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Wildlife events

Some local wildlife events

Check out the respective organisations’ websites for full details. 
Please let us know of any other local wildlife events we can include here

Download the DWT Exeter Local Group mini-programme here

Devon Bat Group: Exeter section 
Batty about Exeter 
Various locations around Exeter and East Devon. Help survey one of Exeter’s batty places with Devon Bat Group Exeter section. Possible winter surveys at sites around Exeter and beyond, and various events during the active season. To join the group please contact Sarah Butcher or Stephen Carroll 

April 2018

Wednesday 4 April 7.30pm (doors 6.45pm)
Lloyd and Rose Buck - Our Life With Birds
Exeter Corn Exchange
'Our Life with Birds' promises to give audiences a rare opportunity to meet Golden eagles, Peregrine falcons, hawks, owls, starlings and many more - all raised and trained with the utmost loving care by bird handlers Lloyd and Rose Buck.
   Between them Lloyd and Rose have been involved with over 100 different productions and feature films and have worked with every natural history television start including Sir David Attenborough, Steve Backshall, Bear Grylls, Michaela Strachan, Chris Packham, Kate Humble and many more. They often appear on camera themselves and are frequent guests on BBC programmes such as 'The One Show', 'Springwatch' and 'Countryfile'.
£15.50, under 16s £13.50, family ticket £52. Includes £1 booking fee.
  See website for more details

Tuesday 10 April 7.30pm
RSPB Exeter & District Local Group
'Wildlife in our Devon Gardens' talk by Dave Smallshire
United Reform Church hall, Southernhay
Dave has travelled widely to watch and photograph wildlife for over 40 years. He has lectured on many subjects, though his specialities are birds and dragonflies. This talk will, however, delve into the wonders of nature closer to home
RSPB Local Group members £3.50, otherwise £5

Friday 13 April, 7.30pm

Topsham Birdwatching & Naturalist Society

Talk 'The Future of the Exe Estuary Reserves' and AGM

Matthews Hall, Fore St, Topsham

Talk by Tom Pace, RSPB. Non-members £4

Friday 13 April, 10am - 2pm
Devon Wildlife Trust
Wildlife egg hunt and monthly milling
Cricklepit Mill, Commercial Rd, nr Exeter quay
Finish off the Easter holidays with our fun Easter egg hunt! Follow a self-guided trail through the garden and match up the bird to her eggs. Our historic mill will also be open from 10am – 12 noon as part of the monthly milling days. £3 suggested donation. 

Friday 20 April 2pm - 4pm
Devon Wildlife Trust Exeter Local Group
Bees here now? Biodiversity bike ride
Meet at Cricklepit Mill; further details on booking
A spring bike ride, mostly on cycleways, to see an amazing bee-themed urban wildlife spectacle. Numbers limited: please book with . Option to meet at site if do not wish to join cycle ride. Please note weather dependent. Donations appreciated

Friday 20 April - Sunday 22 April 
Mammal Society Spring Conference
University of Exeter
Wide array of speakers on latest mammal research. Stalls and Sunday workshop on mammal conservation. Friday evening Cranbrook lecture - speaker to be confirmed. (Cranbrook lecture is free; other days £115 day rate for non-members; other rates for members and accommodation options)
Cranbrook Memorial Lecture – Professor Robbie McDonald, University of Exeter
Big Changes for Small Carnivores – a brief ~20,000 year of mustelids in the British Isles

Saturday 21 April 11am - 6pm
RAMMuseum and art gallery, and Exeter city centre
starts 11am at Exeter Cathedral Green
Carnival of the Animals
Everyone is invited to join RAMM's 150th anniversary celebration, with the Carnival of the Animals taking place exactly 150 years after the original parade through Exeter to celebrate the opening of the museum. International carnival experts Shademakers will be creating spectacular kinetic puppets to move through the streets. There will be a party atmosphere with city centre activity hubs, music and late night opening at the museum. If you would like to be part of the action, take part in one of our Carnival activities in the lead up to the event or turn up on the day to enjoy the fun. Event starts 11am Cathedral Green and continues throughout the day in the city centre, ending with events in the museum from 4 - 6pm.
  Take part in one of RAMM's carnival activities in the lead up to the event
Celebration hats and headdresses Wed 4 and Thurs 5 April10.30am-12.30pm and 1.30-3.30pm, £3
Celebration puppet-making Wed 11 and Thurs 12 April 10.30am-12.30pm and 1.30-3.30pm, £3
Carnival mask-making Wed 11 April 10.30am-12.30pm and 1.30-3.30pm, £3.50 / child
Carnival headdress-making, Thurs 12 April suitable for ages 8-14, £7.50

