Wells & District Wildlife Group


Serving Wells and surrounding areas

About Us

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Wells & District Wildlife Group (WDWG) is an independent local wildlife group actively involved in promoting awareness of wildlife in our environment, its conservation and enjoyment.

WDWG has come into being from the closure of the Somerset Wildlife Trust's local area group in Wells. Therefore, the group's area is centred on the city of Wells but also encompasses surrounding areas of the Mendip Hills and Somerset levels.

WDWG is not (yet) a registered charity but operates on a 'not for profit' basis, with any surplus funds being donated to such local or national wildlife charities as may be appropriate at the time.

Each year we hold a series of informational talks about the wildlife both within our area and further afield and conduct a number of nature walks and other activities in the area to experience our natural environment first hand.

We send out messages about our upcoming events and those of other organisations that we associate with. We use email for this and also to notify members of changes or additions to our programme. Please consider joining us. We welcome any news of wildlife sightings, comments and queries.

This new website is still under development  - please be patient with us.


Activities

Outings & Activities

During the summer months we arrange a programme of nature walks around our area. Some of these are aimed at spotting specific species, such as adders, or butterflies but often they are just to see what's about and enjoy our environment.

Pre-Covid we also arranged an annual coach outing for our members, usually to reserves or sites of interest a little further away. We are hoping to be able to re-instate them when there is sufficient interest again.

Throughout the winter months we put on wildlife related talks at the Wells Museum. Suggestions for topics and speakers are always welcome.


What's On

We are planning a full programme of quality events for 2024. These are the ones that we have organised so far. Check back here regularly for updates. Click the links for more details. Please note that due to the nature of our wildlife walks, we do not allow dogs.

The dates for our summer walks are only provisional. Much will depend on the weather. Please be aware that these dates may have to be adjusted nearer the time.

In view of the distance that some of our speakers have to travel and the fact that many of our members aren't keen to venture out on dark winter nights, we are moving our January & February talks to afternoon slots at 2.30pm.

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Birds with Les Cloutman

Tue, Jun 4th, 2024

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An evening visit (7pm - 9pm) to the RSPB reserve at Ham Wall.There are many species to be seen here.

Sightings of wildlife can never be guaranteed but chances are good that we could see not only Bitterns, Egrets and Hobbies, but potentially also Cuckoo, Barn Owl and Marsh Harrier.

Numbers are limited so booking is essential. £5 per adult (payable on booking) under 16’s free. For more details or to reserve a place email bookings@wdwg.org.uk.

Image by Paul Brennan from Pixabay 

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Large Blue Butterflies

Tue, Jun 18th, 2024

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A walk (10am - Noon) around the National Trust reserve at Collard Hill looking for large blue butterflies. Meet at YMCA car park (ST 4802 3453). The walk to the reserve from the car park offers many more butterflies and wildflowers including butterfly orchids. Collard Hill has steep to moderate grassy and chalky slopes, which are hard and bumpy when dry, and slippery when wet. 

Large blue butterflies only fly for about three weeks sometime between the middle of June and the middle of July depending on the weather. The males are more active and therefore easier to spot in the mornings. Note that the above date may need to be adjusted nearer the time to coincide with the flying season if it is delayed due to cold weather.  

Numbers are limited on this walk so booking is essential, and payment £5 per person is required in advance (Under 16's are free). For more details or to reserve a place email bookings@wdwg.org.uk.

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Wildlife Wander

Tue, Jul 2nd, 2024

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An evening (7pm - 9pm) exploring a Mendip Reserve, where species of acidic and calcareous soils grow together and former lead mining activity has created conditions for many interesting and rare plants.

We will not be interested only focussing on botanical specimens, but also reptiles, birds, butterflies and whatever else may be around.

Numbers are limited so booking is essential. £5 per adult (payable on booking) under 16’s free. For more details or to reserve a place email bookings@wdwg.org.uk.

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Glow worm walk

Thu, Jul 18th, 2024

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Stroll through the back lanes of Westbury sub Mendip after dark (9:15pm - 10:30pm) with expert Peter Bright.

Exact location given on booking. Numbers are limited so booking is essential.

£5 per person (under 16's free) payable on booking - Click Here

Photo © Peter Bright

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Butterflies at the Mineries

Tue, Jul 23rd, 2024

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An afternoon visit to the Mineries (2pm - 4pm) looking for butterflies. This is an excellent spot for wildlife and particularly butterflies. On a sunny afternoon there are many species to be seen here and chances are good that we will see Fritillaries, Marbled Whites, Ringlets, Small Coppers and more. Meet at Stockhill woods car park (ST 54904 51305). The what3words location is into.registers.gained.

The terrain is quite uneven in places with long grass so you should wear stout shoes and trousers. Don't forget to bring a camera.

Butterflies like warm sunny weather, so in the event of rain we will attempt to re-schedule this event.

Numbers are limited on this walk so booking is essential, and payment £5 per person is required in advance (Under 16's are free). For more details or to reserve a place email bookings@wdwg.org.uk.

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Glow worm walk

Thu, Aug 1st, 2024

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Stroll through the back lanes of Westbury sub Mendip after dark (9:00pm - 10:30pm) with expert Peter Bright.

Exact location given on booking. Numbers are limited so booking is essential.

£5 per person (under 16's free) payable on booking - Click Here

Photo © Peter Bright

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Bats Galore

Tue, Aug 20th, 2024

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An evening walk (8pm - 9.30pm) around the Bishops Palace Moat in Wells with members of the Somerset Bat Group.

Learn how to use a bat detector and get facts about the different species.

Numbers are limited so booking is essential. £5 per adult (payable on booking) under 16’s free. For more details or to reserve a place email bookings@wdwg.org.uk.

Photo copyright Giles San Martin

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