Events diary

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

Sunday 25 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 11.00 am for approx. two hour walk.

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.
Map: SY695723

Contact: Bernard Franklin   Phone: 07711 304412

Sunday 25 June

Open Day at Two Nature Sites in Sherborne  

Sherborne

PLEASE NOTE - THE DATE OF 18 JUNE IN OUR PRINTED EVENTS LIST IS INCORRECT: THE DATE CHANGED AFTER WE WENT TO PRINT 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.

Meeting point: For the Quarr, meet at the entrance by the Mermaid 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).

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

Sunday 2 July

Open Garden (BC Members Only)  

Shillingstone

Mike and Jennie Adams invite BC members to visit their garden with broad borders packed with a profuse mix of plants – from the well-known and old-fashioned across the spectrum to rare and unusual – including perennials, self-seeding annuals, bulbs, climbers, shrubs, trees and edibles, covering the ground and clothing fences, walls, hedges and wooden frameworks. They were in the National Gardens Scheme Yellow Book for 20 years until 2015 (and open for Butterfly Conservation in 1994 and 95). The garden is at its best in early July, with added autumn promise from subtropicals emerging outside, many already in full bloom in the large glasshouse. Non-botanical surprises too! Coombe Cottage (DT10 0SF) lies on the main A357 in the middle of Shillingstone between Gunn Lane (where parking is advised) and the Old Ox pub. You are asked to donate £3 per head (under-16s free), which will be donated in full to BC. There may also be a few home-grown plants for sale. The garden will be open between 2.00 and 5.30pm.

Meeting point: Coombe Cottage, Shillingstone
Map: DT10 0SF

Contact: Mike and Jennie Adams   Phone: 01258 860220

Wednesday 5 July

The Butterflies of Lulworth  

Bindon Hill, Lulworth

The Lulworth Skipper will be a target species on this, the first of two walks that we are leading in conjunction with The Heritage Centre at Lulworth Cove. 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 please ring The Heritage Centre.

Meeting point: 11.00 am. The Heritage Centre, Lulworth.
Map: SY824800

Contact: The Heritage Centre   Phone: 01929 400155

Sunday 9 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.

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.
Map: ST978173

Contact: Arthur Bryant   Phone: 01202 892816 or 07711 404190 on the day
Email: arthurbryant@onetel.com

Wednesday 12 July

The Butterflies of Lulworth  

Bindon Hill, Lulworth

Again, Lulworth Skipper will be a target species on this, the second of two walks that we are leading in conjunction with The Heritage Centre at Lulworth Cove. 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. This is the event originally planned for the 19th but postponed due to poor weather. For further details and booking ring The Heritage Centre.

Meeting point: The Heritage Centre, Lulworth.
Map: SY824800

Contact: The Heritage Centre   Phone: 01929 400155

Saturday 15 July

Guided Walk - Piddles Wood  

near Sturminster Newton

This is our first visit in some time to this ancient woodland, traditionally a good site for White Admiral and other woodland species. Meet at 1.00 pm in the car park on the south side of the wood at map reference ST 791 127 Contact is Richard Norman on 01258 472887.

Meeting point: Meet at 1.00 pm in the car park on the south side of the wood.
Map: ST791127

Contact: Richard Norman   Phone: 01258 472887

Sunday 16 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.

Meeting point: 10.30 at Durlston Castle (not the educational centre). Follow the brown signs to the car park where charges apply.
Map: SZ035772

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

Saturday 22 July

Guided Walk - Stonedown Wood  

Nr. Sixpenny Handley

Joint with Wiltshire Branch. This is planned as a butterfly identification event and ideal for beginners. Stonedown Wood is adjacent to Chase Woods north of Sixpenny Handley and rich in butterflies. Bring lunch if you wish to make a day of it.

Meeting point: Meet at Shermel Gate at 11.00 am. North of Sixpenny Handley, turn onto Dean Lane, signposted to Deanland and Newtown and follow until the road ends. This road is narrow so needs to be followed with caution.
Map: ST989192

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

Saturday 22 July -
Sunday 23 July

The Third Great Dorset Butterfly Scramble  

10.00 am - 4.00 pm each day. A weekend of butterfly counting with a small element of competition and a large element of fun! We are looking for Dorset teams of at least two people who will be allocated a 10x10km square in which to survey as many 1km squares as they can in the time allowed, the aim being to see as many species as possible during the 5 hours. Teams can compete on one or both days. NB. This is a change of date from those originally posted. For details of the rules and/or application forms please email Nigel Spring.


