The Dorset Wildlife Trust is offering opportunities to find out more about wildlife and also help towards their welfare. Here's a round-up of things you can join in with.
Sat 18 – Lorton Meadows Open Day: (Free), 10am – 4pm. The Wildlife Centre is open for visitors. Come along for a walk around the reserve, then drop in for a hot drink and peruse a selection of gifts and wildlife books. Plus watch the birds on the feeders on screen, find out what to feed your garden birds during the colder months and purchase bird seed, feeders and nest boxes. Lorton Meadows Conservation Centre, Lorton Lane, Upwey, Weymouth, DT3 5QH. [SY 674 826].
Sun 19 – North Dorset Volunteer Work Party: Habitat management on a DWT nature reserve near you. Contact warden Steve Oliver on 07824 874273 for more details.
Tues 21 – West Dorset Volunteer Work Party: 10am – 3.30pm. Scrub clearance, hedge laying and gorse coppicing. Meet at Kingcombe Meadows Farm, Clift Lane, Toller Porcorum. Contact warden Steve Masters on 07557 561624.
Wed 22 – North Dorset Volunteer Work Party: Habitat management on a DWT nature reserve near you. Contact warden Steve Oliver on 07824 874273.
Thur 23 – Urban Wildlife Volunteer Work Party: 10am. Meet every Thursday at the Urban Wildlife Centre, Beacon Hill Lane, Corfe Mullen, Wimborne, BH21 3RX. [SY 978 951]. Practical conservation work – all tools and training provided. For details of each task, contact Andy Fale on 07970 552673 or the Urban Wildlife Centre on 01202 692033.
Thur 23 – West Dorset Volunteer Work Party: 10am – 3.30pm. Scrub clearance, hedge laying and gorse coppicing. Meet at Kingcombe Meadows Farm, Clift Lane, Toller Porcorum.
Sat 25 – Winter Wader Identification Workshop with the Bournemouth Natural Science Society (BNSS): 10.30am. Meet at the Stanpit Marsh nature reserve car park (BH23 3ND) and learn how to identify a range of wading birds that visit in the winter with BNSS ornithologist Ian Julian. Bring wellies! For more information, call 01202 553525.
Sun 26 – Brownsea Island Work Party: 9.30am. Join the regular volunteering group on Brownsea Island alternate Sundays throughout the year. Tasks include pine thinning, opening out the alder carr and rhododendron cutting. For details of boat timings etc contact Richard Proctor on 01202 693039 or 07718 511432.
Whether you’re a novice walker or an experienced hiker, fancy rounding up some friends to join you or want to go it alone and make new ones?
Walking festivals is a great way to set new fitness goals for the New Year and experience some spectacular scenery along the way.
South West Coast Path team has picked their best of the best walking festivals in the South West in 2014 and among them are these Dorset offerings:
Lyme Regis Walking Festival (8-16 February): Explore the beautiful coastline and inspiring hinterland of West Dorset and East Devon during this family-friendly walking festival. Local residents share their favourite walks and organised events led by Lyme's resident guided walk experts will help you explore the town's fascinating fossil, wildlife, history and literary secrets. www.lymeregis.org/
Swanage and Purbeck Walking Festival (20-28 September): Up to 50 guided walks – including Nordic, for those who want to get fit – through beautiful Purbeck countryside and Dorset clifftops for all abilities, including children and dogs on some walks. www.walkswanage.com
Great South West Walk 2014 (20-28 September): Don’t miss the opportunity to help protect the coastline with the South West Coast Path Association’s second annual event to help raise funds for improvements along the UK’s most popular National Trail.
More details to follow in the New Year at www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk/