EuCAN residential weekend/camp at Cloud Farm, Exmoor June 29th - July 1st 2018

5 Mar 2018

We are holding our 2018 annual get-together/EuCAN camp and AGM at Cloud Farm at Malmesmead on the northern edge of Exmoor. Google map.

This is an idyllic spot with space for camper vans, tents and even caravans; highly informal as can be seen from the website. It is situated beside a fastflowing stream which runs down from the higher land on Exmoor through sessile oak woodlands and steep sheep-grazed hills towards Lynmouth; this is the centre of R.D.Blackmore’s Lorna Doone country .


The woods should have nesting Redstarts, Pied Flycatchers and Wood Warblers and there are Dippers on the river. The spectacular Heddon valley is not far away to the NW where we should be able to find High-Brown Fritillaries on the wing. The northern coast of Devon here is spectacular – particularly the cliffs west of Lynton and Lynmouth and the Valley of the Rocks.

High-brown Fritillary, now one of the UK's rarest butterflies

High-brown Fritillary, now one of the UK’s rarest butterflies

This is a link to the Exmoor Natural History Society’s checklists of Exmoor’s wildlife.

We will take the moth traps and bat detectors with us, and by day take advantage of the miles of good bridleways and footpaths accessible from the campsite. The local pub is only a mile down the valley with space for us to meet if the weather is unfavourable. There are local self-catering cottages or bed and breakfast accommodation for people who would prefer not to camp – see this list for some suggestions

To book for the weekend, please complete this booking form and email it back to [email protected]

June 8th - 10th 2018 Chedington Woods surveying weekend and camp, NW Dorset

5 Mar 2018

June 8th – 10th Survey weekend in Chedington Woods NW Dorset.  We are looking for a team of experts and trainees, both amateurs and professionals, to take part in a weekend of surveying and recording a wide range of animals and plants in this under-recorded area of Dorset.

A comprehensive survey of this land was carried out between 2006 and 2010 but little has been done recently. Now the owners Mr and Mrs Appleby, and the forester of Chedington Woods, Oliver Frost, are very keen to continue this on a regular basis, starting with a weekend’s ‘bioblitz’ in June during which EuCAN and the Dorset branch of Butterfly Conservation will collaborate to record as much as possible of as many taxa as our expertise allows.

Wood White - a rare species in Dorset which could thrive in Chedington Woods if introduced

Wood White – a rare species in Dorset which could thrive in Chedington Woods if introduced

Ideally we would like to record bird territories with possibly some ringing; butterfly species by exploring as much of the area as possible; moths by setting up light traps on both the nights; lichens, ferns, mosses and other lower plants; bats by carrying out dusk and night walks; wildflower identification and recording; invertebrates as well as Lepidoptera.

Cloaked Pug, one of the rarities found in Chedington Woods.

Cloaked Pug, one of the rarities found in Chedington Woods.

Accommodation will be in tents next to the farm buildings at Wyke Farm but there is also limited accommodation in a holiday cottage which we have kindly been given the use of for the weekend. Campers please bring your own tents (we have a small number to lend). Numbers will be limited to 20-25; it will not be essential to stay the entire weekend and day visitors are welcome. Food will be provided over the weekend, from a welcoming tea and cake at 4.30 pm on the Friday afternoon to a final debrief and unwinding session over a cup of tea at 4pm on the Sunday. On the first evening we will cook up a big pot of goulash, on the Saturday evening there will be a BBQ – outside, weather permitting.

The SSSI on Whitevine Farm is part of the same land holding (see map below). This spectacular hay meadow will be approaching its best and we will aim to visit here if there is time on the Sunday afternoon.

Booking is essential for this weekend – click here for a booking form. To cover the costs for the weekend we are asking for a contribution of £30 (or £15 camping for half the weekend, and £10 per day for day visitors to include one lunch and one tea), see booking form for bank details for BACS payments.

For the programme for the weekend click here.

For the Risk Assessment for the weekend click here.

