Dorset Wildlife Trust in August

THERE is more to Dorset in the summer than lying in the sun – here are the month’s events and activities with Dorset Wildlife Trust. For details of volunteering opportunities, visit www.dorsetwildifetrust.org.uk/volunteering

Wednesday 1st August to Sunday 2nd September – Summer wildlife fun at Brownsea Island, 11am – 3.30pm. Come and find out more about the wonderful wildlife of Brownsea. Take part in self-led trails and visit the Villa Wildlife Centre for wildlife activities and discover some of Brownsea’s wildlife! Parental supervision required. No need to book. A small donation for materials for some activities may apply. Phone Brownsea on 01202 709445 for more information or visit dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/Brownsea. Boats from Poole or Sandbanks from 10am.

Thursday 2nd – Poole Park fun day, 10am – 3pm, activities for all ages plus a community art exhibition as part of Poole Park Life. Join DWT and many other partners at this free event, no need to book.

Fleet Explorer – Marine Protected Areas, 11.15am – 12.15pm, a boat trip on the Fleet Explorer to find out about Marine Protected Areas in Dorset. Find out about the incredible wildlife of the Fleet Lagoon and how important it is to protect our seas.
Booking essential, weather dependent 01305 206191.

Cliff-top watch for dolphins – 11.30am – 3.30pm, celebrate National Marine Week; from the Kimmeridge cliffs keep a look out for dolphins and other marine animals. Learn what signs to look for, how to spot and identify them and find out more about the types of whale and dolphin that can be seen in Dorset. There will be skulls and bones from a variety of dolphins and whales to see and handle, along with information about how they feed, where they live, what threats they face and what actions we can take to protect them. Drop in at any time during the event and stay as little or as long as you like; binoculars available to borrow, but bring your own if you have them. Come to the Fine Foundation Wild Seas Centre, by the slipway in Kimmeridge Bay.

Friday 3rd – Caterpillar kids at Lorton, peculiar pond life, 10.30am – 12.30pm.  Have a go at pond dipping and discover the amazing underwater world of diving beetles, newts and nymphs. Family fun, wildlife inspired crafts and games, with the Community Conservation Officer. Booking essential, please phone 01305 816546. Meet at Lorton Meadows Conservation Centre, Lorton Lane, Weymouth.

Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th – Illustrated butterflies and moths workshop, Kingcombe Centre course, explore the techniques used to draw and paint butterflies and moths, including drawing to scale and accurate colour-mixing. In addition, there will be the opportunity to observe moths from the moth trap, a non-harmful method to monitor the moth species found in an area. www.kingcombe.org.

Saturday 4th – Bat walk, 8.30-10.30pm, discover bats in Blandford with expert, Chris Dieck. Meet at the Stour Meadows car park (behind Tesco/brewery) at 8.30pm. Maximum of 20 people per walk, so booking is essential, phone Roy Davies on 01258 880699.

Sunday 5th – Wild about Chesil, 10am – 5pm, Chesil’s biggest wildlife event of the year. Find out about the fascinating wildlife of Chesil Beach, Portland and what Dorset Wildlife Trust is up to across the rest of the county; music, dancing and an action packed programme of wildlife activities for the whole family. FREE EVENT (donations welcome). Meet at the Chesil Beach Centre. No booking required.

Tuesday 7th – Knoll Gardens wildlife survey 2018, 10am – 3pm.  Join DWT and other experts for a wildlife survey at Knoll Gardens. Suitable for all ages, beginners and experts alike. No need to book, but for more information and to register your interest contact Nicky Hoar on 01202 692033 or email nhoar@nulldorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk

Wednesday 8th – Dorset Heaths priority invertebrate recording group, Back From The Brink, 10am – 3pm, meeting every Wednesday to carry out surveys for Heath Tiger Beetle, Southern Damselfly and Purbeck Mason Wasp. Sessions will be led by the National Trust and Back from the Brink staff. Find out more information at www.dorsetwildifetrust.org.uk/events.

Wardens walk, summer wildlife on Brownsea, 11am – 1pm.  Join the Brownsea team for a guided walk of the spectacular DWT nature reserve, including the lagoon, summer flowers, butterflies and reptiles. Booking essential. More information phone 01202 709445.

Caterpillar kids at Lorton, Buzzy Bees, 10.30am – 12.30pm.  What keeps bees so busy and how many different types are there buzzing around the meadows of Lorton? Family fun, wildlife inspired crafts and games, with the Community Conservation Officer. Booking essential, phone 01305 816546.

