Events

Unless otherwise specified, you do not need to be a member of the RSPB (or the local group) to join us on our events, and birdwatching experience is not necessary. If you have any questions please call the contact number shown with the event details.

November 2019

Sat
23

MARSTON VALE COUNTRY PARK, Bedfordshire - GUIDED WALK - ALL WELCOME

Location: Marston Vale CP, The Forest Centre, Station Road
SP 999 411 Nearest Postcode MK43 0PS
Postcode: MK43 0PS (Google map)

We shall visit the ticket-only Wetlands Nature Reserve (£2.50/£1.75 concessions) with old clay pits, reed befds, scrub, wet pasture and an impressive tower hide. Bearded Tit, Marsh Harrier and Short-eared Owls have all been recorded. 41 bird species seen when we visited last November (+ Chinese Water Deer and even a late Common Darter).
The vast visitor centre has shop & toilets. Cafe is open from 9am to 5pm - serving breakfast, lunch, cakes and drinks.

Meet in Forest Centre Car Park (£3 fee) for 10am start.
From Marston Moretaine take Lidlington Road and turn left to centre
See Marston Vale CP website for more details on parking and directions, including rail, bus and bike options https://www.marstonvale.org/opening-times-and-directions

An optional short extension to view Stewartby Lake for gulls, possible seabirds and Peregrine on the old brickworks chimneys.

Time: 10am to 1pm

Price: £3 parking, £2/£1.75 for ticket only Nature Reserve

Telephone: 07999878689

E-mail: christophercoppock@live.co.uk

December 2019

Wed
4

THE LODGE (RSPB HQ), Sandy, Beds. - GUIDED WALK - ALL WELCOME

Location: The Lodge, Potton Road, Sandy
Postcode: SG19 2DL (Google map)

A pleasant wander through landscaped gardens (with hides and feeders), steep pinewoods, old quarries and restored heathland. Then shop for Christmas presents from the RSPB (shop open 9am to 5pm). Please note some steep, rough paths and steps. Toilets on site and shop sells sandwiches and hot drinks from a vending machine - outdoor picnic tables but no cafe.
Meet in car park behind the shop on south side of B1042 Sandy to Potton road
TL 191 485
Car Park free for RSPB members (please remember to bring your membership card), £5 for non-members

The nearest train station is Sandy on the King'sCross to Peterborough line. It's just a 10-minute
walk from the station, up Potton Road, to the start of the RSPB trails. Another 10-minute walk brings you to
the visitor building and shop.
Rail passengers can add a Sandy PLUSBUS ticket onto their journey to get the Centrebus from the
station to the stop outside The Lodge shop. See plusbus.info/sandy for details.
You can reach the reserve via National Cycle Route 51 (Milton Keynes to Bedford and Sandy),

Time: 10am to 1pm

Price: Free event - parking free for RSPB members, £5 for non-members

Telephone: 07708 310402

E-mail: christophercoppock@live.co.uk

Thu
12

WILDLIFE AND BIRDS OF POLAND - Richard Bashford

Location: The Cruck Barn, Bradwell Abbey
Postcode: MK13 9AP (Google map)

When he's not busy with his day job of Campaigns Project Manager for RSPB. Richard is a keen birder and wildlife watcher. He has visited Poland many times and now leads tours there, focusing on Eastern Poland. He will be showing us some of the birds and wildlife of the Bialowieza Forest and Bielbrza Marshes.

Time: Doors open 7.15pm for a prompt 7.45pm start, ends at 10pm

Price: Group members £3, Non-group members £4, Children £1 - includes tea/coffee & mice pie at interval

Telephone: 07803905958

E-mail: AnnRSPBNBucks@hotmail.co.uk

January 2020

Wed
1

NEW YEAR'S DAY WALK - WILLEN LAKE, Milton Keynes

Location: Willen Lake, Milton Keynes

Our traditional New Year perambulation of this local gem.
With Chris Ward leading the walk, we're sure to get our 2020 lists off to a good start. Expect a range of water birds (including possible rarities). Last year we saw Goldeneye and Snipe and we have often seen Kingfisher on this walk - always a good start to a year.
Most paths are accessible - but may be some soft spots depending on weather. Well-behaved dogs (on short leads at all times) accepted on this walk.