For previous records from Chedington Woods, click on the headings below:

Butterfly Report 1 2007

Butterfly Report 3 2007

Butterfly Records 2009

Chedington Woods Butterfly Report 2010

Chedington Woods Moth records 2007

Flowering Plant list 2010

Survey of Chedington Woods 2009

Land Holdings Map Chedington Woods and surrounding estate

Winter Bird Survey 2007

EuCAN annual camp, AGM and get-together Daneway Banks - we had a great weekend in Gloucestershire!

24 Feb 2017

Friday June 30th – Sunday July 2nd 2017    Our annual weekend get-together was held this year at the Daneway Inn which is situated next to the new Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust reserve at Daneway Banks where as we had hoped we were able to enjoy great views of the iconic Large Blue butterfly which has been successfully reintroduced to this area. On the Friday afternoon, some of the group had the extra bonus of being shown round the Lower Woods National Nature Reserve by the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust warden, Neil Lodge, and as we were also very close to the new Butterfly Conservation Reserve at Rough Bank we were able to visit that on the Sunday. 21 EuCANers stayed on the campsite, while another 9 slept in B&B accommodation nearby and 7 joined us for parts of the weekend.

We were shown round the Daneway Banks Reserve by Adam Taylor the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust Land Manager and Alan Sumnall the GWT ranger for the Daneway reserves. Adam, Alan and Nicky Simpson all took part in EuCAN visits to Aggtelek National Park in Hungary. The EuCAN CIC Annual General Meeting was held on the Saturday morning before the butterflies started flying!

Large Blue.  Photo: Jo Wright

Large Blue. Photo: Jo Wright

As well as a superb display of limestone grassland flowers, we saw a nice range of butterflies with Meadow Browns, Marbled Whites, Ringlets and Skippers in profusion. At Rough Bank we were disappointed not see Chalkhill Blues but several people saw Dark Green Fritillary and others had a good view of the rare Drab Looper moth. See this link for information about species on Rough Bank  and this for details of the species found on Daneway Banks.

A selection of the photos taken at the weekend are now on the EuCAN Flickr site[email protected]/albums/72157686560717556

During the weekend, moth traps were put out on the Daneway Banks reserve (someone stole our generator on the second night – luckily in the early hours after the trap had filled with moths!) and in the campsite. An amazing total of 193 species were identified by our moth wizard Tim Norriss. On the second evening Jonathan Bradley took the group on a bat walk to the northern entrance of the Sapperton Tunnel (part of the disused Severn-Thames Canal).

The food and hospitality provided by the Daneway Inn was superb, it was wonderful to catch up with old friends and overall the weekend was a great success! Where to go next year??

Silver-washed Fritillary Argynnis paphia

Silver-washed Fritillary Argynnis paphia

Daniel Greenwood has written an interesting piece about the Cotswolds AONB work in Gloucestershire to enhance some of the nearby grasslands through the Our Magnificent Meadows Project. Read about it here.


Brushcutter training course July 17th 2015

16 Apr 2015

A one-day introduction to brushcutters, their maintenance and operation, leading to NPORS certification. This will be held in Dorset on Friday July 17th, the first day of the Springhead training weekend. There are places for 6 participants. We can subsidise the cost for regular EuCAN volunteers, other participants will be expected to ask the organisations they work or volunteer for to pay the fee. Machines and helmets will be provided. See the booking form for the weekend for further details of the fees. Please email [email protected] if you are interested.

Essarts, Anne With Brushcutter (1024x768)

Annual training weekend and get-together Dorset July 17th - 19th 2015

16 Apr 2015

A date for your diary: this summer, we are holding our annual residential get-together and training weekend at Springhead in Fontmell Magna, on the edge of Cranborne Chase and within walking distance of Fontmell Down Reserve. We have used this venue several times in the past and have always received a warm welcome there, not to mention the delicious food! There will be sessions on Plant identification, Bumblebee ecology and identification, Butterfly and Moth ecology and identification, woodland ecology and management, moth trapping and bat detecting. Click here for the weekend programme.

Fontmell Down

For the poster with details of this weekend see Springhead 2015 advertising poster . Please help us by sending this on to your friends and contacts.


Copy of EUCAN Springhead Weekend 19-7-14 Joe Middleton (5)

To download the booking and payment form for the weekend, click here.