Events

Special Events at the Grant Arms Hotel

Evening Talk: Migration at Batumi in Georgia by Rob Sheldon - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Migration at Batumi in Georgia by Rob Sheldon - 8.30pm

The Batumi bottleneck in Georgia is one of the most spectacular raptor migration spots in the world with more than a million birds of prey traversing the area each autumn. Standardised counts have been undertaken for 10 years that highlights the importance of this region for more than 30 different species of raptor. This talk will also look at the wider ornithological interest of this wonderful birdwatching destination. 

16th June 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Norfolk Through the Lens of a Naturalist by Moss Taylor - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Norfolk Through the Lens of a Naturalist by Moss Taylor - 8.30pm

‘Norfolk Through the Lens of a Naturalist’ is one of Moss Taylor’s most popular talks, being suitable for both keen birdwatchers and those interested in the countryside in general. The talk takes the audience through the changing scenes of the four seasons, visiting familiar parts of Norfolk, such as Broadland and Blakeney Point, as well as heathland and parkland in north Norfolk. During the presentation, he will use his own photographs to illustrate and talk about some of the flowers, butterflies, dragonflies, mammals, and of course, birds that are likely to be encountered. 

18th June 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: The Amazing Journey from Egg to Nestling by Moss Taylor - 8.30pmEvening Talk: The Amazing Journey from Egg to Nestling by Moss Taylor - 8.30pm

‘The Amazing Journey from Egg to Nestling’ is Moss’s latest illustrated talk covering the remarkable changes that occur within an egg from before the time of laying to the escape of the nestling from the confines of its shell-encased first home. Although it is based on the research carried out by Professor Tim Birkhead as described in his delightful and highly readable book The Most Perfect Thing, it also includes observations made by Moss during his more than sixty years of birdwatching.

21st June 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: The Wildlife and Country of Madagascar by John Young - 8.30pmEvening Talk: The Wildlife and Country of Madagascar by John Young - 8.30pm

 Madagascar is not just a good animated film but a country that has a diversity of some incredible wildlife most of it found nowhere else on Earth. This talk provides an introduction to the amazing wildlife that can be found in the country and covers some of the conservation challenges being faced.  

25th June 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Quest for the Fosa by John Young - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Quest for the Fosa by John Young - 8.30pm

A second visit to Madagascar to look for the largest of the endemic civet like carnivores, the fosa. Along the way our travels will take us in search of the elusive aye aye and the giant jumping rat.

28th June 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: The Philippines: Paradise Lost by Simon Harrap - 8.30pmEvening Talk: The Philippines: Paradise Lost by Simon Harrap - 8.30pm

The Philippines are a biological treasure house. This cluster of more than 7000 islands extends for nearly 2000 kilometres across the warm tropical waters of the Pacific between Taiwan and Borneo. Most of the land area of the Philippines is divided amongst the eleven larger islands, with two-thirds accounted for by the two largest, Luzon and Mindanao. These rugged, mountainous islands have enjoyed a long and complex period of isolation which has resulted in an evolutionary explosion with considerable variation from one island to another. There are almost 4000 species of trees, over 160 species of mammals and over 240 species of reptiles. Nearly 600 species of bird have been recorded, of which around 400 are resident and well over 200 are endemic - they are found nowhere else in the world. Sadly, the marvellous flora and fauna of the Philippines are amongst the most threatened on the planet, threatened by deforestation, hunting and a rapidly increasing human population. During this talk we will explore this rich avifauna, from the impressive Philippine (or ‘Monkey-eating’) Eagle through pheasants, kingfishers, owls, parrots and pittas to beautiful sunbirds and babblers.