Contact: Nigel Spring   Phone: 01963 32559 or 07981 776767
Email: nigelspring@yahoo.co.uk

Sunday 23 July

Guided Walk - Morden Bog NNR  

Wareham Forest

A visit to see butterflies and dragonflies at this National Nature Reserve. We will be walking through dry and wet heath so should see Silver-studded Blue and Grayling butterflies as well as a good range of dragonflies.

Meeting point: Meet at 1.00 pm in the large lay-by just south of Sherford Bridge, map reference SY 919 926 on the B3075 which is about 1 kilometre south of the A35.
Map: SY919926

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

Thursday 3 August

Exploratory Walk  

Hambledon Hill

The National Trust have asked us to help revive the transect walk on this site. To assess what species are present and the most favoured habitats, this will be the second of two visits this summer with the aim of resuming the transect in the 2018 season. The walk is open to everyone whether or not you might be interested in being involved in the transect. If you are interested but cannot attend either walk please get in touch to register your interest. The walk will start with a steep climb to the ramparts. Bring your lunch and plenty to drink. Meet at 11.00 am.

Meeting point: NT field, at the start of the bridleway, south-east of Childe Okeford
Map: ST838122

Contact: Arthur Bryant
Email: 01202 892816 or 07711 404190

Saturday 5 August

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.

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.
Map: ST736100

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

Sunday 6 August

Rodwell Trail - Butterfly Identification Walk  

Weymouth

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

Meeting point: Meet at 2.00 pm at the café in Sandsfoot Castle gardens, Old Castle Road, Weymouth, map reference SY675773.
Map: DT4 8QE

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

Sunday 13 August

Guided Walk - Martin Down NNR   

Dorset/Hampshire Border

Joint with Bournemouth Natural Science Society Target species include Silver-spotted Skipper, Chalkhill Blue and hopefully second-brood Adonis Blue. Bring a packed lunch as we will be stopping for lunch about halfway round the walk.

Meeting point: We meet at 11.00 am in the car park, map reference SU 058 192, at the top of Sillens Lane which runs from the triangular green in Martin village.
Map: SU058192

Contact: Mark Spencer   Phone: 01202 760621 or 07926 556653.

Friday 18 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.

Meeting point: Meet at the Urban Wildlife Centre, Corfe Mullen, map reference SY 977 948.
Map: BH21 3RX

Contact: Andy Fale   Phone: 07970 552673

Saturday 19 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 20 species of butterfly have already been recorded.

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.
Map: SY674859

Contact: John Elliott   Phone: 01305 889380

Sunday 20 August

Guided Walk - Fontmell Down  

Fontmell, near Shaftesbury

This is a joint event with Devon and Wiltshire branches. 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.

Meeting point: Meet 11.00 am at the National Trust gate. There is alternative parking around the triangle at ST888185.
Map: ST885187

Contact: Andy Daw   Phone: 07778 146297

Sunday 20 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.

Meeting point: Ulwell lay-by on the Swanage to Studland road at 11.00 am.
Map: SZ022808

Contact: Colin Nunn   Phone: 01929 439211

Friday 25 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.

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

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

Saturday 26 August -
Sunday 27 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. The Stock Gaylard Estate does have a website where you can find out more - search on "Stock Gaylard Oak Fair".

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

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

Sunday 3 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.

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

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

Sunday 3 September

Guided Walk - Winspit  

Worth Matravers, Purbeck

A pleasant coastal walk for late butterflies and migrating birds. Wear stout footwear and bring packed lunch. Steep in places.

Meeting point: Meet 11.00 am at Worth Matravers car park.
Map: SY974776

Contact: Bernard Franklin   Phone: 07711 304412

Sunday 24 September

Conservation Work Day  

Alners Gorse Butterfly Reserve

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.

Meeting point: 10.00 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.
Map: ST736100

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

Sunday 1 October

Conservation Work Day  

Lydlinch, North Dorset

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.

Meeting point: 10.00 am. Park in the lay-by just outside the village on the Sherborne to Sturminster road.
Map: ST736137

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

Sunday 15 October

Conservation Action Day  

Lankham Bottom Butterfly Reserve

We continue the task of gorse and thorn scrub clearance on this important downland reserve between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm. There will be a bonfire with hot drinks and cake for refreshment.

Meeting point: 10.00 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.
Map: ST606004

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