Walks – May to August 2024

CANCELLED 4:30am Friday 3rd May   Dawn Chorus Walk in Richmond Park (closest R.P. Friday Bird Walk to National Dawn Chorus Day)
3 starting points. Free street parking outside Ladderstile and Sheen gates. Limited free parking outside Richmond Gate.
1. Ladderstile Gate off Kingston Hill with Phil Davies
(07773 917410) davieskut@blueyonder.co.uk
2. Sheen Gate with Rebecca Dunne and Sandra Hucks
(07879 645971) rebecca9dunne@gmail.com 
3. Richmond Gate with Roy Pattison –
(07949 983752)roy.tp@hotmail.com Please advise leader at your chosen entrance gate if you are coming. They can give more details of each route and parking.

10am Wednesday 8th May   Osterley Park NT      Morning walk
Rebecca Dunne (07879 645971) rebecca9dunne@gmail.com        
A rare survival of a country estate in Greater London, owned by the National Trust. This walk will go through the parkland past the many lakes, avenues and shrubberies with chances to spot a variety of Spring birds.
 NT members may wish to continue into Osterley House or gardens after coffee/lunch.
Meet: at the main gates – junction of Jersey Road and Thornbury Road, Jersey Road (TW7 4RD).   Parking in the NT car park 400 yards up the main drive. Car park – NT members park free   £7 for non-members, payable by phone.     
Buses H28 and H91; Osterley station (Piccadilly Line) 1/2 mile.  Toilets by the house.

Photo by Jeremy Norris

NB 9am Sunday 12th May   Thursley NNR    Morning walk aiming to finish 12-1pm
Leader: Andy Roberts (07746 761853) andy.w.roberts@btinternet.com  Please advise Andy if you intend to come.
One of the largest remaining fragments of heathland in Surrey. Extensive areas of open dry heathland, peat bogs with boardwalks, pine and deciduous woodlands. A good place at this time of year for Dartford Warbler, Redstart, Woodlark, Stonechat, Reed Bunting, Willow Warbler and maybe Tree Pipit and Cuckoo.
Meet: Moat Car park, south of Elstead, GU8 6LW on minor road between Elstead and Thursley.   No toilets. Cafes in Elstead.

9:15 for 9:30 start Thursday 16th May   New Forest-3 hour Guided Walk with Marcus Ward from ‘Wild New Forest’  
15 places  MEMBERS ONLY
Cost £11     Must be booked with Rebecca (07879 645971) rebecca9dunne@gmail.com
Bring lunch. A 3-hour guided walk around the New Forest, probably Acres Down, but Marcus will advise nearer the time based on what species are around.  Hoping for classic New Forest species such as Hawfinch, Crossbill, Redstart, Firecrest and Siskin and maybe Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. Marcus Ward “Potentially some rough terrain. We recommend people wear stout footwear and dress for the forecast.”        Option to go on elsewhere after lunch – Normandy Marshes perhaps.

MINIBUS TRIP Saturday 18th May   Dungeness    MEMBERS ONLY    Bring lunch
Cost £25plus entrance fee for non-national RSPB members.
Booking via Sandra Hucks (see above) Leader: Rebecca Dunne (07879 645971) rebecca9dunne@gmail.com
The diverse habitats of this spectacular area always produce a wide range of species. Huge expanse of shingle along with important freshwater habitat, fen, wet grassland and wildflower meadows. We will start at the Dungeness Estate NNR beach where a warden will tell us what’s in the area. Then, depending on what they say, a bit of sea watching and looking at nesting sites on the de-commissioned nuclear power station, before moving on to the RSPB’s Arc Pits and then the main Dungeness RSPB reserve for the afternoon.
Dungeness main RSPB reserve has a visitors’ centre, shop and toilets. Café and toilets also at beach steam railway station

10am Wednesday 22nd May   WWT London Wetland Centre   Morning walk    (Option to stay on after coffee/lunch)
Leader: Christo Impey (Please let Sandra Hucks know if you intend to come sandra_hucks@hotmail.com 07906 150407) LWC brings the countryside to London. The lakes, pools and gardens are home to a huge variety of wildlife. 180 bird species are recorded each year.
Meet: on the bridge outside the entrance – Queen Elizabeth Walk, Barnes SW13 9WT
Non WWT members £15.40 (£13.90 concessions). Easily accessible by bus and rail; details on WWT website.