Sunday 29 April, 10am - 3pm
Devon Wildlife Trust
City Nature Challenge
Ludwell Valley Park, off Topsham Rd / Wonford
It's City Challenge weekend, a Bioblitz where urban areas across the globe observe as much wildlife as they can. Discover the wildlife of this wonderful Valley Park through guided walks, bug hunts and other activities. The event is free but there will be a small suggested donation to attend walks. Find us at the top fields using the entrance on Pynes Hill Road between Melrose House and Aston Court offices

May 2018

Sunday 6 May, 5am - approx. 9.30am
Devon Wildlife Trust Exeter Local Group
Tweets and toast dawn chorus walk
Starts Belle Isle Park, more details on booking
Up with the lark for International Dawn Chorus Day, listen to what the early birds are tweeting, followed by tea and croissants and possible music back at Cricklepit Mill. £5. Booking only; contact 01392 279244 or . With thanks to Exeter City Council

Tuesday 8 May, 8.30pm - 10.30pm
Devon Wildlife Trust Exeter Local Group and Devon Bat Group: Exeter section
Pips & pints
Catacombs Park, Bartholomew St entrance, St David’s / city centre
Look and listen for urban bats around the cemetery and beyond. Will we find some lucky horseshoes? Some bat detectors available but please bring your own if you have one. Optional pub stop after. With thanks to Exeter City Council and Sarah Butcher

Wednesday 9 May, 7pm
Devon Mammal Group
talk: The Secret and Surprising Lives of the South West's Grey Seals
Jury's Inn, Western Way 
The Grey Seal is a globally rare species, making our populations internationally significant. Their lives are surprisingly varied, so come along to learn about all aspects of the life of Grey Seals, their biology, habitat and behaviour. This talk is fully illustrated with stills and video footage of seals from around the SW and delivered by Sue Sayer, a passionate and animated speaker who has been studying these animals for over 17 years.
£1.50 DMG members, £3 non-members
To book - contact 

Saturday 12 May, 11am - 3pm
Devon Wildlife Trust
National Mills Weekend
Cricklepit Mill, Commercial Rd (near Exeter quay)
Visitors will be given the chance to take part in milling demonstrations that will run 11am - 12.30pm and 1 - 3pm. Cricklepit Mill’s wildlife garden will also be open for visitors to explore and family activities will run throughout the day

Tuesday 22 May, 7.30pm - 8.30pm
University of Exeter
Born to Rewild! Guest lecture from Professor Alastair Driver, Honorary Professor in Applied Environmental Management
The Forum Alumni Auditorium, Univ of Exeter Streatham Campus, Stocker Rd
In this lecture Alastair will briefly explore the roots of rewilding in his own career and will on to explain his definition and the merits of the often contentious word "rewilding". He will also bust a few myths of what rewilding in Britain is in reality and what it is not, and very importantly explain how it can work economically. All of this will be set against his strongly held belief that traditional nature reserve/protected site conservation on its own is not enough to reverse the decline in biodiversity in the UK and therefore something significantly new and different is required in addition – and that something is rewilding.
Free - booking through eventbrite
More details

June 2018

details to follow...

Some past events from 2016-7 with links:

Thursday 14 January 2016
University of Exeter 
Rewilding. An evening with George Monbiot and Alan Watson Featherstone 
A public discussion on re-wilding and the global development agenda. Hosted by the Network of Wellbeing, the University of Exeter and Exeter Community Initiatives. Rewilding is the conservation process seeking the return of a habitat to its natural state. But what are its ethical and global dimensions? Can it contribute to solving challenges such as flooding, climate change and improved well-being for all? Join acclaimed writer George Monbiot and the inspiring conservationist Alan Watson Featherstone, Executive Director of Trees for Life, to explore the social, ecological and developmental benefits of rewildling, including the return of 'keystone species' to degraded habitats across the globe.
Watch a recording of the talk at  