Arty Ocean Activities, Seahorse Spectacular – Celebrate National Marine Week! Did you know that Seahorses can be found in Dorset? Join DWT for a Seahorse spectacular at Kimmeridge with informative displays and fun Seahorse themed have-a-go arts and crafts activities for children; at the Fine Foundation Wild Seas Centre, by the slipway in Kimmeridge Bay. Drop in at any time and stay for as long or as little as you like. For more information contact the Wild Seas Centre on 01929 481044.

Thursday 9th – Moth trap and walk, Beacon Hill, 9am – noon; identify the moths caught overnight followed by an optional guided walk around the heath. Meet at Urban Wildlife Centre, Beacon Hill, Corfe Mullen. Book 01202 692033.

Butterflies and moths at Chesil, 11am – 12.30pm, butterfly beach hunt and look for surprises in the overnight moth trap.
Meet at the Chesil Beach Centre. No booking required.

Fleet Explorer, Sundown cruise, 7.50-8.50pm, an evening boat trip on the Fleet Explorer to watch the sun go down. Find out about the fascinating wildlife of the Fleet Lagoon, the famous Chesil Beach and the rich local history. The perfect time of day to relax; and you might even spot the Chesil hares. Booking essential, 01305 206191. Weather dependant.

Friday 10th – Caterpillar kids at Lorton, grasshoppers and crickets, 10.30 – 12.30  Can you tell the difference between the grasshoppers and crickets hopping around Lorton’s meadows? Family fun, wildlife inspired crafts and games, with the Community Conservation Officer. Booking essential, phone 01305 816546.  Meet at Lorton Meadows Conservation Centre.

Friday 10th to Sunday 12th – Shibori with indigo and madder, Kingcombe Centre weekend workshop, explore dyeing with indigo and madder, the king and queen of dyes, while discovering how to stitch and shape the fabric to resist the dye (called shibori) creating beautiful patterns.

Saturday 11th – Super seals! 11am – 4pm.  Celebrate National Marine Week – an exciting day all about the charismatic marine mammals that are seals. The morning session (11am to 12.30pm) will feature a talk from DWT’s resident seal expert all about seals in Dorset, how to identify them and how you can help by recording them. In the afternoon (2-4pm), join the seal rescue squad and learn how to save them from dangers in the sea. Find out how to tell if a seal is in trouble and what to do if you spot a real life seal. Learn about the threats of marine litter and entanglement in fishing nets and rope. Use binoculars to look out for seals in the sea and put your new rescue skills into practise with our cuddly resident seal. Seals can be identified from the unique pattern of spots on their fur and are often named after them. Meet at the Fine Foundation Wild Seas Centre, by the slipway in Kimmeridge Bay. Booking is essential. For more information contact the Wild Seas Centre on 01929 481044.

Wildlife friendly gardening at the Dolphin Centre, Poole, 10am – 2pm; find DWT at the Dolphin Shopping Centre’s new Eco-Hub for wildlife friendly gardening advice and activities for all. For more information, ring 01202 692033 or email kwilkinson@nulldorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk.

Sunday 12th – Seashore safari, Fleet Lagoon, 1-2.30pm, join DWT at low tide to explore the amazing underwater world of the Fleet Lagoon. Hunt for the marine wildlife which calls our shores their home, as well as looking for the tell-tale tracks and signs of hidden species. Meet at the Chesil Beach Centre. No booking required.

Monday 13th – Guided rockpool ramble, Kimmeridge Bay, 2-3.30pm, join a warden to wander along the beach and discover what fascinating seashore wildlife can be spotted in Kimmeridge Bay, the best rockpooling site in Dorset. Learn about their bizarre lives, from sex-changing sea snails to crafty crabs. Meet at the Fine Foundation Wild Seas Centre, by the slipway in Kimmeridge Bay; weather dependent – phone the Marine Centre on 01929 481044 if unsure.

Tuesday 14th – Seashore safari, Fleet Lagoon, 2.30-4pm; join DWT at low tide to explore the amazing underwater world of the Fleet Lagoon. Hunt for the marine wildlife which calls our shores their home, as well as looking for the tell-tale tracks and signs of hidden species. Meet at the Chesil Beach Centre. No booking required.

Wednesday 15th – Archaeology of West Dorset, Kingcombe Centre course, 9.45am – 4pm, a day course about the places, landscape and archeology of West Dorset, describing the main sites dating from 4000BC to the Romanisation of Britain.

Dorset Heaths priority invertebrate recording group, Back from the Brink, regular Wednesday survey, led by National Trust and Back from the Brink staff – more info www.dorsetwidlifetrust.org.uk/events.

