2018 diary

April 23rd – 28th  Study tour to Serbia.  Click for more details.

May 8th – 17th Wildlife Holiday to Hungary. Click for more details.

June 8th – 10th Survey weekend in Chedington Woods NW Dorset.  We took a team of experts and trainees, both amateurs and professionals, to Chedington Farm for a bioblitz weekend to survey and record 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 had been done recently. Now the owners Robert and Alex Appleby, and the estate forester, Oliver Frost, are very keen to continue this on a regular basis, starting with this weekend when EuCAN and the Dorset branch of Butterfly Conservation collaborated 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

This is a very large area particularly if the land at the adjacent Whitevine Farm is included (now in the same ownership) so we concentrated on certain compartments, recording bird territories (with some bird-ringing), insects including butterflies and moths; bats by carrying out dusk and night walks; wildflower identification and trapping newts in some of the ponds.

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

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

Accommodation was in tents next to the farm buildings at Wyke Farm and there was limited but very luxurious accommodation in the holiday cottage which we were kindly given the use of for the weekend. We provided the food over the weekend with a big pot of goulash on the first evening and a fantastic barbecue meal provided for us by our hosts on the Saturday evening.

We visited the spectacular hay meadow SSSI on Whitevine Farm on the Sunday afternoon in the company of two local experts from Natural England and some interesting management issues were discussed..

For the programme for the weekend click here.

Our Flickr photos from the weekend are here.

For the spreadsheet of records from the 2018 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

For more details click here.

June 29th – July 1st Residential camp and get-together, Cloud Farm Campsite, Malmsmead, Exmoor.

Click here for the report about the 2017 event in Gloucestershire.

We held our 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 caravans; the site is 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 beautiful Heddon valley is not far away  – we went there on the Saturday afternoon to search for High-Brown Fritillaries. The northern coast of Devon here is spectacular – particularly the cliffs west of Lynton and Lynmouth and the Valley of the Rocks. On the Sunday afternoon we visited Kipscombe Farm with Josey Field one of the National Trust land managers and in the company of James Robbins who manages the land at Buckland Abbey for the NT (who was in our group for the Estonia visit in 2016).

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 took moth traps and bat detectors with us though the campsite was very crowded so trapping was limited to one trap on the first night. we walked the bridleways and footpaths leading south from the campsite along the river to the deserted village. The local pub was only a mile down the valley – we arranged to have supper there on the second night and held the EuCAN AGM there on the Sunday morning. There are local self-catering cottages or bed and breakfast accommodation and some people stayed away in preference to camping – see this list for some suggestions. The weekend’s programme is here.

Click to see the Butterfly list for the weekend, a Bird list and a list of the moth species caught; also a moth list for the Malmsmead area collated by the Somerset Moth group.

To see the Flickr album from the weekend, click here.

July 11th – 22nd  Visit to Transylvania to help with the haymaking in the mountains above Gyimes-Bukk, A small group of six travelled out to Debrecen in southern Hungary and joined our friend Gabor Sramko to take a hired minibus out to Miercurea Ciuc. Here they stayed in Gergely Rodics’ guesthouse for four nights and explored the history and the rich fauna and flora of the area with botanist Gabor and with the wonderful lepidopterist Agnes Kastal. The group transferred to Gyimes for a week with Attila Sarig at Aldomas to help with the haymaking in the hills. Sadly it rained every day they were there so no hay got made!

Here is the programme for the visit. Click here for the Flickr album of photos of the visit.

Transylvania flier August 2018 for png.2

click image to enlarge

August 6th – 16th: Visit to Estonia to carry out habitat management on the island of Osmussaare off the west coast and to work in the peat mires in the east of the country helping Estonian volunteers to re-instate the mires by blocking land drains. Map . It was not possible to take a formal EuCAN group out to this but two EuCANers made the journey to Estonia and joined in both stages of the work. Click here for a report on our visit in 2016 and here for further details of the 2018 visit.

Richard Grimshaw’s report on his visit is here.


click to enlarge. UK and Estonian volunteers on Feodori mire.

October 18th – 21st Sustainable Forestry Symposium in Estonia. Several participants from the UK took part in this symposium. Click here for further information it.

Click here to see the Flickr album for this Symposium.