Events diary

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

Sunday 24 March

Conservation Work Day  

Lydlinch Common

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

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, map reference ST 737137. The nearest postcode is DT10 2JD.
Grid ref.: ST737137   Postcode: DT10 2JD

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Thursday 28 March

Butterfly Trends in North Dorset  

East Stour, near Gillingham

All are welcome to attend this presentation of the results of the north Dorset Transect surveys, Wider Countryside project, casual, website and garden records in 2018 and the resulting trends in butterfly numbers. Please come along if you might also be interested in helping with butterfly recording in 2019 or signing up for any of the butterfly counting walks,which are Alners Gorse, Cashmoor Down, Clubmen's Down, Deadmoor Common, Duncliffe Wood, Fifehead Wood, Fontmell Down, Hod Hill, Jerry's Hole, Lydlinch Common, Melbury Down, Milldown, Piddles Wood, Rooksmoor, Ryewater, Sovell Down and Stubhampton Bottom. After a presentation on the county and north Dorset results for 2018, attendees are encouraged to contribute to the meeting by way of a short presentation on their experiences or with pictures. Please contact the organiser in advance if you wish to do so.

Contact: Peter Cooper
Email: devco2011@btinternet.com

Meeting point: 7.30pm. East Stour Village Hall, next to the playing field on the left of the B3092 road from East Stour to Gillingham.
Postcode: SP8 5JY

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Sunday 14 April

Guided Walk  

Alners Gorse Butterfly Reserve

Guided walk to enjoy the early butterflies and wildflowers and to see and listen to the birds especially the summer visitors and Nightingales if they have arrived. Meet in the hut in the wood at 2.00 pm or arrive earlier if you would like to have a picnic lunch there.

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

Meeting point: Alners Gorse reserve entrance 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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Saturday 4 May

Cerne Downs - Landscape, Butterflies and Flowers   

Cerne Abbas

Guided walk along the Cerne Downs at Cerne Abbas. This should be a perfect time to see the rare Duke of Burgundy butterfly, a species that thrives on this site and which has been the target of a lot of our recent management efforts. There will be a choice of two walks either 10.30am or 2.00 pm, both starting from the Village Hall car park and finishing in St Mary's Church for refreshments approx 2 hours later. Walk and tea will be £5 towards St Mary's church funds. For further information go to: https://www.facebook.com/CerneGiantFestival/

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

Meeting point: Meet in the Giant view car park or the Village Hall car park for a 10.30 am or 2.00 pm start.
Grid ref.: ST664015  

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Sunday 12 May

Guided Walk - Chase Woods  

Rushmore Estate, near Sixpenny Handley

Spring butterflies and wild flowers are our targets on this walk. Expert help will be on hand for the plant identification which should include some ancient woodland specialities. Bring lunch.

Contact: Arthur Bryant   Phone: 01747 228252 or 07711 404190 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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Wednesday 22 May

The Butterflies of Lulworth  

Bindon Hill, Lulworth

This is the first of a series of walks that are being hosted by The Heritage Centre at Lulworth Cove throughout the summer. These will be led by either a Ranger or a representative of BC. The walks will involve a climb onto Bindon Hill which will be steep in places. The events are free to BC members but pre-booking is advisable as numbers may be limited. Charges apply in the large car park next to The Centre, map reference SY 822 801. Target species are Adonis Blue, Dingy Skipper, Green Hairstreak, Small Blue and Small Copper.. On later walks, Lulworth Skipper, Dark Green Fritillary and Chalkhill Blue will be among the target species. 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 on 01929 400155.

Contact: The Heritage Centre   Phone: 01929 400155

Meeting point: 11.00 am. The Heritage Centre, Lulworth.
Grid ref.: SY824801   Postcode: BH20 5RQ

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Saturday 25 May

Butterfly Identification Workshop  

Cerne Abbas Village Hall

In Dorset we run more than 60 transect walks for 26 weeks a year. That is more than 1500 walks each requiring a skilled walker to record all the butterflies seen. We also take part in the national Wider Countryside Recording Scheme, garden recording and casual recording. This means that we are always looking for more recorders, and to help you get started, we offer a free workshop for beginners and those who would like to improve their skills in order to take part in recording. The workshop will be held at Cerne Abbas Village Hall from 9.30 am to 4.00 pm. Weather permitting, the workshop will consist of an indoor session including learning from specimens, photos and presentations, followed by an outdoor field visit to nearby butterfly-rich Giant Hill where we hope there will be plenty of opportunity to put your ID skills into practice. Please note that the hill, like many butterfly sites, is very steep in places and you will need sturdy footwear. Numbers are limited, so to book a place, please contact Robin George by emailing rab.george@btinternet.com.

