Somerset Wildlife Trust

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Practical Events

We have loads of great wildlife events for adults, kids and families in Somerset. Hopefully the list below will give you lots of ideas for things to do, and give you more information about the interesting and fun activities you can take part in. Take a look at what's on below.

Trouble finding your way?

Because some of our events and things to do are held in the wilds of Somerset they include a grid reference as a meeting point - post codes are too imprecise. To see the location for the activity on a map go to Street Map and type in the grid reference (e.g. ST456437 no spaces.) If you zoom out you will first see the OS Explorer and Landranger maps which have more detail and then larger scale maps. Go to Street Map now.

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Tuesday 9 January

Everything (almost) you wanted to know about fungi, but didn’t know who to ask – what’s the difference between mushrooms and toadstools? Can I eat them? What are fairy rings? How do I get rid of them from my lawn? Michal Jordan supplies the answers.

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John Walters, entomologist and naturalist, artist and writer will talk on the wildlife of Devon, which will include field sketches, photographs and video clips.

Wheelchair accessTalk

Wednesday 10 January

A forum for all local SWT members to come along, mingle, have a slice of cake and talk about their wildlife encounters from the past year. Bring along anything you’d like to show or talk about! Slots available for anyone who wants to openly share their experiences with nature, whether through photographs of the local area or stories of their encounters. 

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Sunday 14 January

Rodden Nature Reserve was created to help combat the flooding when the River Frome overflows onto the A362. It is also managed for willdife and designated a Local Wildlife Site in 2013. Eve Tigwell will lead this walk around the Reserve to look for wildlife before the site closes for the breeding season.

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Tuesday 16 January

WWT Warden, Alys Laver, is the warden at Steart Marshes. This lively talk covers the reasons for its development and takes a look at the wildlife that is now present at the site.

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Thursday 25 January

James Packer is an experienced birder and photographer and chairs the Rarities Committee of the Somerset Ornithological Society. His talk include plenty of photos of exciting bird sightings in Somerset.

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Friday 26 January

Lurking behind the soil, plants and wildlife that help sustain our living landscapes lie deeper and older stories and processes that exert profound control over our surroundings. Elemental forces of rocks and weather shape our view of the world, nourish our communities and offer vital lessons of Earth’s systems. In this presentation, Sam Scriven of Jurassic Coast Trust will explore these ideas.

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Tuesday 30 January

A talk about Somerset's coast and countyrside, by Ian Clemmett, Ranger for the National Trust on Somerset Coast and Countryside.

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Sunday 4 February

Don Hurrell leads a walk that will take you to the Mendip Hide for a view of the upper reaches of the tidal area, then along the bank of the Parrett towards the breach itself and then return via the Quantock Hide.

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Tuesday 6 February

Nigel Phillips, Somerset Wildlife Trust’s Coastal Ambassador, will present this talk primarily about the wonderful wildlife on Somerset’s coast but will also share his knowledge of other great coastal places close by.

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Dr Rob Williams talks about the stunning variety of hummingbirds found only in the Americas, and examines their evolution, ecology and diversity.

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Wednesday 7 February

Join John Bebbington of the Somerset Moth Group to gain an insight into moths, the invisible part of the lepidoptera family. Find out exactly what is flying through your local area while you sleep.

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Friday 9 February

The three acre garden at Higher Yarde Farm Acre offers stream and ponds and an amazing display of Snowdrops, Helebores and Winter Aconites.

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Saturday 10 February

The three acre garden at Higher Yarde Farm Acre offers stream and ponds and an amazing display of Snowdrops, Helebores and Winter Aconites.

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Friday 16 February

This beautiful garden will open for their stunning Snowdrop display. Please bear in mind that as with all flowers, we cannot guarantee that they will be at their finest on this date, but we hope so!

Wheelchair accessFamilyEvent Smoother

Saturday 17 February

The bird list at Westhay continues to increase, and late winter is a good time to see many of the over-wintering birds, including some rarities. Mick Ridgard will take us round this key SWT Reserve to see what’s about.

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Tuesday 20 February

MARINElife is a UK-based charity established to coordinate and develop a growing portfolio of global cetacean and seabird research and monitoring projects. Rick Morris, the current chair of the organisation, will talk about its work.

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Brian Pincen looks at the identification of British Ladybirds, their life cycles, predators, habitats and conservation.

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Thursday 22 February

Charles MacKay MBE works with the UK Border Agency in combating the illegal trade in wildife. He will tell us about graphic examples of some smuggling cases in which he has been involved.

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Saturday 24 February

We’re looking for volunteers to help us manage the old SWT reserve at Asham Wood, Mendip’s largest and most biodiverse ancient semi-natural woodland. Training in coppicing work will be provided by a local coppicer and you can brush up your skills in this ancient technique.

Practical

Sunday 4 March

It could be Snowdrops or it could be Daffodils; everything deopends on the weather. Come along and get to know this lovely SWT Reserve better and to see what’s about with Mick Ridgard.

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Tuesday 6 March

Tree Sparrows declined in the UK by 95% between 1970 and 2000. Tamsin Holmes of the National Trust will tell us about Stourhead’s Tree Sparrow Project to encourage the revival of this endangered species.

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Wednesday 7 March

Come and hear the latest thinking on climate change, how it is affecting Somerset, its nature and what is being done about it locally with Steve Mewes, SWT Policy and Campaigns Manager. Plenty of time after the talk for lively Q&A and discussion

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Tuesday 13 March

PC David Pepper will explain his role of Wildlife Crime Officer within Avon and Somerset Police; the law and legistration involved and how the public can get involved and report incidents.

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The RSPB Swell Wood reserve is home to the largest heronry in SW England. With up to 150 Heron nests in some years. Learn more about the heronry and the wider reserve from the RSPB Warden, Steve Ross.

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