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.
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.
Brian Pincen looks at the identification of British Ladybirds, their life cycles, predators, habitats and conservation.
Thursday 22 February
Join Somerset Wildlife Trust for a stroll around the River Tone looking out for the wildlife that lives there. The walk will take around half an hour and will cover just over 1km. This will be a gentle walk with regular stops along the way. Please wear suitable outdoor clothing and sturdy footwear.
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.
Friday 23 February
John Walters ecologist, wildlife illustrator and film-maker will present an exploration of the wonderful variety of wildlife in Devon. The south coast's tompot blennies, pipefish and squat lobsters of the rockpools. Amazing display of the male rufous grasshopper and snail shell nesting bees on the undercliff. Dippers, goosanders and mandarin ducks in the river valleys. Heaths and moors include potter wasps moulding nests from mud, the world's largest slug with its bizarre mating habits. Cuckoos duping meadow pipits to raise their young.
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.
This event is now fully booked - sorry for any inconvenience. It may seem a long way off but Spring will soon be on the minds of our urban and garden birds and it won’t be long before they start looking for nests in which to lay their eggs. So, at our next meeting, we will be helping them in their mission by building bird boxes that you can take home to put up in your garden. We will also be going on a walk around Longrun Meadow, looking for some of the different birds that make Taunton their home and maybe some other bird themed activities.
Sunday 25 February
Stunning display of hellebores and an abundance of spring flowers will be found at this wonderful garden. There are many places to sit and enjoy the peace and beauty of the nature found here.
Tuesday 27 February
Mike is a well-known and popular local speaker having given talks all around Somerset and Dorset with the occasional excursion to foreign parts like Devon, Wiltshire, Hampshire and North Somerset.
Sunday 4 March
Join us for a day learning why ponds are important, and how making new ones has an almost immediate effect on local biodiversity. John Dickson, (Somerset Reptile and Amphibian Group) will discuss basic pond ecology, construction, planting, management techniques, site selection and some brief guidance on planning and legal considerations. We'll also visit two pond creations in the afternoon.
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.
Tuesday 6 March
You may have seen this previously advertised as th 5th March, this was incorrect. Come along for a wildlife walk along the River Tone and Taunton Canal to find out about all the creatures that live there. The walk is fully accessible and will cover around 2.8km. Please wear suitable outdoor clothing and sturdy footwear.
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.
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
Tuesday 13 March
PC David Pepper will explain his role of Wildlife Crime Officer within Avon and Somerset Police; the law and legislation involved and how the public can get involved and report incidents.
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.
Tuesday 20 March
John Dickson talks about this project which aims to restore a network of ponds in the Mendip Hills to help conserve the Great Crested Newt. This will be the first major attempt to implement landscape level conservation for this protected species.
Friday 23 March
A wonderful talk by Dr Rob Williams, who has spent a decade working for the conservation of Manu National Park and has helped document the area for magazines and TV. Located in the western Amazon, Manu National Park is the world’s most biodiverse protected area, encompassing the humid montane forests of the eastern Andes and the adjacent Amazon lowlands of the Manu river watershed. Together with neigbouring areas it forms part of the largest contiguous wilderness remaining on earth and is home to over a thousand bird species and 300 mammals.
Tuesday 27 March
A talk by Hugh Graham from the Devon Wildlife Trust about what is happening with the Beaver Trial in Devon Cost
Thursday 29 March
Malcolm Taylor, an accomplished wildlife photographer, will talk about the wildlife (including breeding birds, flowering plants, prowling bears and whales) of the glaciers and deserts of the Svalbard Archipelago in high summer, and a journey around Spitzbergen through open water and pake ice, with visits to other islands
Wednesday 4 April
Phil and Vicki Bruss discuss their experiences in developing their tiny Somerset Garden into a miniature wildlife haven, and talk about some of the creatures that have moved in as a result.
Saturday 7 April
Come along and enjoy a wildlife friendly garden in Buckleigh. See what’s buzzing among the borders, listen out for bird calls and learn how to make your own patch welcoming to wildlife over a cup of tea and a slice of cake.
Sunday 8 April
A short introductory course to mindfulness in Longrun Meadow with experienced mindfulness teacher Dr Miranda Bevis. Participants are asked to sign up for five sessions which happen once a month. Each session will last approximately one hour and will involve gentle mindful practice in Longrun Meadow to connect with nature.
Tuesday 10 April
Francis Farr Cox unravels the history and mystery of where some of the watercourses around Taunton have disappeared or been diverted. Intriguing look at the ever changing urban landscape.