Wednesday 13 April 2016 Natural Devon  / Devon Local Nature Partnership First Annual Lecture by Professor John Lawton
Making Space for Nature: more, bigger, better and joined up   
chaired by Harry Barton, CEO Devon Wildlife Trust
University of Exeter, Newman Blue Lecture Theatre
Sir John is an eminent British ecologist and is currently President of the Institution of Environmental Sciences, Vice President of the RSPB, Chair of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and a Life Fellow of WWF-UK. In 1989 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and in 2005 he was knighted for his contributions to ecological science. He has played a major part in promoting UK-wide wildlife conservation and led the ‘Lawton Review’. The review’s report, Making Space for Nature, was published in 2010. Concluding that England’s ecological network is too small and isolated, the review called for better protection of England’s wildlife and the establishment of new Ecological Restoration Zones. This was widely supported, with the establishment in 2011 of Nature Improvement Areas. The report continues to inform policy today.Massive thanks to: Exeter University, Devon Wildlife Trust and Devon County Council.The talk can now be listened to at: 

Thursday 6 April 2017
Devon Local Nature Partnership
Natural Devon's 2017 lecture: Professor Dieter Helm CBE: Natural capital and sustainable growth
Newman Blue Lecture Theatre, University of Exeter 
Professor Dieter Helm is an Official Fellow in Economics at New College, Oxford, Professor of Energy Policy at the University of Oxford, Professorial Research Fellow of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, Chair of the Natural Capital Committee and member of the LEEP Advisory Board for the University of Exeter.  Yale University Press published the paperback edition of his recent book – Natural Capital: Valuing the Planet, in 2016. 
In the face of growing environmental pressures Professor Dieter Helm is looking to offer a set of strategies for establishing natural capital policy that is balanced, economically sustainable, and politically viable.  He believes that the commonly held view that environmental protection poses obstacles to economic progress is false, and that the environment must be at the very core of economic planning.
Professor Helm’s lecture is particularly relevant this year given opportunities presented by Brexit, the development of Devon Local Plans and the development of the Heart of the South West Productivity Plan.
Event in partnership with University of Exeter.
A recording of the presentation can be found here

Some previous events from 2018

January 2018

Tuesday 9 January, 7pm

RSPB Exeter and District Local Group

'Transatlantic Travels (The New World)' a talk by Mike Mockler

United Reform Church Hall, Southernhay

A wide ranging and entertaining look at wildlife in some of Mike's favourite places in the Americas, among them Costa Rica, Galapagos Islands, Jamaica, Patagonia & Canada. Birds range from the resplendent quetzal to snowy owls, Andean condors, as well as lots of mammals. Mike has won many awards for his brilliant photographs.

Local Group Members £3.50; Non Members £4.00

Friday 12 January, 7.30pm

Topsham Birdwatching & Naturalist Society

'Natural History of Kamchatka and the Aleutian Islands'

Matthews Hall, Fore St, Topsham

Talk by Dr Mike Lock from Devon Birds. Non-members £4

Sunday 14 January 11am - 2.30pm

Ludwell Life

Second Tree Planting for the community orchard

Come and be part of the very first tree planting in the new Ludwell community orchard! All welcome, whether just coming to see what's happening, to lend a hand with the tree planting, or to help make tea

Wednesday 17 January 11am

RAMMuseum & Art Gallery, Queen St

Dartmoor and the Artistic  Imagination

Gallery tour: hear some of the stories behind the paintings in the exhibition Dartmoor: A Wild and Wondrous Region, with exhibition curators Peter F Mason and Tom Cadbury. Following the tour there will be tea and coffee and a chance to ask questions. One of a series of activities linked to to Dartmoor: A Wild and Wondrous Region, a partnership exhibition with Dartmoor National Park Authority, sponsored by Dartmoor Preservation Association, Tozers Solicitors and Hawksmoor Investment Management.

Tickets £8 (£6 conc.)

Saturday 20 January and Sunday 21 January, 12 noon - dusk

FLOW project: orchard planting weekend

Exwick and St Thomas

Community planting events creating a new orchard along the River Exe, as part of the FLOW art project. Activities and information over this weekend, with celebration at dusk to mark the planting of the trees. Come along on the day or contact Annemarie Culhane if you are interested in getting more involved. 

20 January Exwick Mill Field and Andy's Café

21 January Trews Weir relief channel, Riverside Valley Park (next to the allotments) and Boatyard Bakery, Exeter quay

Saturday 27 - Sunday 28 January


Big Garden Birdwatch 2018
National survey counting the birds in your garden or local park for one hour over this weekend. Join in and contribute to citizen science!

