Chedington Woods Surveying weekend June 28th - 30th 2019

24 Apr 2019

We are looking for a team of experts and trainees, amateurs and professionals, to join us for our second weekend of surveying and recording in this beautiful but under-recorded area of Dorset. If you have an expertise in a particular field  (or an interest but not necessarily any expertise!), would you join us for this weekend either as a resident or on a non-residential basis? Last year’s weekend was a great success as well as being great fun and in a very beautiful area of northwest Dorset.

We would particularly like to attract participants with an interest in but not necessarily great knowledge of one or more of the target groups – the combination of experts and learners will enable us to accumulate more records for the area and at the same time help the learners build up their experience and id skills.

Chedington Woods and the surrounding farms are on the Dorset/Somerset border -see this map. Postcode: DT8 3HX

Chedington weekend Wyke Farm1

A comprehensive survey of this land was carried out between 2006 and 2010 and we held our first weekend event there last year. The owners and the forester responsible for Chedington Woods are very keen to continue this on a regular basis to establish a public database of information about the site to inform the management of the woodland and the farmland. Altogether this is a very large area if Whitevine Farm and the several other adjacent farms are included (now under the same ownership), so we will be concentrating on certain compartments, particularly those not covered in 2018.


Some of the results of previous survey work here are shown on the EuCAN website: (scroll down), including the spreadsheet of records from last year’s weekend.

Rhyssa persuasoria 1

Cost of the weekend: booking is essential for this weekend. To cover the costs 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). To register for the weekend, please complete a booking form and return it by email.

Further information about this weekend can be found on this programme – accommodation, catering arrangements, cost etc. and a booking form can be downloaded here.

Residential weekend at Langaford Farm, Dartmoor May 31st - June 2nd

5 Apr 2019

We are very pleased to be able to offer our annual residential weekend this year at Langaford Farm (home of the Langaford Farm Charitable Trust ) and at a time of year when we stand a very good chance of seeing some of the important species of butterflies in the area – Marsh Fritillary and Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary for example – as well as the other early summer wildlife to be found on Dartmoor.

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary. Photo: Zsuzsanna Bird.

      Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary. Photo: Zsuzsanna Bird.                             Click to enlarge

Other possibilities include Pied flycatchers, Dormice, Polecat and Otters – all have been seen at Langaford. We are also likely to see orchids, dragonflies and amphibians. The weekend programme will include a short Annual General Meeting for the CIC.

Pied Flycatcher

Pied Flycatcher male.           Photo: Creative Commons.

Golden-ringed Dragonfly

Golden-ringed Dragonfly. Click to enlarge. Photo: Creative Commons.

The proposed programme for the weekend is on this link. The registration form for the weekend is here.

The fee for this residential weekend is £60, £50 for EuCAN members (£40 if you are unwaged or a regular EuCAN volunteer). This includes the 2 nights camping and all meals from 4pm on the Friday until Sunday afternoon. Non-residential fee: £40. All the walks and visits during the weekend are included.

Membership of the CIC: if you would like to join the CIC beforehand – ie minimum of £10 if you are working or £5 minimum if you are out of work, see:  This is a one-off payment, not an annual sub.

Our annual residential weekends have been a great success in the past and we are sure this one will be great fun and well worthwhile. Many thanks to Megan Lowe and Rob Skinner for organising it!

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.