10:30am – 3:30pm Monday 27th May   Twickenham Green Rotary Fair    details in monthly email bulletin.  

9:30am Wednesday 29th May   Knepp Estate     All day car sharing trip    Bring lunch
Leader: Rebecca Dunne (07879 645971) rebecca9dunne@gmail.com      Please advise Rebecca if you intend to come.
***A new shop, café (Wilding Kitchen 9am-4pm) and toilets have been opened at Swallows Farm next to the car park.
A Spring walk exploring this pioneering rewilding project that’s turned failing farmland into a profitable site of wildlife abundance. Herds of free-roaming cattle, pigs, horses and deer wander the landscape, their disturbance creating new habitats. Catch up with their increasing population of breeding White Storks. A range of nationally declining species such as Yellowhammers, Nightingales and Turtle Doves thrive here.  Be prepared for a long walk over rough ground.
Meet: New Swallows Farm Shop next to new Walkers’ car park, accessed from Worthing Road(A24), Dial Post, RH13 8NQ 
Do not drive down the old entrance track!
We will be starting our walk from Swallows Farm Shop.

Photo by Pippa Hyde

10:00am Saturday 1st June    Kempton Nature Reserve    Morning walk
Diana Housley (07710 243636) diana@djhousley.plus.com    Please advise Diana if you intend to come
A rare chance to visit this Site of Special Scientific Interest. From a decommissioned reservoir a purpose designed 50-acre wetland and wildlife oasis has sprung into life    RESTRICTED ACCESS SO PLEASE ARRIVE ON TIME.
Meet: at site entrance on sharp bend of Main St, TW13 6ST, next to Lindon Bennett School. Small car park inside or street parking. H25 bus stops outside. R70 stops 5 mins walk away at Hanworth War Memorial, junction of Main St & Green Lane. Compost toilets.

7:15 for 7:45pm start   Sunday 9th June   Evening Nightjar Walk – Farnham Heath RSPB    
Leader: Rebecca Dunne (07879 645971)  rebecca9dunnne@gmail.com     Please advise Rebecca if you intend to come. 
We will start with a search for heathland birds around this lovely site (Tree Pipits, Stonechats, Dartford Warblers etc), and then hopefully see and hear churring Nightjars as dusk falls.
Meet: Rural Life Centre car park (next to entrance to RSPB reserve) The Reeds Road, Tilford, GU10 2DL.  An RSPB volunteer will kindly open the gates from 7.15pm specially for us. Please arrive well before 7.45pm and NOT at the last minute as the gates will be closed then. The gates will be reopened shortly after 10pm.    Toilets at car park.

9:30am Wednesday 12th June   Splash Point and Seaford Head    All day car sharing trip      Bring lunch   
Leader: Rebecca Dunne (07879 645971)  rebecca9dunnne@gmail.com         Please advise Rebecca if you intend to come.
An outing to the East Sussex coast. The cliffs at Splash Point host a large colony of breeding Kittiwakes as well as Fulmars and Rock Pipits however a huge cliff fall on Valentine’s Day may have changed things. We will investigate and do a bit of sea watching. We will then drive up to South Hill Barns on Seaford Head and walk along the cliffs to get a view over Cuckmere Haven, searching through the sheltered scrub and woodland on the way. Picnic on the cliffs looking over the Seven Sisters. Return to the sea front at end of the day for another look at the cliffs (and maybe a famous Holy Cow ice-cream).
Meet: at Splash Point, Seaford Nearest postcode BN25 1JJ but keep going to the southernmost end of the Esplanade.
Public toilets (hopefully refurbishment finished) on seafront near Martello Tower. Drinks kiosk at South Hill Barns.      