Tuesday 30 January 5.30pm for 6.15pm start
Devon Local Nature Partnership
Devon's Special Species - a celebration of Devon's rare species
Devon County Hall, Topsham Rd
We will be celebrating the launch of the Devon Special Species list with some fascinating talks about some of Devon’s rare species and local conservation projects such as ‘Back from the Brink’ from species experts.
Come along to hear from species expert John Walters, who will be talking about Heath Potter Wasps, Blue Ground Beetles and more rare species in Devon. Other speakers include Jenny Plackett from Butterfly Conservation, species experts; Keith Hiscock, Rob Wolton, Barry Henwood, Nicola Bacciu and many more!
Free but please book by e-mailing

February 2018

Monday 5 February 8.30pm
Exeter Cafe Scientifique
Exeter Phoenix, Gandy St
The Use of GM bacteria in cleaning up contaminated land and water, talk by University of Exeter iGEM team. Chair tba

Tuesday 6 February, 12.30 - 1pm 
RAMMuseum and Art Gallery, Queen St
Meet the Artist Walk and Talk: George Shaw My Back to Nature
What was the inspiration behind My Back to Nature? Join former Turner Prize nominee artist George Shaw for a walk around the exhibition 'My Back to Nature' (which opens on 27 January), to explore and discuss. Ticket price includes tea, coffee and cake. £8 (£6 conc.)
George Shaw exhibition My Back to Nature

Friday 9 February, 7.30pm

Topsham Birdwatching & Naturalist Society

'Tracking migrant birds from Devon'

Matthews Hall, Fore St, Topsham

Talk by Dr Malcolm Burgess, University of Exeter. Non-members £4

Sunday 11 February 11am - 2.30pm
Ludwell Life

Third Tree Planting for the community orchard

Come and be part of the very first tree planting in the new Ludwell community orchard! All welcome, whether just coming to see what's happening, to lend a hand with the tree planting, or to help make tea

Tuesday 13 February, 7.30pm
RSPB Exeter & District Local Group

'Birds without Borders', a talk by Peter Holden MBE

United Reform Church Hall, Southernhay, Exeter
We are delighted this evening to welcome Peter Holden MBE, who is now retired from the RSPB after a career spanning 40 years. Peter will be illustrating how birds & other animals navigate across land & sea & will be revealing some of the incredible journeys they make. This is an exciting time because so much new information is now available due to satellite tracking & other technology.  He has been fortunate to visit many of the countries that feature in the talk and uses his photographs to bring to life some of these amazing creatures. An evening not to be missed.Local Group Members £3.50; Non Members £4.00

Wednesday 21 February, 10.15am – 11.45am
Devon Wildlife Trust Exeter Local Group
Birds for beginners guided walk
Friendly introductory gander around the quay, new Exe flood scheme and Belle Isle Park, looking, listening and learning about birds, so if a beginner or new to birding, this is a walk for you. Possibility of tea back at the Mill afterwards. Please bring binoculars if you have them. Suggested donation.

February 21 February 7pm
Devon Mammal Group snippets evening
Jury's Inn, Western Way
A series of short presentations on mammal conservation and research projects around Devon, some funded by DMG's small grant scheme. Includes updates on the Devon harvest mouse project by Peter Cooper, Exeter University mammal surveys, Craig Dunton describing his dormouse project and 'Back from the Brink' post conserving the rare grey long-eared bat. Hear about how to get involved.
  Possible music and raffle. DMG members £1.50, non-members £3.00. To book contact Ellie Knott at or tel. 07709 686772

Thursday 22 February, 9.30am
RSPB Exeter and District Local Group

A morning visit to Bowling Green Marsh, Topsham

Meet Holman Way Car Park, Topsham (SX968881). Car park charges apply; please do not park on the approach road to Bowling Green. (Google map)
We will complete a circular walk around Topsham, including a visit to the Lookout (hide) at Bowling Green Marsh for waders and ducks. We expect to see Avocets and other wintering waders from the hide and viewing platform, plus a good range of other birds in the hedges, on the fields and on the river. Toilets on Quay.
Free to local group members, but donations welcome. E-mail:

