Events

Special Events at the Grant Arms Hotel

Evening Talk: The Wildlife and Ecology of the Exe Estuary and Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site by Rod LawrenceEvening Talk: The Wildlife and Ecology of the Exe Estuary and Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site by Rod Lawrence

In this talk, Rod will explore the fascinating wildlife and ecology of this England's only Natural World Heritage Site. Probably the most biodiverse area in the whole of the British Isles. Its stunning landscapes and geological features, together with an amazing variety of plants and animals, above and below the water will be featured.  This presentation is a journey of discovery from its beginning at Exmouth in Devon to Old Harry Rocks in Dorset, we will be travelling through 185 million years of Earth's history in just 95 miles.

10th September 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: What do Forests do for Me by Rod LawrenceEvening Talk: What do Forests do for Me by Rod Lawrence

This presentation is about my work over the past thirty years and my study of forests around the world.  I have travelled from the Arctic through the temperate forests of Britain and Europe. Then on into the tropics and way down into the southern hemisphere.  The presentation is about what forest actually is, how it works and how it keeps us all alive. The presentation is about biodiversity and the fascinating ecology which surrounds it. It is about the consequences of long term decline in diversity and what that implies. The presentation begins with a question. Why do trees, woodpeckers, sperm whales, salmon, bears, flies and hummingbirds need each other? The presentation will end with a question. Can we survive without that connection?

13th September 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Tobacco, Trogons and Todies, A look at the island of Cuba, it's birds and wildlife by Paul RogersEvening Talk: Tobacco, Trogons and Todies, A look at the island of Cuba, it's birds and wildlife by Paul Rogers

This talk will look at the endemic birds of the island including the Bee Hummingbird, the smallest bird in the world and the wintering North American migrants. Other topics will include reptiles, insects and a few mammals and I will look at some of the history and local life.

17th September 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Tunnicliffe's Anglesey by Paul RogersEvening Talk: Tunnicliffe's Anglesey by Paul Rogers

Charles Tunnicliffe was considered to be the best wildlife artist of the twentieth century.  This talk takes you on a guided tour of the island of Anglesey and to the sites that he visited, looking at some of the birds that played such a big part in his life.

20th September 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: How to Identify, Record and Report Wildlife Crime by ex-Police Wildlife Crime Officer Alan StewartEvening Talk: How to Identify, Record and Report Wildlife Crime by ex-Police Wildlife Crime Officer Alan Stewart

There are many of us who walk in the countryside or who, even in our day to day unban business, encounter what we think may be wildlife crime. To give the best chance to the police to obtain evidence and, where necessary, to get a case successfully through court, may depend on our initial actions.  This talk tries to assist in the identification of an incident as a crime, what to do (and what not to do) in relation to gathering or preserving evidence. The role of the police, the prosecutor and the courts are also discussed.

24th September 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Birds of Turkey and the Middle East, and some from Iran by Mike BlairEvening Talk: Birds of Turkey and the Middle East, and some from Iran by Mike Blair

Desert birds, yes, but also many amazing endemics, particularly in the Saudi Asir to Yemen mountain range and on the island of Socotra, an unspoiled mini-Madagascar. Vast numbers of migratory birds winter in the Region, or transit through. The talk includes images of the recently discovered Omani Owl of Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Iran. Most of the superb images included are by local nationals and have never before been seen in the UK.

26th September 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Birds of the Caucasus and Central Asia, and some from Iran by Mike BlairEvening Talk: Birds of the Caucasus and Central Asia, and some from Iran by Mike Blair

All five species of Snowcock, large, high-altitude gamebirds occur in this area. When alarmed, they fly rapidly downslope, but walk back up. The talk includes images of the Large-billed Reed Warbler, whose tiny breeding grounds were recently discovered in easternmost Afghanistan and adjacent Tajikistan. Most of the superb images included are by local nationals and have never before been seen in the UK.

27th September 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: What is a wildcat and are there any left? by Dr Keri LangridgeEvening Talk: What is a wildcat and are there any left? by Dr Keri Langridge

Keri Langridge is a Project Officer for Scottish Wildcat Action, the first national conservation partnership project to save the Scottish Wildcat from extinction. Keri will talk about the work of the project to date, particularly the results of the camera-trap survey work in the Strathspey Priority Area, and explain the challenges of protecting a species impacted by hybridisation.

