Programme for January to July 2024

This programme may be subject to last minute changes/cancellations due to circumstances beyond our control. Please check our News page for more details and any later changes as these will have the most up to date information or contact us via our Contact us page or telephone Martin Keys on 07710 037659.

TALKS: 7.30pm to 9.30pm. No charge for local group members. Visitors £5. Refreshments are normally available during the interval. Shawford Parish Hall, Pearson Lane, Shawford, Winchester SO21 2AA. Google Maps

GROUP WALKS: Walk details are given at the talk before the walk and on our website Get involved page and Facebook page.

Except for entrance fees and parking charges, walks are free and open to all. Please wear appropriate clothing and footwear and bring binoculars if available. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Events

PLEASE NOTE: There is no talk and there are no walks, other than our Safari, in Jan.

Wed 7th Feb 2024: Talk – White Storks Taking Flight ! Reconnecting with a Wilder Britain at 7:30pm

Talk by Matt Phelps, the seasonal Field Assistant for the White Stork Project at Knepp.

The White Stork Project is led by a pioneering partnership of private landowners and nature conservation organisations, who are working together to restore a population of at least 50 breeding pairs in southern England by 2030 through a phased release programme over five years.

Sun 11th Feb 2024: Walk at Alresford from 10am to 2pm – BOOKING ESSENTIAL

Location: Park and meet in Broad Street, Alresford. Parking fee may apply. Google Maps (Map Ref. SU 588 329, nearest postcode: SO24 9AS, what3words: instructs.mammal.dial).

Join John Clark for a Sunday morning walk in the countryside around Alresford.

Please bring along your own refreshments if required.

Part of this walk is along a busy main road with no footpath which also needs to be crossed. For this reason numbers are limited.

To book, please contact us via the group email or our Contact us page.

Wed 6th Mar 2024: Talk – Butterfly Conservation at 7:30pm

Talk by Andy Barker of the Hampshire Butterfly Conservation Group.
The talk will look at how Hampshire’s butterflies have fared over recent decades and the various drivers of change. It will focus on butterflies of various habitats, especially woodland, downland and heathland, and the importance of habitat structure and connectivity.

The talk will conclude with an overview of garden butterflies and what we can do to support them.

Sun 10th Mar 2024: Walk at Longparish – CANCELLED

Cancelled due to flooding and extremely muddy conditions.

Thurs 14th Mar 2024: Walk at Winnall Moors – CANCELLED

Cancelled due to flooding and path closures.

Wed 3rd Apr 2024: Talk – Wildlife of the Galápagos Islands – Exploring in the footsteps of Charles Darwin at 7:30pm

Presentation by Dianne Watkins – An illustrated personal account of exploring the modern day Galápagos Islands and their wildlife, whilst also examining them from the perspective of Charles Darwin and the contribution of his experience there to his theory of evolution.

Sat 13th Apr 2024: Walk at Titchfield Haven from 10am to Midday

Location: Park in the Yacht Club Car park. There is a charge for parking.
Meet at the Visitor Centre: Google Maps (Map Ref: SU 535 023, nearest postcode: PO14 3JT (very inaccurate), what3words: callers.devalued.premiums).

Join Jolene Orlowski for a walk around this nature reserve.

There is an entry fee for the reserve.

Please note: the café is no longer open, so bring your own refreshments if required.

(reserve website: Hampshire County Council Titchfield Haven nature reserve)

Thurs 25th Apr 2024: Birding by train/ferry/walk along the Western Yar River, Isle of Wight – Booking in advance required

Black-tailed godwit (male in summer plumage) at Farlington Marshes

A trip to the Isle of Wight led by Martin Keys.

Train times and ferry times to be confirmed.

This event must be booked in advance – please contact Martin on 07710 037659 for more information and to book a place.

Wed 1st May 2024: Talk – Wildlife Wanderings in the Seychelles – A Paradise in the Sun at 7:30pm

Presentation by Richard Coomber on the Seychelles.

Thurs 2nd May 2024: Walk at Franchises Lodge from 10am to 12:30pm

Location: Park and meet in RSPB private car park at Telegraph Hill on Roger Penny Way, Hale, Fordingbridge. When you reach the public parking space on the B3078 at Telegraph Hill heading west from the end of the M27, turn right into the private RSPB car park. Google Maps (Map Ref. SU 228 166, nearest postcode SP5 2PX, what3words: music.violin.converter).

Please note that parking is limited so please car share if possible.

Join us for a guided walk around this RSPB reserve with the RSPB Warden, Saul Alonso.

Sun 5th May 2024: Walk at Knepp for White Storks 10am

Location: Park and meet at the walker’s car park on Worthing Road, Dial Posts. Google Maps (Map Ref. TQ 157 198, nearest postcode: RH13 8NQ (inaccuarte), what3words: remains.icebergs.race). From the south, turn left off the A24 onto Worthing Road signposted Dial Post and follow this through the village to the other side. The car park is on the left. Do not follow signs to the Knepp Estate.

