Jul 212018

Here is the latest news letter from the RSPB reserve at Dungeness:

Reserve News Updates

Summer Work Programme

Summer is the time of year where we work hard to spruce up our reserve for visitors. The trails are being constantly mowed, we have started giving some of the hides a fresh coat of paint, Makepeace hide’s repairs are re-starting and our toilets have been repainted. Despite the dry weather, many of our wildflowers and our meadows are still flourishing and we are seeing plenty of bees, butterflies and dragonflies around the reserve. We have been topping some of our grassy fields to turn into hay for our cattle farmers to feed their cows with over the winter. Ragwort pulling is a job that most volunteers aren’t that keen on but it is an essential task to remove it from livestock fields as quickly as possible. Ragwort can be poisonous to cows and horses when digested but the flowers themselves have benefits for a whole host of wildlife. Bees and butterflies adore it and the caterpillars of the cinnabar moth enjoy munching on its leaves. Look out for cinnabar moth caterpillars on ragwort you find, they are fairly small but have bright yellow-orange and black stripes. The moths themselves are black and red. We leave ragwort to grow outside of our fenced areas for the wildlife to enjoy.

Wildlife Highlights

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 are enjoying 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. Common terns are nesting on the islands and the raft viewable from Dennis’ hide.

Some wader migration is starting to happen, we are seeing the likes of wood sandpiper, dunlin, black-tailed godwit and common sandpiper feeding on our islands on Burrowes Pit.

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 craig.edwards@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 mary.faherty@rspb.org.uk

Education programme

We are taking school visit bookings for this year’s summer and autumn 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 louise.kelly@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. The family event highlight of the year – our Big Wild Sleepout – is just around the corner! We still have spaces so if you want to join in then give us a call to book your place.

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.


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. Look for glow worms and newts. If we are quiet enough, we can check out where our badgers might be hiding. Sit around our campfire toasting marshmallows, drinking hot chocolate and swapping stories. In the morning we can check our moth traps to see if we have caught any beauties! 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.


Wild Families – Ponds, pellets and potions

Thursday 2 & Wednesday 22 August

11am – 3pm

Do you want to learn more about the creepy crawlies that hide under the surface of a pond? Want to learn what our resident barn owls like to eat for dinner? How about creating potions and paint out of plants and petals? Then join us on one of these events to be amazed and excited by what we can find and create on our nature reserve. Be prepared to get mucky! Please wear sensible clothing and bring a packed lunch with you.

Child £8. Accompanying adult £2.

20% discount for Wildlife Explorers.


Wild Families – Bushcraft

Thursday 9 August

11am – 3pm

Ever wondered what it is like to live in the wild? Come and experience it for a day learning fun and useful skills such as den building, tying knots, the use of signalling and messages to communicate, purifying water and much more! This activity is more suitable for children aged 6+. Please wear sensible clothing and bring a packed lunch.

Child £8. Accompanying adult £2.

20% discount for Wildlife Explorers.


Dungeness in the Dark

Friday 10 August

8pm – 10pm

Ashford Astronomical Society are joining us on the reserve to tell us about the wonders of the night sky. This is the time of year to watch the Perseid meteor shower, so if the night is clear we hope to see some comets racing across the sky! Use the telescopes to spot constellations and planets whilst enjoying a marshmallow-topped hot chocolate. Suitable for all ages and all levels of knowledge and enthusiasm!

Adult £10. Child £5. Please pay in advance for this event.
20% discount for RSPB members and Wildlife Explorers.


Wild Families – Magic Moths and Beautiful Butterflies

Thursday 16 August

11am – 3pm

Moths and butterflies are the beauty queens of the insect world and are very important pollinators. Join us to learn more about these insects. Learn how to tell them apart, their lifecycle, what they eat and how we can help save them. Identify butterflies as we walk our wildflower areas and admire the moths we have caught in our traps the night before. Please wear sensible clothing and bring a packed lunch.

Child £8. Accompanying adults £2.

20% discount for Wildlife Explorers.


Birdwatching for Beginners

Monday 27 August

10.30am – 12.30pm

Love birds but want to know more about them? Then come on a summer-time walk around our reserve with a friendly guide who will help you identify the birds and their calls along the way. And don’t worry if you don’t own a pair of binoculars, they are available to hire from the visitor centre for a small fee.

Adult £7. Child £3.50.

20% discount for RSPB members & Wildlife Explorers.


Wild Families – Brilliant Bees

Tuesday 28 August

11am – 3pm

Do you want to learn more about our wonderful bees? Want to learn how to identify them, find out about how they live and how important they are? If the answers is yes, join us on an exploration around our reserve to see how many bees we can find buzzing around the flowers. Afterwards, we will be making bee houses allowing you to help give bees a home! Please wear sensible clothing and bring a packed lunch with you.

Child £8. Accompanying adults £2.

20% discount for Wildlife Explorers.


Wild Families – Bird art and craft

Wednesday 29 August

11am – 3pm

Learn all about our birds! Identify some of our most common birds and also some you may not have seen before. Afterwards, we’ll create works of art using what we’ve seen and learnt as inspiration. This event is for all children who love being creative! Please wear sensible clothing and bring a packed lunch with you.

Child £8. Accompanying adults £2.

20% discount for Wildlife Explorers.


Borrow a Birdwatcher

Whether you’re a keen bird watcher or only just beginning, if it’s your first visit to RSPB Dungeness or you are a regular, this event caters for all!

With one-on-one guidance from an RSPB volunteer and expert birdwatcher, you’ll be taught some of the basics of bird identification and taken to the best spots around our reserve to watch many different species of birds.

Summer dates:

6 & 20 July

24 August

7 & 21 September


Individual – £30

Couple – £50

Family/group 3 – 4 people – £70 – £80

Prices include a hot drink and free binocular hire for those without.
20% discount for RSPB members & Wildlife Explorers. Please pay in advance by calling 01797 699047.


 Posted by on 21 July 2018 at 12:29 pm

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