4th October 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Hampshire - Nature in Trust by Mike ReadEvening Talk: Hampshire - Nature in Trust by Mike Read

During 2016, Mike visited one Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust (HIoWWT ) mainland reserve each month through the year to capture the scenery and wildlife of each reserve.  The wide spread of locations produced a broad variety of habitats and shows to excellent effect the great work that the HIoWWT is doing throughout Mike's home county.  During this year-long project mainly bright days were chosen for each visit; every reserve was visited at least twice in its allotted month and Mike added a number of new lifetime species as he went through the year.  Perhaps it is a project that you could undertake to see what you can find!  Much wildlife features in this talk from birds to butterflies, flowers to fungi and mammals to mites and it is delivered alongside Mike's usual light and entertaining commentary.

8th October 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Nigel's Top 10 UK wildlife wonders by Nigel MarvenEvening Talk: Nigel's Top 10 UK wildlife wonders by Nigel Marven

As part of his Celebrity Guided Week with us, Nigel Marven will give a talk open to everyone.  In this talk Nigel will pick his favourite top ten UK wildlife wonders, including the world's only aquatic spider,  creatures that make incredible journeys and build beautiful nests. 

10th October 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Travels with a Camera 2017 by Mike ReadEvening Talk: Travels with a Camera 2017 by Mike Read

Professional photographer and tour guide, Mike Read visited a number of countries taking clients to locations as varied as Corsica, Eastern Canada and the Scottish Highlands.  He also visited Scotland in the early spring and Portugal's Algarve in February all in the search for wildlife images to add to his growing library of stock photos.  Another foreign location visited in 2017 was the Kiskunsag National Park in Hungary where Mike went twice specifically to photograph birds and other wildlife.  All of these locations, as well as his local National Park, the New Forest, feature in this new lecture.

11th October 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: An Ornithological Cornucopia... by Steve LovellEvening Talk: An Ornithological Cornucopia... by Steve Lovell

In this illustrated evening talk by lecturer and wildlife gardener Steve Lovell, enjoy a selection of birds as seen through a birdwatcher's eyes.

15th October 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Nepal ...On top of the world by Steve LovellEvening Talk: Nepal ...On top of the world by Steve Lovell

From the world’s highest peaks to the terai. This is a country like no other, steeped in history with an endless fusion of people, religion and wildlife...

18th October 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: British Amphibians - Their Survival Strategies and Conundra by Terry MooreEvening Talk: British Amphibians - Their Survival Strategies and Conundra by Terry Moore

 In the UK we have few native amphibians, a conundrum in itself, but research into the lives and genetics of UK amphibians have thrown up a lot of problems not all of which are solved. The talk will go through the life histories of our amphibians identifying problems as they arise.

22nd October 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Winter birds in Hokkaido, Japan by Mike WeedonEvening Talk: Winter birds in Hokkaido, Japan by Mike Weedon

 Japan's snowy northern island of Hokkaido is home to some of the greatest winter birding spectacles on Earth. There are dancing Red-crowned Cranes, the world's largest owl and more Steller's Sea Eagles than you can point your camera at. Add some wonderful ducks, swans and even exotic gulls and you can't go wrong. Mike Weedon spent a year working in Hokkaido in the 1990s. This year, he returned with a proper camera and took a few shots. In this talk, he will show a few of his favourites!

23rd October 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Parasites and Saprophytes Amongst Plants by Helen MooreEvening Talk: Parasites and Saprophytes Amongst Plants by Helen Moore

The topic "Parasitic plants" is large and changing. Using examples from Britain and the rest of the world, the talk will explore types of parasitic plants and their relationship with their host. 

24th October 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Argentina: The Birds of the Ibera Marshes, the Patagonian foothills, and Buenos Aires by Matt MerrittEvening Talk: Argentina: The Birds of the Ibera Marshes, the Patagonian foothills, and Buenos Aires by Matt Merritt

From the huge, wetland wilderness of Iberia, to the Andean foothills around Bariloche and San Martin de los Andes, Argentina boasts a wealth of colourful birdlife. Matt will talk about some of his favourite species from this amazing South American country, including the iconic Andean Condor, as well as explaining why no visit to Argentina is complete without a bit of urban birding in the capital, Buenos Aires.

25th October 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: The Blackbird Diaries and Curlew Calling by Karen LloydEvening Talk: The Blackbird Diaries and Curlew Calling by Karen Lloyd

 In The Blackbird Diaries, Karen shares her deep-rooted affection for all our treasured garden wildlife, intimately chronicling the drama and joy of the natural world as it unfolds in her garden and on her walks in the limestone valleys of Cumbria's South Lakeland. With forays to the Solway coast, the Shropshire hills and the islands of Mull and Staffa, the book is a celebration of landscapes that rarely feature in the existing canon of nature writing. It also includes valuable insights into wider ecological themes - the demise of England's last Golden Eagle and the decline of lowland curlew.

