SUMMER is always one of the busiest times for Dorset Wildlife Trust and there is a packed programme for local wildlife lovers and visitors. For more information on the trust’s volunteering activities visit www.dorsetwildifetrust.org.uk/volunteering
To 21st July – Brownsea Island art exhibitions, 10am – 4pm, work by local artist Harriet Webb at the Villa visitor centre, Brownsea Island. Harriet is inspired by her love of the outdoors and the beauty of the natural world in her home county of Dorset. Phone Brownsea on 01202 709445 for more information or visit dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/Brownsea.
Monday 2nd – Health and wellbeing walk at Lorton Meadows, Weymouth, 10 – 10.45am, a gentle weekly walk around Lorton Meadows nature reserve. No need to book.
Wednesday 4th – Walking with nature, Kingcombe Meadows through the seasons, 2 – 4pm, an opportunity to explore the many paths and trails and discover the wonderful wildlife and heritage that the Kingcombe reserve has to offer. Booking essential, phone 01300 320684 and ask for Debbie Billen.
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, led by National Trust and Back from the Brink staff – more information at www.dorsetwildlifetrust.
Friday 6th to Sunday 8th – Macro-photography course, Kingcombe Centre, develop your macro and close-up photography of plants and invertebrates, improve your field craft and overcome the challenges. For more information and to book visit www.kingcombe.org or phone 01300 320684.
Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th – Nature detectives trail at Lorton, Amazing Meadows, 10.30pm – 4pm. Find the bugs, hoppers & beetles hiding among Lorton’s wildflowers and celebrate National Meadows Day. No need to book, available all day. Start at Lorton Meadows Conservation Centre, Lorton Lane, Weymouth.
Saturday 7th – Lorton Meadows wildflower walk, 2 – 4pm. Discover black knapweed, bird’s-foot trefoil, grass vetchling on National Meadows Day. Booking essential, phone 01305 816546.
Sunday 8th – Chesil Rocks! 2 – 3.30pm, whistle-stop tour covers everything from the formation of the beach to the rich wildlife and history. Meet at Chesil Beach Centre, Portland Road, Portland. No booking required.
Monday 9th to Friday 13th – Dorset’s Butterflies and Moths, Kingcombe Centre course, discover the diversity of summer butterflies and moths across Dorset’s famed landscape of chalk downlands, pastures, woodlands and coast. Led by David Brown, Warwick University lecturer; www.kingcombe.org.
Monday 9th – Health and wellbeing walk, Lorton Meadows, 10 – 10:45am, a gentle weekly walk. No need to book.
Wednesday 11th – Guided walk, Butterflies on Portland, 10am to noon; join the Portland Project Officer for a guided walk around the disused quarry, with stunning views across Chesil beach, hidden sculpted surprises around every corner and butterflies galore, this is a walk not to be missed. Booking essential, please contact the Chesil Centre on 01305 20619.
Dorset Heath 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, led by National Trust and Back from the Brink staff; www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/events
Friday 13th – The heath at dusk, 9pm – 11pm, Nightjars at Upton Heath, meet at end of Beacon Road Broadstone, experience the sights and sounds of the emerging nocturnal wildlife. With luck nightjars and bats will be out and about. Contact email@example.com or on the day 07947 141539. No dogs.
Saturday 14th – Nature detectives trail at Lorton, Dazzling Dragonflies, 10.30am – 4pm. Find the dazzling dragonflies and delicate damselflies waiting to be discovered at Lorton Meadows. No need to book, available all day.
Bee day at Knoll Gardens, 11am – 4pm. Open your eyes to the wonderful world of bees!. Learn from experts on guided walks and discover the best plants to attract bees to your garden. Normal garden admission prices. For further information on Knoll Gardens visit www.knollgardens.co.uk or ring 01202 873931.
Seashore safari on the Fleet lagoon, 1.15 – 2.45pm, come at low tide to explore the amazing underwater world of the Fleet Lagoon. Hunt for the marine wildlife and look for the tell-tale tracks and signs of hidden species. Meet at Chesil Beach Centre. No booking required,.
Sunday 15th – Nature detectives trail at Lorton, Dazzling Dragonflies, 10.30am – 4pm. No need to book, available all day.
Open garden, Farrs Coach House, Wimborne, 2 – 5pm. Michael Evans is again opening his wildlife friendly garden. Tea and cake will be available. There will also be the results of the previous night moth trap. Map ref ST998003. (on road from Wimborne to Cowgrove).
Guided rockpool ramble in Kimmeridge Bay, 2 – 3.30pm. Join a warden to wander along the beach to 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. This event is weather dependent – phone the Marine Centre on 01929 481044 if unsure. .
Monday 16th to Friday 20th – Hands on wildlife and conservation and research holiday, Kingcombe Centre, with wildlife surveys, practical conservation, fine food and great company, based around the Kingcombe Meadows Nature Reserve and surrounding countryside. www.kingcombe.org.
Monday 16th – Health and wellbeing walk at Lorton, 10 – 10.45am, a gentle weekly walk. No need to book.
Wednesday 18th – Dorset Heath 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, led by the National Trust and Back from the Brink staff; www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/events.
Thursday 19th – Twilight on the heath, 8.45pm. Join Nicky Hoar to look for nightjars and other wildlife in the Corfe Barrows Nature Park, Corfe Mullen. For more information, ring 01202 692033 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday 20th – Improving meadows and grasslands, Kingcombe Centre, 9.45am – 4pm, look at characteristic species like common knapweed, yellow rattle and local favourite corky-fruited water dropwort, and learn about harvesting seed. www.kingcombe.org
Saturday 21st – Nature detectives trail at Lorton Meadows, Beautiful Butterflies, 10.30am – 4pm. Discover the butterflies of the meadows, hiding at Lorton and join us on the Big Butterfly Count. No need to book, available all day.
