News and events from the Blackdown Hills Natural Futures project
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Natural Futures newsletter - spring 2017

Photo: a bee amongst flowers and grasses

Our final year

2017 marks the start of the third and final year of the Blackdown Hills Natural Futures project. Over the last two years the project has opened up the ecology and wildlife of the Blackdown Hills to thousands of people.

We've organised a wide range of activities and events, supported schools and community nature projects, and provided training for the next generation of ecologists.

Come along to our free nature events

This year, we will once again be providing a series of fun and informative nature events.

Learn from experts how to find, identify and look after local wildlife. From bats to bees, wildflowers to trees, there is so much out there to discover!

See below for details of Blackdown Hills Natural Futures events coming up over the next few months, including our fantastic Wildlife Discovery Day in the summer half term.

We're planning more events later in the year too – click here for details of all our events.

All our events are free. They're also very popular! So please book early to avoid disappointment.

To book online click on the links in the events listings below. Alternatively you can call us on 01823 681 937.
Photo: adder

Adder survey training

Sunday 26 March
10.30am – 3.30pm


Learn how to identify habitats where adders might be found, get tips on how to spot them, and head out to search for Britain’s only venomous snake.

Hemyock Parish Hall

Book for adder survey training

 
Photo: children with paper bats and bat boxes

Blackdown Hills bats and bat-box making

Thursday 13 April
10.30am – 12.30pm


Batty about bats? Learn all about these fascinating winged mammals; discover how to make your garden bat-friendly and make your own bat-box to take home. One free bat-box per family.

Beehive Centre, Honiton

Book for bats and bat-box making
 
Photo: mistle thrush - photo by Liam Marsh

Birds of the Blackdown Hills – an introduction


Saturday 22 April
10.30am – 3.30pm


A beginner’s guide to birds in the Blackdown Hills AONB. Learn how to identify a range of birds by sight and sound, and hear about some of the more unusual species found in the area.

Offwell Woodland Education Centre

Book for birds of the Blackdown Hills
Photo: dipper - photo by Liam Marsh

Wildlife photography


Wednesday 26 April
7.45pm – 9pm


A talk by award-winning natural history photographer, Liam Marsh, sharing his insights into the technology and techniques used to capture wildlife on camera. Grab yourself a hot drink and the talk will start at 8pm.

Churchinford Village Hall

Book for wildlife photography
Photo: sillouette of a bird

Dawn chorus walk

Saturday 13 May
5am – 7am


Rise and shine with Somerset Ornithological Society and the British Trust for Ornithology to experience the dawn chorus at its best.

Walking woodland and lakeside paths you’ll be given help to identify various bird songs and calls. Sturdy boots and warm clothing essential.

Otterhead Lakes

Book for dawn chorus walk
Photo: mistle thrush - photo by Liam Marsh


Wildlife Discovery Day

Friday 2 June
10.30am – 3.30pm


Join Blackdown Hills Natural Futures team for a day of discovery, exploring the natural world.  A host of local experts will be on hand to help you seek out and learn about native animals and plants found in this area.

Hunt for butterflies, mini-beasts and reptiles; take a closer look at moths; do a spot of bird-watching and learn how to identify plants and wildflowers. You can even try your hand at river-dipping to explore fascinating freshwater creatures. (Please bring wellies!)

If you feel like getting creative, there’ll be plenty of nature-themed craft activities too.

Forde Abbey, Chard

Book for Wildlife Discovery Day
Blackdown Hills Natural Futures is discovering more about the wildlife of the Blackdown Hills by supporting local people to set up community wildlife projects and gain new skills in ecological surveys and nature conservation.
 
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