March 2018

Thursday 1 March 7pm - 9pm
Exeter University Natural History Society
talk: Chris Sperring MBE: The Conservation Conundrum
Queen Lecture Theatre 1, University of Exeter Streatham Rd campus
This will be a fascinating talk on modern conservation from one of the UK's leading wildlife and conservation specialists. Here, Chris will discuss the necessity of taking conservation into our own hands, whilst also highlighting the pros and cons of the UK's current conservation efforts. The talk will be followed by questions from the audience
Maximum capacity 100; tickets on the door £3 for non-members. Please note this is an Exeter University Society meeting and priority may be given to student members

Sunday 4 March 3pm, running time 1 hr 45 mins
Northcott Theatre, University of Exeter campus
So you think you know about dinosaurs, with Ben Garrod
The hit stage show starring dinosaur aficionado Dr Ben Garrod. Get ready to go on an exciting prehistoric adventure as Ben talks you through the deadliest predators that ever roamed the planet. Tyrannosaurus rex, Allosaurus and Spinosaurus would have walked or swam right where you are now!
  Pitting the knowledge of unwitting parents against their all-knowing kids, Dr Ben presents an interactive, educational and highly entertaining show using film footage from the BBC's Planet Dinosaur. Come and test your knowledge against Dr Ben in this hit live show which is bigger and better than ever. £17. Family ticket £45 see Northcott website and programme for more details. 

Monday 5 March 8.30pmExeter Cafe Scientifique
Exeter Phoenix, Gandy St
What is Gaia? a talk by Professor Tim Lenton, University of Exeter

Wednesday 7 March 10am - 12pm
Ludwell Life
Woodland clean up
Litter pick in newly acquired wood, prior to it being opened to the public. Bring warm clothes, boots and a drink. Meet at gateway to Ludwell Lane - see map at

Thursday 8 March 7 - 9pm
Exeter University Natural History Society
talk: Blue Planet II: Dr Steve Simpson
Queens Lecture Theatre 1, University of Exeter Streatham campus
Exeter University's very own Dr Steve Simpson will talk of his exciting contribution to the ground-breaking BBC series Blue Planet II.
Maximum capacity 100. Please note this is a University of Exeter student society event and priority may be given to student members. Charge for non-members £3 tbc

Friday 9 March, 10am - 12pm
Devon Wildlife Trust
Run of the mill at Cricklepit
Cricklepit Mill, Commercial Rd, nr Exeter quay
Local history comes alive each second Friday of the month with traditional grinding of flour powered by the historic water wheel. FREE admission; no need to book exc. for groups / schools’ groups: for further details contact DWT. Please note dependent on weather / water levels in the leat: please check with DWT that the event is going ahead   

Friday 9 March, 7.30pm
Topsham Birdwatching and Naturalist Society
'What Makes Birds Special - a journey into the wonders of bird biology and behaviour'
Matthews Hall, Fore St, Topsham
Talk by Jonathan Elphick, natural history author, editor and consultant. Non-members £4

Sunday 11 March, 2pm
Friends of Higher Cemetery
talk: Animals in War
Exeter Higher Cemetery chapel, Heavitree 
A talk by Linda Pearce. Adults £3, children £1, children under 16 must be accompanied by a responsible adult. FoHC members £1.50

Thursday 15 March 7 - 9pm
Exeter University Natural History Society
talk: BBC's Human Rituals: a talk by producer Simon Bell
Newman Green Lecture Theatre, University of Exeter Streatham campus
Here Exeter alumnus and BBC producer Simon Bell will discuss the production of his new series 'Human Rituals'. This series is set to be another Natural History Unit triumph and will be airing around the time of the talk.
Please note this is a University of Exeter studetn society event and priority may be given to student members. Charge for non-members £3 tbc

Friday 16 March details tbc
Devon Local Nature Partnership 2018 conference
Exeter racecourse, Haldon Hill
One day conference focusing on work and projects for Devon's wildlife and landscapes. Details to be available later in the New Year
£45. To express interest, reserve a place or for more details please contact tom.whitlock@devon,

Thursday 29 March 6pm - 8.45pm
Devon Mammal Group auctions and raffle in aid of the Devon harvest mouse project
The Mercure Rougemont Hotel, Queen St
Artwork, crafts, holiday lets, events, guided tours and much more to bid for! Also a silent auction and sealed bids. Everything to be displayed on DMG website. Viewing starts from 6pm, auction starts at 7pm. Music.

To book, contact or tel. 07709 686772