Contact: Robin George
Email: rab.george@btinternet.com

Meeting point: Cerne Abbas Village Hall
Postcode: DT2 7GY

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Sunday 26 May

Butterfly Walk  

Ballard Down, Swanage

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

Meeting point: 11.00 am at Ulwell lay-by on the Swanage to Studland road.
Grid ref.: SZ022809  

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Monday 27 May

Guided Walk - Lydlinch Common  

Lydlinch, North Dorset

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.

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

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   Postcode: DT10 2JD

Map

Wednesday 5 June

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   Postcode: BH20 5RQ

Map

Thursday 6 June

Guided Walk - Winspit Valley  

Worth Matravers

This walk will follow the route of the Winspit Valley Butterfly Transect with an additional diversion down to Winspit Cove for the lunch stop. The route is moderately steep in places and may be slippery after rain so wear stout footwear. Bring lunch.

Contact: David Lonsdale   Phone: 01202 743609

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

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Saturday 15 June

Guided Walk - Martin Down NNR   

Martin, Hampshire

Joint with Wiltshire Branch Martin Down NNR is worth a visit at any time during the butterfly season. Our targets on this, St Swithun’s Day, will be early-summer species like Small Blue, Marsh Fritillary and Dark Green Fritillary. Martin Down is also renowned for its orchids. We meet at 11.00 am at the car park, t the top of Sillens Lane which runs from the triangular green in Martin village. 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: Andrew Daw   Phone: 07778 146297

Meeting point: Lower car park off Sillens Lane, Martin
Grid ref.: SU058192  

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Wednesday 19 June

The Butterflies of Lulworth  

Bindon Hill, Lulworth

The Lulworth Skipper,Wall and Adonis Blue will be 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   Postcode: BH20 5RQ

Map

Saturday 22 June

Moth trapping - Gillingham, North Dorset  

Millennium Wood

Organised by the Gillingham Action for Nature Group The light traps will be put out in the wood the previous evening and the catch analysed 9.30 – 10.45 am on the Saturday morning. A good opportunity to get to know your moths! It is hoped this will be a family event, all welcome! There will be refreshments and bacon sandwiches available. Car Parking at ‘Little Gems Day Nursery’ 21 Brickfields Estate Gillingham SP8 4LT. Approach off New Road onto Brickfields Industrial Estate , past SouthWest Packaging, go between Stiles Metal Craft and Brickfields Car Sales to Little Gems. Walk through the gates to Tinknell Fuels depot and the wood is round the back. Coming by train to Gillingham Station - exit station on South side opposite the ticket office side. At top of footpath - turn right past Little Gems to Tinknell Fuels and Millennium Wood - 200 metre walk. In the event of bad weather, this event will be held on the Sunday morning.

Contact: Bob Messer   Phone: 01747 821269
Email: bobmesser@hotmail.com

Meeting point: park at Little Gems Nursery
Postcode: SP8 4LT

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Friday 28 June - Sunday 30 June

Bioblitz Weekend  

Chedington Woods (north-west Dorset)

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 the first weekend event last year. 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. Booking is essential for this weekend. Contact is Nigel Spring on 07981 776767 or email nigelspring@yahoo.co.uk

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


Saturday 29 June

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 30 June

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 1.00 pm 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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Sunday 30 June

Guided Walk - Chedington Woods and Whitevine Farm SSSI  

Near Halstock

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 1.30 pm for a 1.45 start. Tea will be available at the end of the walk (approx 4.30 pm). Contact is Nigel Spring on 07981 776767 or email nigelspring@yahoo.co.uk Please email or phone in advance to book a place.

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

Meeting point: Meet at the farm buildings at Wyke Farm
Grid ref.: ST500070  

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Sunday 14 July

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: 07981 776767
Email: nigelspring@yahoo.co.uk

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).