2nd July 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Scotland’s Alpine Flowers by Simon Harrap - 8.30pmEvening Talk: Scotland’s Alpine Flowers by Simon Harrap - 8.30pm

Scotland supports a wealth of alpine flowers unmatched anywhere else in the British Isles. Much of Scotland's uplands are unsuitable, however, due to the underlying geology, while the peaks and plateaus that do have suitable soils are mostly still subject to the depredations of innumerable sheep and deer. All this make the quest for Scotland’s alpine a real treasure hunt. The ability to undertake long, uphill walks and a head for heights are essential, but the rewards are great; fascinating and jewel-like plants set in grand, beautiful landscapes. From Ben Lawers north through the Cairngorms to Skye and Assynt, we will discover saxifrages, pearlworts and willows, as well as great rarities, including Diapensia, Alpine Catchfly and Iceland Purslane.

5th July 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Looking for the Goshawk - The Lost Raptor by Conor JamesonEvening Talk: Looking for the Goshawk - The Lost Raptor by Conor Jameson

Author and conservationist Conor Mark Jameson explores the roots of his fascination with the Northern Goshawk, and his quest to understand the 'phantom of the forest' better, and our relationship with it. The search takes him to some of the UK's remotest forests, including his native Scotland, and some of continental Europe's most populous cities...

9th July 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Freeing the Eagle - The Hudson Legacy by Conor JamesonEvening Talk: Freeing the Eagle - The Hudson Legacy by Conor Jameson

A life-size painting of a grey-whiskered man in tweed hangs above the fireplace in the main meeting room at RSPB headquarters, at Sandy in Bedfordshire. Author and conservationist Conor Mark Jameson explores why W H Hudson is there, how this impoverished immigrant from South America rose to prominence in Victorian and Edwardian Britain, what his contribution was in the early stirrings of conservation activism in the UK, his place in literature, and how his legacy can still be felt today.

12th July 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

For this talk, TV Wildlife Producer and Presenter Nigel Marven will introduce us to his personal top 10 favourite wildlife wonders of the world, including the world's only aquatic spider, creatures that make incredible journeys and build beautiful nests. 

16th July 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Filming adventures in Colombia by Nigel MarvenEvening Talk: Filming adventures in Colombia by Nigel Marven

Colombia has more species of vertebrate than any other country on earth and TV Wildlife Producer and Presenter Nigel Marven will share highlights and behind the scenes stories from filming a 4 part TV series there.. 

19th July 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Great British Birds by Ashley GroveEvening Talk: Great British Birds by Ashley Grove

Arctic terns circumnavigate the globe to breed on our glorious land and did you know 68% of the worlds Gannet population choose to breed on our shores.

Stories about these, the winners and losers of climate change, record breakers and just those special birds we all love, are included in a talk packed with great images of many of our personal favourites.

This lecture contains less species than the Shetland to Scilly talk, concentrating on those birds that make Britain a Great place for bird watching, a place we should be proud of. God save the Queen...

25th July 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 his 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!

30th July 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: Underwater Photography by Jack PerksEvening Talk: Underwater Photography by Jack Perks

Jack is a wildlife photographer and cameraman working on various shows like Springwatch, Countryfile & The One Show. Starting out in Stoney cove in Leicestershire to diving the stunning red sea my underwater photography has taken all over the UK and this talk details the differences from land based photography and some of my experiences with seals, river fish and rockpools.

2nd August 2018

Free and open to all

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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

We 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: 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: 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: 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: Down Under - An Aussie Walkabout by Steve LovellEvening Talk: Down Under - An Aussie Walkabout by Steve Lovell

On this illustrated talk by lecturer and wildlife gardener Steve Lovell, visit many places and view the fauna and flora which make Australia such a remarkable place. This talk focuses on the Eastern side of this vast continent.

15th October 2018

Free and open to all

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Evening Talk: The Natural History Of Nepal by Steve LovellEvening Talk: The Natural History Of Nepal by Steve Lovell

This illustrated talk by lecturer and wildlife gardener Steve Lovell includes plants we know and grow in our gardens, to a vast array of birds right up to some of the worlds most threatened large mammals.

18th 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: 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.

24th 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

 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: 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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AUTUMN/RED DEER WEEK Sat 6th - Sat 13th August 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.