Lorton Meadows butterfly walk, 2-4pm, wander the meadows and identify butterflies, so you can record which visit your local patch for the Big Butterfly Count.
Scything workshop, Kingcombe Centre, 9.45am – 4pm. The scythe is enjoying a resurgence in the UK thanks to imported lightweight continental scythes. Such tools are surprisingly effective and enjoyable to use, and a low tech, low carbon alternative. With the right knowhow, you can tackle small meadows, weeds such as nettles, grassy verges and even lawns.
Barn dance and hog roast at Kingcombe Centre, 7- 11pm. with local band Jeroka. Booking essential, 01300 320684.
21st July to 19th August – Brownsea Island art exhibitions, 10am – 4pm. by artist in residence, Lauren Hayes Bissell, at the Villa visitor centre, Brownsea Island. Inspired by nature and the wildlife of Brownsea. Lauren is a signature member of the Hilliard Miniaturist’s Society and Art for Conservation;
Sunday 22nd – Dorset Dogs Day, a celebration of dogs, countryside and wild creatures at Upton Country Park, have-a-go-agility and more activities for dogs, fun dog show, doggy displays fascinating stalls, scrumptious refreshments, children’s activities, guided walkies, huge marquee and so much more! More information at dorsetdogs.org.uk.
Nature detectives trail at Lorton Meadows, Beautiful Butterflies, 10.30am – 4pm. Discover the butterflies of the meadows, hiding at Lorton and join us on the Big Butterfly Count. No need to book, available all day.
A good tern, Little Tern walk, 1.30 – 3pm. Meet at Chesil Beach for a walk to see the little terns, one of the UK’s rarest seabirds and help raise money to protect the colony at Chesil. Learn about the plight of this charismatic little bird, find out about the breeding success and get an insight into their fascinating behaviour. No booking required.
Monday 23rd – Health and wellbeing walk at Lorton Meadows, 10am – 10.45am, a gentle weekly walk around Lorton Meadows nature reserve. No need to book. Meet at Lorton Meadows Conservation Centre, Lorton Lane, Weymouth.
Tuesday 24th – Walk at Corfe Barrows nature park, 10am – noon, guided by Nicky Hoar, DWT Learning and Interpretation Officer. Meet at Happy Bottom Nature Reserve on north side of Higher Merley Lane, Corfe Mullen. Booking not necessary.
An introduction to bats, Kingcombe Centre, 9.45am – 5pm. Begin a journey into the cryptic world of bats – aimed at the beginner/novice who wants to start their learning on the subject, this workshop will introduce you to the world of bats and their ecology, including an evening session bat watching (weather permitting) and dinner. www.kingcombe.org.
Wednesday 25th – Dorset Heath 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; led by National Trust and Back from the Brink staff.
Thursday 26th July to 2nd September – Summer wildlife fun at Brownsea Island, 11am – 3.30pm. Come and find out more about the wonderful wildlife of Brownsea; self-led trails and visit the Villa Wildlife Centre for wildlife activities. No need to book. Phone Brownsea on 01202 709445 for more information or visit dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/Brownsea
Friday 27th – Caterpillars kids at Lorton – Beautiful butterflies,
10.30am – 12.30pm. Search for butterflies in our wildflower meadows, how many different ones will you see? Family fun, wildlife inspired crafts and games, with the Community Conservation Officer. Booking essential, phone 01305 816546. Meet at Lorton Meadows Conservation Centre. For more information www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org/lorton
Friday 27th to Sunday 29th – Macro photography weekend at the Kingcombe Centre. finding suitable subjects and approaching them carefully (especially where insects and spiders are concerned) are essential skills in field close-up macro photography. Book at Kingcombe.
Saturday 28th – Guided rockpool ramble in Kimmeridge Bay, from 2pm; join a warden to wander along the beach to 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. This event is weather dependent – phone the Marine Centre on 01929 481044 if unsure.
Bat walk, 8.30pm, Stour Meadows, Blandford St Mary, discover bats with expert, Chris Dieck. Meet at the Stour Meadows car park (behind Tesco/brewery). Booking is essential by telephoning Roy Davies on 01258 880699.
Farm walk at Portesham, 10.30am, on a diverse downland holding with atmospheric echoes of Hardy’s Wessex. Accompanied by stockman Adam Fooks. Waddon Farm, Grid ref. SY 620 857 (near DT3 4ER), For more details and booking, please phone Nick Gray 07824 438974.
Sunday 29th – Damselflies and Dragonflies on the Heath, 10.30am – 2pm. Meet Upton Heath summer residents, at the end of Longmeadow Lane.
Monday 30th – Shark School, 11am – 12.30pm – some of the biggest and most exciting sharks are found just off Chesil Beach. Learn how to identify them, about their fascinating behaviour and how important sharks are as top predators in our seas. Hunt for shark and ray eggcases along the beach. Meet at the Chesil Beach Centre. No booking required.
Marine Litter Awareness Day, 11am – 4pm, part of National Marine Week. Marine litter is a growing problem and affects all marine wildlife from microscopic plankton to the largest whales. Come along and learn more about the issues associated with marine litter, where it comes from and discover ways in which we can all help. If you’re wondering what a nurdle is… come along and find out! Meet at the Fine Foundation Wild Seas Centre, located by the slipway in Kimmeridge Bay; free event, all welcome.
Tuesday 31st – Wild seas at the Dolphin Centre, 10am – 2pm. Find out what you can do to help save our Wild Seas for all its creatures, including dolphins! Find us at the Dolphin Shopping Centre’s Eco-Hub. For more information, ring 01202 692033.
Pictured: Enjoying the sea, photograph by Matthew Roberts.