Friday 17th – Caterpillar kids at Lorton, Tree-mendous Trees,  10.30am – 12.30pm. Do you know an Oak from a Hawthorn and which trees provide the most homes and food for animals? Family fun, wildlife inspired crafts and games, with the Community Conservation Officer. Booking essential, phone 01305 816546. Meet at Lorton Meadows Conservation Centre.

Fleet Explorer – evening boat trip to watch the sun go down, find out about the fascinating wildlife of the Fleet Lagoon, the famous Chesil Beach and the rich local history. The perfect time of day to relax; and you might even spot the Chesil hares. Booking essential, 01305 206191. Weather dependent.

Monday 20th – Seashore superheroes, 11am – 12.30pm. Love the outdoors? Become a seashore superhero and learn how to protect our local wildlife by completing a series of challenges to become your own masked hero! Meet at the Chesil Beach Centre. No booking required.

Wednesday 22nd – Dorset Heaths priority invertebrate recording group, Back from the Brink, regular Wednesday survey, led by the National Trust and Back from the Brink staff. Find out more information www.dorsetwidlifetrust.org.uk/events.

Caterpillar Kids at Lorton, Spectacular spiders, 10.30am – 12.30pm.  Discover the amazing webs, traps and subterfuge that Lorton’s spiders use to catch their prey. Family fun, wildlife inspired crafts and games, with the Community Conservation Officer. Booking essential, phone 01305 816546.

Thursday 23rd – Discover the alien world of plankton, 11am – 4pm; learn about the micro-world of plankton also with fun plankton themed crafts and activities. Use microscopes to learn all about the bizarre and fascinating micro-world of plankton.  Meet at the Fine Foundation Wild Seas Centre, by the slipway in Kimmeridge Bay. Drop in at any time during the event and stay as little or as long as you like. No booking required.

Friday 24th – Caterpillar kids at Lorton, Dazzling dragonflies, 1.30 – 3.30pm. Discover how dragonflies develop from underwater nymphs into foraging flyers travelling 1km a day! Family fun, wildlife inspired crafts and games, with the Community Conservation Officer. Booking essential, phone 01305 816546. Meet at Lorton Meadows Conservation Centre.

Monday 27th – The Chesil Challenge, 11am – 12.30pm. Can you complete the Chesil Challenge? A children’s treasure trail inside and outside the Centre looking for clues to solve puzzles about Chesil Beach and the Fleet Lagoon. Suitable for 5+. No booking required.

Tuesday 28th – Guided rockpool ramble in Kimmeridge Bay, 2.30 – 4pm. Meet at the Fine Foundation Wild Seas Centre, located by the slipway in Kimmeridge Bay; weather dependent – phone the Marine Centre on 01929 481044 if unsure

Wednesday 29th – Dorset Heaths priority invertebrate recording group, Back from the Brink, led by National Trust and Back from the Brink staff; more info www.dorsetwidlifetrust.org.uk/events.

Eco-crabbing, 2.30- 4pm; eco-crabbing on the seashore in Kimmeridge Bay. Find out how to catch seashore crabs without harming them or the other marine life that lives with them, and learn how to look after your catch. Discover the different types of crab to be found at Kimmeridge as well as lots of fun crabby facts. This is a guided event for families. Meet at the Fine Foundation Wild Seas Centre, by the slipway in Kimmeridge Bay; weather dependent – phone the Marine Centre on 01929 481044 if unsure.

Caterpillar kids at Lorton, Precarious pondlife – 10.30am – 12.30pm. Have a go at pond dipping and discover how tricky it is to survive in a pond full of hungry creatures! Family fun, wildlife inspired crafts and games, with the Community Conservation Officer. Booking essential, please phone 01305 816546.  Meet at Lorton Meadows Conservation Centre.

Friday 31st – Caterpillar kids at Lorton, who’s hiding in the hedgerow? 10.30am – 12.30pm, a hedgerow hunt to discover shiny shieldbugs, wonderful webs & secret mammal paths. Family fun, wildlife inspired crafts and games, with the Community Conservation Officer. Booking essential, please phone 01305 816546.

Friday 31st August to Sunday 2nd September – Wallpaper weekend workshop, Kingcombe Centre, a welcome return for renowned artist and printmaker Hugh Dunford Wood for a fabulous weekend of creativity – www.kingcombe.org.

Pictured: Kimmeridge Bay; Enjoying the view at Lorton Meadows. Photograph by Tony Ashby.