to the farm buildings at Wyke Farm or in B&B's nearby. Day visitors also welcome. There will be a guided walk of the site on Sunday - details below. Booking is essential for this weekend. Contact for details and booking is Nigel Spring.

  • Contact: Nigel Spring
  • Phone: 07981 776767
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  • Email: [email protected]
  • Meeting point:

    Sunday 27 June

    Guided Walk - Chedington Woods and Whitevine Farm SSSI

    Near Halstock

    COVID-19 Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation advance booking is now essential. Please see our event booking information for further details.

    Chedington Woods are an area of hardwood and softwood plantations with some coppice woodland and with many species-rich wet flushes, on landslips west of Halstock. Whitevine Farm adjacent to the woods to the north contains extensive hay meadows renowned for their botanical diversity. This walk, part of the survey weekend (see seperate entry), will provide an opportunity to explore the fauna and flora on these two sites and is part of a weekend of biological surveying instigated by the landowner and the forester to add to the records for the area. Meet at the farm buildings at Wyke Farm at map reference ST 500 070 at 1.00 pm for a 1.30 start. Tea will be available at the end of the walk (approx 4.00 pm). Contact is Nigel Spring. Please email or phone in advance to book a place.

  • Contact: Nigel Spring
  • Phone: 07981 776767
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  • Email: [email protected]
  • Meeting point: Meet at the farm buildings at Wyke Farm
  • Grid ref.: ST500070
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    Map

    Saturday 3 July

    Open Day at the Quarr LNR and Terrace Meadows SNCI

    Sherborne

    COVID-19 Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation advance booking is now essential. Please see our event booking information for further details.

    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.

  • Contact: Nigel Spring
  • Phone: 07981 776767
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  • Email: [email protected]
  • Meeting point: For the Quarr, meet at the entrance by the Carpenters Arms pub 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).

    Saturday 3 July

    Guided Butterfly Walk

    Piddles Wood

    COVID-19 Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation advance booking is now essential. Please see our event booking information for further details.

    Piddles Wood is ancient woodland, traditionally a good site for White Admiral and other woodland species. We will be assessing the effect of recent woodland management on butterfly numbers in the wood.

  • Contact: Richard Norman
  • Phone: 01258 472887
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  • Email: [email protected]
  • Meeting point: Car park on the south side of the wood
  • Grid ref.: ST791127
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    Map

    Thursday 8 July - Saturday 10 July

    Moth Night

    Various locations

    COVID-19 Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation advance booking is now essential. Please see our event booking information for further details.

    The targets this year are Reedbeds and Wetlands Friday - Saturday 9/10 Moth trapping and inspection at Bere Marsh Farm, Shillingstone Saturday -Sunday 10/11 Moth trapping and inspection at Alners Gorse Full details below

  • Contact:
  • Meeting point:

    Thursday 8 July

    Guided Walk - Durlston National Nature Reserve

    Durlston Country Park near Swanage

    COVID-19 Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation advance booking is now essential. Please see our event booking information for further details.

    There are 3 National Butterfly Transects based at Durlston and there should be up to 15 species on the wing, including Lulworth Skipper. This is a morning only walk. There is a cafe at the Durlston Castle which should be open for refreshments after the walk.

  • Contact: Brian Arnold
  • Phone: 01929 480224 or 07740 980056 on the day
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  • Email: [email protected]
  • 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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    Friday 9 July - Saturday 10 July

    Butterfly and Moth Survey

    Bere Marsh Farm, Shillingstone

    COVID-19 Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation advance booking is now essential. Please see our event booking information for further details.

    The Countryside Restoration Trust aims to mix traditional and new methods of farming to benefit habitats and wildlife on their properties. Bere Marsh Farm was purchased last year and as well as learning about their methods we will be recording the butterflies that we find. It is planned to run a moth trap in the evening as part of Moth Night and the catch will be available for inspection on Saturday morning. Meet 9.30 am on Saturday for the moth trap inspection. To find out more about the farm, visit https://www.countrysiderestorationtrust.com/bere-marsh-farm

  • Contact: Arthur Bryant
  • Phone: 01747 228252
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  • Email: [email protected]
  • Meeting point: Meet 1.00 pm at the CRT office in Newmans Drove. Park in either of the 2 car parks by the old railway bridge, map reference ST823120, at the north end of Shillingstone. Newmans Drove is opposite the eastern car park
  • Grid ref.: ST823120
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    Saturday 10 July

    Field Trip - Motcombe Meadows

    Motcombe Meadows, North Dorset

    COVID-19 Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation advance booking is now essential. Please see our event booking information for further details.

    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
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  • Email: [email protected]
  • 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
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  • Postcode: SP7 9NN
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    Saturday 10 July - Sunday 11 July

    Moth Trapping and Butterfly Walk

    Alners Gorse Reserve

    COVID-19 Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation advance booking is now essential. Please see our event booking information for further details.

    This weekend is part of the Moth Night's programme of events. We will be trapping at Alners Gorse on the Saturday night and going through the moths the following morning. Saturday from 7.00 pm we will be setting out the moth traps. Bring your own supper if you would like to join in. Sunday from 8.30 am we will be going through the traps and identifying the catch with help given to beginners and novices. 11.00 am - 1.00 pm Butterfly walk round the reserve. Bring lunch to have at the end of the walk if you would like to stay. Please contact Nigel Spring in advance if you would like to take part.

  • Contact: Nigel Spring
  • Phone: 07981 776767
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  • Email: [email protected]
  • Meeting point: Park 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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    Map

    Sunday 11 July

    Guided Walk - Chase Woods

    Rushmore Estate, near Sixpenny Handley

    COVID-19 Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation advance booking is now essential. Please see our event booking information for further details.