Join Sue Fox for a walk to see the White Storks at Knepp in Sussex.

The paths are flat but can be muddy where the animals roam and the short circuit we usually do is about 3 miles. Bring a packed lunch which can be eaten in the car park.

There is a suggested donation of £5 for the car park.

Thurs 9th May 2024: Walk at Fritham from 9am to 1pm

Location: Park and meet at Gorley Bushes Car Park, on left just past the Royal Oak. Google Maps (Map Ref. SU 231 141, nearest postcode: SO43 7HL (inaccurate), what3words: pulsing.cloud.tweed).

Join Martin Keys for a walk around the area.

Please wear stout shoes/walking boots.

Sun 19th May 2024: All day walk at Winspit 10am – Booking in advance required

Location: Park and meet in the main Worth Matravers village car park. Google Maps (Map Ref. SY 974 776, nearest postcode BH19 3LF, what3words: skim.soak.conveys). There is a small charge for parking.

A long coastal and downland walk with Martin Keys on the Dorset coast looking for downland and coastal birds. The area is also home to many species of downland flowers and insects.

A good level of fitness is required as the route is undulating and very steep in places especially towards the end and we reserve the right to advise against the walk. If you have any concerns, please discuss with us beforehand.

Please wear stout walking boots or shoes and bring a packed lunch, drink and walking poles if you use them.

This event must be booked in advance – please contact Martin on 07710 037659 for more information and to book a place.

Wed 22nd May 2024: Walk at Fishlake Meadows from 9:30am to 12:30pm

Location: Park and meet in the Oxlease Meadows car park, Oxlease Meadows (near the Fishlake Meadows / Cupernham Lane junction), Romsey. Google Maps (Map Ref. SU 361 224, nearest postcode: SO51 7AB, what3words: unsigned.tracking.organ).

A return visit for a morning walk around this wetland reserve near Romsey with Barbara Hillier to see what is around in mid spring.

(reserve website: Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust Fishlake Meadows nature reserve)

Sun 2nd June 2024: All day walk at Martin Down 10am

Location: In the morning, meet in the parking area at the end of Sillens Lane Google Maps (Map Ref. SU 057 191, nearest postcode SP6 3LB (very inaccurate), what3words: wakes.flatten.congested). Later in the day, we will re-locate to the the large car park on the A354 Google Maps (Map Ref. SU 036 201, nearest postcode SP5 5RH (very inaccurate), what3words: sizzled.lends.singled).

Join Sue Fox for a walk on this national nature reserve where turtle dove and corn bunting can often be seen together with many wild flowers including orchid species and butterflies.

There are no facilities at Martin Down. Please bring a packed lunch and drink.

(reserve website: National Nature Reserve Martin Down)

Wed 5th Jun 2024: Talk – A Year in the Life of Normandy Marsh at 7:30pm

We are delighted to have Marcus Ward of Wild New Forest join us. His presentation will be on “A Year in the Life of Normandy Marsh”

Normandy Marsh is part of the Lymington-Keyhaven Nature Reserve which is one of our favourite places.

It is an excellent coastal site with a very good variety of species at any time of the year, but especially good in winter, comprising coastal grazing marshes, ditches, brackish lagoons and former saltmarshes which are particularly important for waders and wintering birds, mudflats, reedbeds, and scrub.

Fri 28th Jun 2024: Nightjar Walk at Shatterford from 8pm to 10pm

Location: Park and meet at Beaulieu Road car park which is near the station and the Drift Inn on the B3056. Google Maps (Map Ref. SU 350 063, nearest postcode: SO42 7YQ (very inaccurate)), what3words: automate.grace.strongly).

Join Martin Keys looking for Nightjars in this heathland area.

Please bring a torch and remember midge spray.

Wed 3rd Jul 2024: AGM and Members Evening at 7:30pm

Our AGM followed by members presentations.

Wed 24th Jul 2024: Walk at Old Winchester Hill from 9:30am to 12:30pm

Location: From Warnford, take Hayden Lane by George and Falcon public house. Park and meet in the first car park on the right at the top of the hill. Google Maps (Map Ref. SU 645 215, nearest postcode: GU32 1HN (very inaccurate), what3words: diver.entertainer.outgrown).

Join us for our ‘Sights and Sounds of Summer’ walk with Barbara Hillier.

(reserve website: National Nature Reserve Old Winchester Hill)

SAFARIS

These additional walks, which involve longer journeys and possible car sharing, are arranged by Sue Fox. They take place on the first Sun and second Weds of alternate months, i.e., Wed 10th Jan, Sun 4th Feb, Wed 13th Mar, Sun 7th Apr, Wed 8th May, Sun 2nd June, Wed 10th July and Sun 4th Aug 2024.

For details, please contact Sue directly at our talks and walks.

Document

A summary of our programme for September to December is now also available as a document which can be viewed / downloaded here:

Our programme from Jan to Jul 2024