9:30am Thursday 20th June   Staines Moor,    Morning walk
Leader: Diana Housley (07710 243636) diana@djhousley.plus.com    Please advise Diana if you intend to come. 190 birds have been recorded in this relic of damp unimproved grassland and scrub. Once part of Staines medieval manor. Unploughed for 1000 years. A good site for raptors, including, if we’re lucky, Hobby, and breeding birds such as Skylark, Sedge and other warblers.
Meet: Hithermoor Road, TW19 6AT, by grassy area backed by reservoir bank, opposite houses 119-145.Bus 442 from Heathrow T5 stops 9 minutes walks away. No toilets

Photo by Pippa Hyde

7:30pm Thursday 27th June   Richmond Park    Evening Walk
Leaders: Rebecca Dunne (07879 645971)  rebecca9dunnne@gmail.com and Sandra Hucks
An evening stroll around the centre of the park – Pen Ponds, Sidmouth Slope, Ballet School etc with the possibility of owls, bats and hopefully a beautiful sunset too. May be cancelled if weather poor. Please let Rebecca know if you intend to come.
Meet: Pen Ponds car park kiosk BUT please note that you will have to walk/cycle into the park. The park’s road gates will be closed by the time we leave. Some of us will be walking in from Robin Hood Gate, meeting there at 7pm. Probably finish around 10pm

MINIBUS TRIP Saturday 29th June   Pagham Harbour RSPB   MEMBERS ONLY    Bring lunch
Leader: Rebecca Dunne (07879 645971)  rebecca9dunne@gmail.com                 Booking via Sandra Hucks (see above)
Glorious and peaceful reserve. One of the few undeveloped stretches of the Sussex coast. Internationally important site for wildlife with saltmarsh and mudflats, lagoons, reedbeds, farmland and shingle beach. The highlight of summer here is the tern and gull breeding colony. Elsewhere, there’ll still be plenty of warblers Whitethroats, Chiffchaff, Blackcaps, Reed, Sedge and Cetti’s Warblers. Early migrant waders such as Spotted Redshank are a possibility.
We will park at the small visitor centre and follow the path along the sheltered inlet to Church Norton and the beach…and back again – at least 4 miles.
Toilets, drinks and ice cream at the visitor centre where we will leave the minibus.

9:30am Tuesday 2nd July   Knepp Estate    All day car sharing trip      Bring lunch
Leader: Rebecca Dunne (07879 645971)  rebecca9dunnne@gmail.com    Please advise Rebecca if you intend to come.
On this return visit we hope to see White Storks with well grown or fledged young and, if it’s sunny a good range of butterflies especially Purple Emperors  (updates on The Purple Emperors https://apaturairis.blogspot.com).
For other details see Wednesday 29th May Knepp walk.

MINIBUS TRIP Saturday 6th July   Rye Harbour   MEMBERS ONLY       Bring lunch
Leader: Rebecca Dunne (07879 645971)  rebecca9dunne@gmail.com                 Booking via Sandra Hucks (see above)
A lovely coastal reserve to visit at any time of year especially with its new Discovery Centre.  A mosaic of shingle ridges, saline lagoons, saltmarsh, grazing marsh with ditches, ponds, gravel pits and reedbeds. Great for terns this time of year.
Different lengths of walk available – all flat. 2-mile trail taking in 3 hides, saltmarshes and beach. 1 mile+ extension to Salt Pool and gravel pits. Longer 5½ mile trail to Castle Water.        Website:  rye.sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk
Visitor centre with shop and café (10am-4pm).  Pub and cafe in the village. 
Toilets near car park and in visitor centre.

Photo by Pippa Hyde

10am Wednesday 17th July   Warnham Nature Reserve      Guided Walk 15 places   Cost £7.50      Bring lunch
Leader: Sandra Hucks (07906 150407) sandra_hucks@hotmail.com        Must be booked with Sandra in advance.
2-3 hour guided walk by the reserve’s warden checking hides for birds and walking through the meadows looking for butterflies and other invertebrates.  A good place to get close to the birds for photography from 5 hides and 2 viewing screens with feeding stations. Large millpond, marshes, grassland, reed beds, hedges and woodland. Kingfishers, 21+ species of dragonflies. No food to be eaten on the reserve, only in the visitors’ centre which serves drinks and snacks. After lunch we can have another look at the feeders and lake Website: warnhamnaturereservefriends.org.uk
Reserve entry £3.50 + £4 donation for guided walk. This is a card only reserve – no cash.   Toilets
Meet: Warnham Rd, Horsham, RH12 2RA (just off the A24)

10am Thursday 25th July   Thursley – Dragonflies and Birds    Morning walk   Please advise Diana if you intend to come.
Leader: Diana Housley (07710 243636) diana@djhousley.plus.com       Walk along the boardwalks in search of dragonflies. 20+ species of dragonflies and damselflies live around the open ponds and ditches of the reserve There should be birds as well. Stonechats, Dartford Warblers and, if we’re lucky Curlew and Hobbies
Meet: Moat Car park, south of Elstead, GU8 6LW on minor road between Elstead and Thursley. No toilets. Cafes in Elstead