    MEMBERS ONLY Note that this year we are meeting on the eastern side of the wood to explore the extensive woodland that straddles the Dorset/Wiltshire border. Silver-washed Fritillary and White Admiral are among the target species. Purple Emperor makes occasional appearances here. Joint with Wiltshire Branch.

  • Contact: Tom and Jean Smith
  • Phone: 01305 567537 or 07717 437250 on the day
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  • Email: [email protected]
  • Meeting point: Meet at 11.00 am at Shermel Gate. North of Sixpenny Handley, turn onto Dean Lane, signposted to Deanland and Newtown and continue until the road ends. This road is narrow in places so should be followed with caution. We will be out until about 3.30 pm so bring lunch and plenty to drink. Please car share if you can to make parking easier,
  • Grid ref.: ST989192
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  • Postcode: SP5 5PE
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    Friday 16 July - Saturday 17 July

    Moth Trapping and Guided Walk - Ryewater Nursery

    Bishops Down, near Sherborne

    COVID-19 Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation advance booking is now essential. Please see our event booking information for further details.

    The Dorset branch of BC has been invited back to Ryewater for a moth trapping session and butterfly walk on this fascinating and inspiring estate. We will be setting up moth traps in a number of different places on the Friday evening - meet at 7.30 pm and bring a tent/camper if you would like to stay overnight. Map reference for parking and camping in the ‘R field’ is ST 664 108. On the Saturday morning we will be going through the moth traps from 8.30 am. The guided walks to look at the butterflies and other wildlife will start at 11.00 am. There will also be access to the greenhouses to see the tropical butterfly collection. Please let us know if you plan to camp overnight. If you would like to stay for a picnic lunch at the end of the walk, you would be welcome.

  • Contact: Wren Franklin
  • Phone: 07776 100613
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  • Meeting point: Parking and camping in 'R' Field
  • Grid ref.: ST664108
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    Map

    Friday 23 July

    Butterflies and Dragonflies

    Winfrith Heath

    COVID-19 Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation advance booking is now essential. Please see our event booking information for further details.

    This is a chance to explore this Dorset Wildlife Trust heathland reserve where there is both dry and wet heath and some acid peaty pools where we might also see dragonflies as well as some interesting plants. We will be mainly looking for Silver-studded Blue and Grayling and any other butterflies associated with this habitat. If time permits, we might also take a look at the strip of heathland and woodland to the east of the reserve along the right of way as this has been good for butterflies too. This is an afternoon only event, approximate finish time 3.30 – 4.00 pm.

  • Contact: Tom and Jean Smith
  • Phone: 01305 567537 or 07717 437250 on the day
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  • Email: [email protected]
  • Meeting point: Meet at 1.00 pm at the entrance to Winfrith Heath SY 805862, parking considerately at the roadside and in the small lay-by near Blacknoll.
  • Grid ref.: SY805862
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    Map

    Sunday 1 August

    Rodwell Trail - Butterfly Identification Walk

    Weymouth

    COVID-19 Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation advance booking is now essential. Please see our event booking information for further details.

    A walk along the old railway line between Weymouth and Portland. This is an ideal opportunity for beginners to be inducted into butterfly identification and life cycles.

  • Contact: Bernard Franklin
  • Phone: 07711 304412
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  • Email: [email protected]
  • Meeting point: Meet at 2.00 pm at the cafe in Sandsfoot Castle gardens, Old Castle Road, Weymouth.
  • Grid ref.: SY675775
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  • Postcode: DT4 8QE
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    Sunday 1 August

    Guided Walk - Alners Gorse

    Alners Gorse Reserve

    COVID-19 Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation advance booking is now essential. Please see our event booking information for further details.

    Leader: Martin Warren 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. Meet at the reserve entrance for a 10.00 am start and bring a picnic lunch if you would like to stay on at the end. Please book in advance for this event.

  • Contact: Nigel Spring
  • Phone: 07981 776767
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  • Email: [email protected]
  • Meeting point: Meet 10.00 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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    Map

    Saturday 7 August

    Guided Walk - Tout Quarry and Kingbarrow

    Portland

    COVID-19 Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation advance booking is now essential. Please see our event booking information for further details.

    These are two abandoned quarries on Portland (now DWT reserves) linked by a tunnel through a third quarry. Come and see how recent work on clearing invasive scrub has enhanced the grassland. Target species are- Chalkhill Blue and the cretaceous form of Grayling. Bring packed lunch and drink. There are public toilets behind Portland Heights hotel. Tout Quarry has good paths – but there are some areas of rough/steep walking on Kingbarrow. Contact is Georgie and Ian Laing on 07484 788645

  • Contact: Georgie and Ian Laing
  • Phone: 07484 788645
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  • Email: [email protected]
  • Meeting point: Meet at Tout car park at end of Tradecroft, off Wide Street,at 10:45 for 11.00 am start.
  • Grid ref.: SY682722
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    Sunday 22 August

    Guided Walk - Ballard Down

    Swanage

    COVID-19 Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation advance booking is now essential. Please see our event booking information for further details.

    A return visit to Ballard Down to see the second brood of the Adonis Blue, Wall and Brown Argus which will now be on the wing.

  • Contact: Jon Bellamy
  • Phone: 01929 450182
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  • Meeting point: Ulwell lay-by on the Swanage to Studland road at 11.00 am.
  • Grid ref.: SZ021809
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    Wednesday 25 August

    Guided Walk - Osmington

    Osmington, East of Weymouth

    COVID-19 Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation advance booking is now essential. Please see our event booking information for further details.

    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
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  • Email: [email protected]
  • Meeting point: Meet at 11.00 am outside Osmington church.
  • Grid ref.: SY725830
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  • Postcode: DT3 6EJ
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