Here is the latest from the team at RSPB Dungeness:
Reserve News Updates
Migration is still in swing, albeit a bit slow this year. Some of the birds we’ve had this month are wheatears as well as spotted flycatchers, ring ouzel and redwings. A black-necked grebe and red-throated diver have been seen around on Burrowes Pit and are quite showy. Butterflies and dragonflies are still around, desperately clinging on to the last of the warm weather. All this rain we’ve had during October has helped top up our reservoirs which is good! Much of the work we are starting to get underway is vegetation clearance. We are starting to remove willow from various water pits again, this clears the area of fast growing willow trees allowing different vegetation to grow in the water. We’ve also been replacing much of our boundary fencing, making our reserve fully stock-proof and ready for the winter where we let the sheep roam across the shingle. Our reserve team are also starting their winter bird counts. This is when we monitor how many non-breeding birds we have on the reserve to submit data for our reports and to monitor how our birds are doing over the year. We expect to see an increase in waterfowl this time of year and part of our SSSI status is designated on high winter bird numbers.
We are looking for volunteers!
We have some volunteer positions available on the reserve and we need your help. Got a little bit of spare time to help save nature? See if you are the right person for any of these roles below:
- Reserve Team Volunteers: 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 or Thursday, 9am-4pm. Please contact the reserve on 01797 320588 and ask for Craig or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Visitor Centre Volunteers: 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 Michelle or email email@example.com
- Children Events Volunteers: Want to help inspire the next generation about wildlife? We are looking for children and family event helpers for a series of events we run throughout the year on the nature reserve. We hope to inspire young families to get outdoors and develop a lifelong love of nature. We need volunteers to help us run these activities which range from Nature Tots leaders (mid-week sessions for children under 5 and their parents/carers) to Wild Family events (longer sessions for children age 5-12) and occasionally assisting with any bookings from uniformed youth groups such as Scouts and Guides. These sessions will be from 2-4 hours long and can be run on any day of the week (subject to staff and volunteer availability), peaking during the school holidays and spring/summer season. If you have experience working with children and have a passion for wildlife then please call Louise on 01797320588 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
All training for these roles will be provided and you will be fully inducted into your voluntary role with the RSPB. We run annual events for our volunteers which you will be invited to, in thanks for your hard work.
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.
To book contact 01797 320 588 or email@example.com
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.
Every other Thursday from 17th October to 12th December
10.15am – 12pm
£5 per child per session, pre-walkers free with paying child, 20% discount for RSPB members. Booking essential
Come and join us this autumn for outdoor fun and early learning at RSPB Dungeness. A fortnightly session offering activities themed around wildlife and the natural world. We are offering a programme of six guided sessions for 2-5 year olds and their parents/carers encouraging exploration, imagination and creation in the great outdoors.
– 17th October – Owl babies. Have a hoot and learn all about owls! Collect leaves to create your own owl babies to take home.
– 31st October – Halloween little monsters. Come dressed in your spookiest costumes! We will be walking some of our trail to collect natural materials which we will then turn into monsters for you to take home.
– 14th November – Seeds and bird feed. Learn about the importance of seeds! What seeds do our birds eat? Help feed the birds and get messy making fat-balls for you to take home.
– 28th November – Treasure hunt! Explore our reserve using treasure maps. What can you find?
– 12th December – Christmas robins Can we find a robin on our walk? Whilst we are out, we will collect some natural materials to make our own Christmas robin decorations.
All sessions include a snack, drink and a story. Please book in advance for these sessions. Book all 6 and get one free! Please wear sensible clothing and come dressed for the weather – we will try to go outside whatever the weather!
Thursday 17th October
Price: Adult £7. Child £3.50. 20% discount for RSPB members and Wildlife Explorers. Booking essential
Join us on a guided walk around the nature reserve and experience the incredible Dungeness sunset. Looks for groups of linnets and finches in the golden evening light. Watch flocks of birds go to roost and there’s potential to witness starling murmurations too! Led by a guide with lots of knowledge about the reserve and its wildlife.
Wild Things at Halloween
Wednesday 23rd October and Thursday 24th October
11am – 3pm
Price: £8 per child. £2 per accompanying adult. 20% discount for RSPB Wildlife Explorers. Booking essential
Come along to Dungeness this half-term to learn about some of the awesome and gruesome wildlife we have here! Delve into our ponds to discover leeches and toads. Mix up concoctions in a cauldron to feed the birds. Search our trail for slimy slugs and unusual fungi. Collect materials to make your own monsters to take home with you! Please wear sensible clothing and bring a packed lunch.
Birdwatching for Beginners
Sunday 27th October
Price: Adult £7. Child £3.50. 20% discount for RSPB members. Booking essential
Love birds but want to know more about them? Then come on a walk around our reserve with a friendly guide with expert knowledge on all things feathery! 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.
Stargazing & Storytelling
Saturday 16th November
Wrap up warm and come down to Dungeness to experience the magic of twilight on this unique nature reserve. Watch the sunset, listen to stories around our campfire whilst dining on fire-cooked jacket potatoes.
Afterwards we look up at the stars and find constellations, whilst enjoying a marshmallow or two! Bring your torches, gloves and your own stories to tell.
Adults £10. Children £5.
20% discount for RSPB members.
(Please note if the weather is bad, we will cancel this and aim to re-schedule for Saturday 23rd November instead.)
Sunday 8th December
11am – 4pm
Join us for a wonderful winter wildlife fair! We will be hosting Christmas arts and crafts activities all day in the visitor centre and there will be local craft and produce stalls, free mulled wine as well as a raffle and a Christmas treasure hunt for the children. Just pop in any time during the day and enjoy a lovely wintry day at Dungeness packed full of activities!
Free. No booking necessary. Entry fees apply to walk the nature trail (free for RSPB members).
For any information regarding these, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Visitor Experience Officer
RSPB Dungeness Boulderwall Farm, Dungeness Road, Lydd, Kent, TN29 9PN
Tel 01797 320588