2pm- 3:30pm Monday 29th July – Guided tour of the Ealing Beaver Project site at Paradise Fields, Greenford
Cost £5 minimum donation towards the Beaver Project. Our guide will be Elliot Newton from Citizen Zoo
Must be booked in advance with Rebecca 
rebecca9dunne@gmail.com 07879 645971
Elliot will show us around the site to discover the aims of the Ealing Beaver Project, hear what the Beaver family have been getting up to since their release, see signs of feeding and the dams they have built, and the changes made to the site.
You will not see Beavers, but you will see lots of Beaver activity.

Meet: Meet at the underpass with murals, behind McDonalds in Greenford UB6 0UW (Near Westway Cross Retail Park)
Paradise Fields car park is free. Access from Greenford Road (A4127). Parking also at Westway Cross Retail ParkGreenford Station is a 10-minute walk away. Local buses E6, 92, 105 or 395.

9:30am Tuesday 6th August   Normandy and Keyhaven Marshes     All day car sharing trip         Bring lunch
Leader: Rebecca Dunne (07879 645971)  rebecca9dunnne@gmail.com
Morning visit to Normandy Marsh at Lymington then after lunch, we will make the 15-20 minute drive to Keyhaven to look at Keyhaven Lagoon, Fishtail Lagoon and maybe Butts Lagoon. Lymington and Keyhaven Marshes is a beautiful area of coastline. The internationally important coastal marshes and mudflats teem with fish and, as a result, thousands of sea birds and waders flock here. This time last, year highlights of 60+ birds seen included Eider Duck, Whimbrel, Ringed and Little Plovers, Common Sandpipers, Sandwich and Little Terns, Dunlin and young Avocet. Fantastic views across the Solent to Hurst Castle and the Isle of Wight.
Meet: 10am by the toilets in the Bath Road Car Park – Lymington, SO41 3SE  
Free parking in Stanley Road and Spring Road just past The Mayflower pub SO41 3QD.
Bath Road car park £6 for 4 hours – ticket transferable to Keyhaven car park if you pay for the whole day.
Afternoon: Keyhaven car park, Keyhaven Rd, Milford on Sea, SO41 0TP    £6 for 4 hours      Toilets
The Gun pub opposite the car park at Keyhaven is a good place for refreshments at the end of the day.

Photo by Jeremy Norris

MINIBUS TRIP Sunday 18th August    Titchfield Haven     MEMBERS ONLY         Bring lunch     
Leader: Rebecca Dunne (07879 645971)  rebecca9dunne@gmail.com                 Booking via Sandra Hucks (see above)
The reserve covers 369 acres of the valley and mouth of the River Meon, on the shores of the Solent, in Hampshire. A mosaic of river, fen, pools, reedbeds and meadows with 6 easy to access hides + views over the Solent for possible Turnstones, Sanderling, Ringed Plover etc. Good time of year for passage migrants. Trip may include a stop off at Posbrook Floods at the inland end of the reserve if interesting birds are around.
Small visitor’s centre has toilets, hot drinks machine, cold drinks and ice-cream.
Entry fee – Adults £6.50   Senior Citizens £5.50

10am Thursday 22nd August   Oare Marshes, Kent    All day car sharing trip      Bring lunch
Leader: Rebecca Dunne (07879 645971)  rebecca9dunnne@gmail.com  Please advise Rebecca if you intend to come.Of international importance for migratory birds, the reserve consists of one of the few grazing marshes left in Kent with freshwater dykes, scrapes, reedbed, saltmarsh and seawall.The autumn migration should be well under way by now, providing opportunities for us to test our identification skills with Little Stints, Whimbrel and Sandpipers etc as we explore this wonderful site overlooking the Swale. Will the Bonaparte’s Gull return this year? Also good for butterflies, Wheatear Whinchats, Terns and Wagtails.
Meet: at the car park at the end of Church Road, Oare, ME13 0QA   Parking charges for some spaces.
NB parking space is very limited so do try and share lifts.   No toilets – use nearby Sainsbury’s, Bysing Wood Rd, ME13 7UD

Wednesday 26th August Family Walk – TBC