Jun 222018

Here is the latest news from RSPB Dungeness:

Reserve News Updates

Summer Work Programme

You may have heard that the whole of the UK’s breeding birds have been impacted by our very cold start to the spring and also bad weather in Africa which has held the migrant birds back. We are finally seeing larger numbers of swifts, swallows and martins but nowhere near as many as we have had on the reserve in previous years. It’s still too early to know how our breeding birds have fared this year as we are still undertaking the surveys and have yet to collate the data. However, we have confirmed two bittern nests over at the ARC end of our reserve and nesting common terns on our islands on Burrowes Pit. The dry and warm weather we’ve experienced over the last few weeks has definitely given a boost to the wildlife’s productivity.

We’ve also been undertaking our great crested newt surveys this month. The surveys are carried out at night time when the newts are most active in our ponds. We have to choose calm and dry nights to be able to shine bright lights into the ponds to count the number of newts swimming about. All of our fresh water pits are surveyed for newts to give an indication of how they are doing and whether the habitat is right for them.

We’ve also had a very successful count of Sussex emerald moth larvae. The Sussex emerald moth only exists on the RSPB Dungeness reserve and the Dungeness peninsular so we are collaborating with different organisations in the Sussex emerald moth Partnership to try and bring these moths back from the brink of extinction. We have found 8 larvae (caterpillars) in total on designated plots of wild carrot and ragwort which are their main food sources. 8 caterpillars does not sound like much but it is the second highest count we have had since the partnership began so we are very pleased! I’ve attached a picture of what the moth and the larvae both look like if you are interested.

Summer time is also the perfect time to start some trail and infrastructure maintenance. Work is continuing on Makepeace hide and we aim to have this finished and looking as good as we can get it by the end of the summer. We are also replacing and repairing broken fencing – particularly parts of fencing on our boundary beside the main road as it has been subject to a bit of bashing by some cars over the last year. You will also notice that a brand new picnic bench has been installed in our Discovery Area too. Ideally we’d like people to sit and enjoy this part of our reserve as it really has a lot to offer, particularly at this time of year. Our wildlife garden by the visitor centre has also had a spruce up, so please do come in and take a look or enjoy your lunch on the bench that has been placed there, whilst watching the marsh frogs in the small pond!

Wildlife Highlights

June is the best time on the reserve to witness the amazing array of wildflowers we get here. We’ve had a particularly fantastic year for wildflowers such as viper’s bugloss and Nottingham catchfly! Come and visit us and soak up the beauty of Dungeness with all its amazing colours!

Insects are about with plenty of different bumblebee species seen on the reserve. Grass snakes and common lizards have both been seen regularly warming up in the sunshine. Many of our waterfowl are now swimming the lakes with their little fluffy chicks in tow. Swans, geese and many ducks and grebes have bred successfully and we look forward to watching their chicks grow up. We are also seeing some fluffy gull chicks on our islands which are so enjoyable to watch from the visitor centre.

Volunteering opportunity!

Want to try something different? Then volunteer for RSPB Dungeness! We need people who are willing to help our reserve team of staff and volunteers with important conservation tasks around the reserve. Get up close to nature and see a different side of our spectacular reserve by undertaking a variety of habitat management and site maintenance tasks. Opportunities available every Tuesday, Thursday and every first Sunday of the month, 9am-4pm. Please contact the reserve on 01797 320588 and ask for Craig or email dungeness@rspb.org.uk

If you don’t fancy all that manual work, the visitor centre is also looking for friendly and chatty volunteers to help manage our counter and reception area. Volunteer for a full day or half a day based on a rota that is flexible around you. If you love talking to people, particularly about wildlife and are happy to serve people in our shop then please call the reserve on 01797 320588 and ask for Mary or email dungeness@rspb.org.uk

Education programme

We are taking school visit bookings for this year’s summer term. We will be exploring the reserves pond habitats, seeing what minibeasts live under the water and also trying to identify birds that live on top of it! For more information, please contact Louise on 01797 320588, email dungeness@rspb.org.uk or visit: https://ww2.rspb.org.uk/fun-and-learning/for-teachers/school-trips/


There is plenty to see and do at RSPB Dungeness! See below or check out our website www.rspb.org.uk/dungeness for more details about all our events.

Upcoming Events!

To book contact 01797 320 588 or dungeness@rspb.org.uk

Booking is essential for all events apart from free ‘drop-in’ events.

RSPB members benefit from 20% discount on event prices where stated.

Children attending events must be accompanied by adults.


Midsummer’s Night Walk

Saturday 16 June

6pm – 9pm

With its wide open spaces, Dungeness is the perfect place to experience an evening walk with a golden sunset bathing the reserve in a warm light and providing the perfect back drop to watch wildlife. Join us on a guided walk, watch the birds go to roost and enjoy the perfumed smell of the night scented flowers. Do something different with your Saturday evening and enjoy the long days while they last. Refreshments will be provided.

Adult £10. Child £5.  Please pay in advance.

20% discount for RSPB members & Wildlife Explorers.


Wonderful Wildflowers

Wednesday 20 June, 10am – 12.30pm

Some would be surprised to hear that Dungeness is a fantastic place for wildflowers. Home to one-third of the UK’s plant life with some rare and unique ones thrown in, come and learn about our wonderful wildflowers on a walk around our reserve with an expert guide.

Adult £7. Child £3.50.

20% discount for RSPB members & Wildlife Explorers.


Mothy Coffee Morning

Wednesday 20 June


Join us for an hour with some moths. Learn about the different species of moths we caught in our traps the night before, release them and enjoy a hot brew whilst doing so!
Adult £5. Child £2.50
20% discount for RSPB members & Wildlife Explorers.


RSPB Dungeness Sound Mirrors Open Day

Saturday 7 July

Drop in between 10am – 3pm

RSPB Dungeness welcomes you to visit these unique historic monuments. Come and see what this fantastic place has to offer and get up close to our Sound Mirrors!

Spend the day surrounded in nature and history. Have a wander around the site and talk to our staff and volunteers about what we are doing to give nature a home here.

£5 adult, £2.50 child, £3.50 student. Family rates available. Free entry for RSPB members. Dogs on leads welcome. Cash only payments to be made at the Sound Mirrors.


Big Wild Sleepout

Saturday 28 – Sunday 29 July

4pm – 10am

Join in and sleep out at RSPB Dungeness. Come and pitch your tent and enjoy an evening of activities and a night under the stars! Explore the reserve after hours and meet a wide range of wildlife that lives here. Sit around our campfire toasting marshmallows, drinking hot chocolate and swapping stories. Please see our website or speak to a member of staff at the reserve for all the details of this event and how to get involved.

Adult £30. Child £15.

20% discount for RSPB members & Wildlife Explorers. Please see our website for information on how to book. Please book before 23 July.

 Posted by on 22 June 2018 at 12:00 pm

  One Response to “Dungeness RSPB Reserve update – June 2018”

Comments (1)
  1. The photos mentioned were not attached to my copy of the newsletter, so here is a link if you want to see the Sussex Emerald:


    Alan E

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