In 2017, following her time working with the UK's leading independent curlew project, Karen became an activist in curlew restoration and produced Curlew Calling; An Anthology of Poetry, Nature Writing and Images in Celebration of Curlew to help raise funds for curlew conservation across the UK. Karen will talk about the issues behind the decline of this much-loved wading bird, and offer insights into how it might be saved.

29th October 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: The Nature of Abundance by Karen LloydEvening Talk: The Nature of Abundance by Karen Lloyd

In this talk Karen will be talking about her various research field trips for her forthcoming book, including The Carpathia Project in Romania, where private philanthropy supports Europe's largest National Park, and goes on the trail of wolves, bears and lynx: the birdlife and history of Extremadura in Spain: the abundant wildlife around Lake Prespa in Northern Greece and the plains of Hungary, where she meets scientists involved in restoring Przewalski's Wild Horse from the edge of extinction and restoring raptors such as The Imperial Eagle, Saker Falcon and Great Bustard. 

1st November 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Champions Of The Flyway -  An insider's guide to the world's greatest bird race by Mark PearsonEvening Talk: Champions Of The Flyway - An insider's guide to the world's greatest bird race by Mark Pearson

 24 hours non-stop bird-racing in the desert - the crazy climax to months of awareness- and fund-raising, all to combat the widespread illegal bird killing on the Mediterranean flyways. An exclusive, unique behind-the-scenes story about the birds, the cause, the people and the adventure, all set against the backdrop of the beautiful Negev, a talk already requested by this year's Birdfair!

5th November 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Filey International - Arrivals & Departures North Yorkshire's Bird Observatory by Mark PearsonEvening Talk: Filey International - Arrivals & Departures North Yorkshire's Bird Observatory by Mark Pearson

 Fasten your seatbelts! Migration never stops at this east coast hotspot - and neither does Mark in his pursuit of its wonders. Let him take you on a whistlestop tour through four seasons of high drama at his beloved Filey Bird Observatory. Mark has shone the spotlight on this idyllic corner of the east coast through his very popular series of articles in Birdwatch magazine and Birdguides, his radio and television contributions (including co-presenting a recent feature from Filey for BBC Springwatch with Michaela Strachan) and his ongoing work celebrating his remarkable adventures there. Mark has delivered this in-demand talk at Birdfair, Spurn Migration Festival and the International Bird Observatories Conference in Cape May, USA 2017

8th November 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Freshwater Fishes of Britain by Jack PerksEvening Talk: Freshwater Fishes of Britain by Jack Perks

Jack is a wildlife photographer and cameraman working on various shows like Springwatch, Countryfile & The One Show56 species swim below our water but how many can you name? This talk goes through the species in detail with underwater photography and video.

26th November 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Put Away that 500mm by Jack PerksEvening Talk: Put Away that 500mm by Jack Perks

Jack is a wildlife photographer and cameraman working on various shows like Springwatch, Countryfile & The One Show. One of my trademark techniques is using wide angle lens to capture all kinds of wildlife from birds, mammals and reptiles showing you don't always need a long lens to get the shot just patience, field craft and luck!

29th November 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Birds & Wildlife in Costa Rica by Sarah SankeyEvening Talk: Birds & Wildlife in Costa Rica by Sarah Sankey

Sarah Sankey of Orcadian Wildlife talks about the colourful birds and wildlife of the wetlands and volcanic highlands of Costa Rica. From the Pacific coast to Volcan Arenal, birds featured will include the unique resplendent quetzal, sun bittern and hummingbirds; whilst the animals range from several species of monkeys to sloths and multi-coloured frogs! Orcadian Wildlife tours Costa Rica in April 2019 and expects to see 300 species of birds!

23rd December 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Talons and Eyes by Steve MagennisEvening Talk: Talons and Eyes by Steve Magennis

An entertaining and informative audio-visual evening talk by Steve Magennis. Steve, a professional wildlife photographer introduces you through his images and through sound to some of the stunning and powerful Birds of Prey and Owls that can been seen in the UK. From the strength and splendour of the Golden Eagle to the small, comical Little Owl, Steve will explore something of their lives and habits.

24th December 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Snow Creatures - Filming with Northern Wildlife by Nigel MarvenEvening Talk: Snow Creatures - Filming with Northern Wildlife by Nigel Marven

In this talk, TV wildlife producer, film-maker and presenter Nigel Marven, will tell us about some of his filming adventures in snow and ice at both poles. How do walrus, polar bears, albatross and penguins spend the Festive season?

25th December 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: The Falkland Islands by Steve SankeyEvening Talk: The Falkland Islands by Steve Sankey

Steve Sankey of Orcadian Wildlife shares the penguins, elephant seals and diddle-dee of the Falkland Islands with you. Johnny Rook will also feature, as will many islands full of natural and military history. You can also expect five species of penguins, an orca kill, and island life not dissimilar to Orkney! Orcadian Wildlife tours the Falkland Islands in December 2019 and will visit five different islands with a focus on black-browed albatross and penguins.

26th December 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Wildlife Through My Lens by Steve MagennisEvening Talk: Wildlife Through My Lens by Steve Magennis

An entertaining and informative audio-visual evening talk by Steve Magennis. ‘Wildlife through my Lens’ explores Steve’s personal journey in the world of photography, and shares with you the images he so enjoys capturing. Showing a variety of mammals and birds, this engaging talk throws some light on how Steve captures the images he does, where he likes to spend the time with his camera and what Steve is looking for when he points and shoots his camera.

27th December 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Uganda - Pearl of Africa by Chris RoseEvening Talk: Uganda - Pearl of Africa by Chris Rose

Acclaimed Wildlife Artist Chris Rose revisits the land of his birth and discovers the wildlife treasures it holds. Boasting over 1000spp of birds and home to most of the world population of Mountain gorillas, Uganda is a relatively little-visited treasure trove for the wildlife enthusiast.

28th December 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: The Witness was a Fly - How Animals and Plants help solve Murders and Crimes by Nigel MarvenEvening Talk: The Witness was a Fly - How Animals and Plants help solve Murders and Crimes by Nigel Marven

Animals and plants can help the police in many fascinating ways. In this talk by TV wildlife producer, film-maker and presenter Nigel Marven, we'll see how flies and wasps gave the exact time of a murder. How diatoms, wood chips and pollen linked villains to the scene of their crime. How dogs are trained to sniff out arson, and we'll meet drug busting pot-bellied pigs and find out how flies trapped a murderer in Ancient China.

29th December 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Trinidad and Tobago - Home of the Hummingbird by Ashley GroveEvening Talk: Trinidad and Tobago - Home of the Hummingbird by Ashley Grove

Hummingbirds have always fascinated me and my dream to one-day photograph them finally came true in November 2013.  This lecture gives you not only some lovely images of these little jewels, but some fascinating facts about some of the smallest birds in the world.  Besides the Hummingbirds, Trinidad & Tobago has some wonderfully colourful bird life and also plays host to some of the birds we watch in disbelief on the TV documentaries, like the Bell Bird, Oilbirds and Manikins.  This lecture has plenty of great images from Honeycreepers at the famous Asa Wright Centre in Trinidad, to the majestic Tropic Birds of Little Tobago Island. If you have been thinking of visiting, this talk may just make up your mind to book your trip.  The lecture also includes film with sound of some species, so a very entertaining show.

30th December 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Painting Demonstration by Chris RoseEvening Talk: Painting Demonstration by Chris Rose

Tonight, internationally renowned Wildlife Artist Chris Rose will give a painting demonstration, where he will attempt to paint an entire  picture from start to finish in the space of an hour and a half. It will be a white-knuckle ride for him but should be a lot of fun for you!.  At the end, the picture will be auctioned off to the audience with the money from the highest bidder going to a charity of their choice.

31st December 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Stop… and take a moment. Nature is the finest Wellbeing tonic! by Wendy Palmer-GroveEvening Talk: Stop… and take a moment. Nature is the finest Wellbeing tonic! by Wendy Palmer-Grove

At one of the busiest and often most fraught festive times of the year, Wendy will be taking things back to basics and exploring the reasons why nature is the best antidote to our fast paced and often stressful lives. 

We will dip our toes into why and how outdoor hobbies, such as Birdwatching can help maintain healthy minds and improve our overall wellbeing. Plus a snap shot from decades of research proving why being with trees makes us feel so good…no tree hugging required!

1st January 2019

Free and open to all

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AUTUMN/RED DEER WEEK Sat 6th - Sat 13th October 2018

Join us to celebrate the arrival of Autumn with extra walks and field trips to look for the winter migration arrivals as well hopefully catching the Red Deer rut. From 379pp DB&B for 4 nights, or from 651pp DB&B for 7 nights.,


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All special events, suggested itineraries and programmes are subject to availability and liable to change without notice.