Meet in Parks Trust car park (free) on west side of V11 Tongwell Street, just north of Pineham (V11/H5) roundabout SP 883 404

Time: 10 am to 12.30pm

Price: Free event

Telephone: 01908 669448

E-mail: christophercoppock@live.co.uk

Thu
9

USA NATIONAL PARKS - Part 2 : COLORADO & WYOMING - Chris Ward

Location: The Cruck Barn, City Discovery Centre, Aliston Drive, Bradwell Abbey, Milton Keynes
Postcode: MK13 9AP (Google map)

The stunning scenery of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks in the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming holds a wealth of exciting mammals and birds. Further south, Colorado has more great mountains, and desert National Parks, rich in natural history - both flora & fauna.
As usual, Chris will deliver an entertaining and informative evening - with some of his superb photographs.
Why not come and join us?

Time: Doors open 7.15pm for a prompt 7.45pm start, ends at 10pm

Price: Group members £3, Non-group members £4, Children £1 - includes tea/coffee at interval

Telephone: 07803905958

E-mail: AnnRSPBNBucks@hotmail.co.uk

Sun
19

FLOODPLAIN FOREST, Milton Keynes - Guided walk - Everyone welcome

Location: Floodplain Forest, Old Wolverton
Meet in Parks Trust car park, off Haversham Road (near the railway viaduct)

Good for wildfowl, gulls and other wintering birds. An easy circular walk with three hides but no toilets.

Meet in Parks Trust car park (free) off Haversham Road near the railway viaduct.

Pete how will be leading this walk for us. He and other experienced birders will help you to see the best that the reserve has to offer on the day - so why not come and join us - no experience required.

Time: 10 am to 12.30pm

Price: Free event

Telephone: 07946884654

E-mail: christophercoppock@live.co.uk

February 2020

Wed
12

WILSTONE RESERVOIR, near Tring - GUIDED WALK All Welcome

Location: Wilstone Reservoir, near Tring
Off B489 Marsworth to Aston Clinton road.

The biggest and best of four Tring Canal reservoirs. Good for wildfowl and passage waders - though anything can turn up here. 44 bird species seen on our last visit including Spotted Crake - rare in the UK & a "life tick" for some. Mike Bird led our walk here last year and he'll be doing the honours again this time. Fingers crossed for another "life tick" or two!
One hide but no toilets on site - Farm shop/cafe and toilets nearby.
Steep climb up steps to the reservoir from car park - and some rough ground so, sadly, unsuitable for wheelchairs or those with limited mobility. Meet in car park (free) under reservoir dam off B489 Marsworth to Aston Clinton road. SP 904 135. Limited space in car park so please car-share if possible.
PE Mead & Sons Farm Shop is just a few minutes along the road - postcode HP23 4NT

Time: 10am to 1pm

Price: Free event & free parking

Telephone: 07510 320661

E-mail: christophercoppock@live.co.uk

Thu
13

YARDLEY CHASE, Northamptonshire - JEFF BLINCOW

Location: The Cruck Barn, City Discovery Centre, Alston Drive, Bradwell Abbey, Milton Keynes

Postcode: MK13 9AP (Google map)

Yardely Chase is the best-recorded wildlife site in Northamptonshire & Jeff's local patch. His talk will look at the history of the site to show why it is a oasis for wildlife. The main order of flora and fauns found at Yardley Chase will be covered followed by a look at the future for this Northamptonshire wildlife gem.

Time: Doors open 7.15pm for a prompt 7.45pm start, ends at 10pm

Price: Group members £3, Non-group members £4, Children £1 - includes tea/coffee at interval

Telephone: 07803905958

E-mail: AnnRSPBNBucks@hotmail.co.uk

Sat
22

RSPB FEN DRAYTON LAKES, Cambridgeshire - GUIDED WALK

Location: RSPB Fen Drayton car park - 1 mile along track leaving Fen Drayton to Swavesey toad

The RSPB and gravel companies are working together over 30 years to recreate extensive wetland on the edge of the former Fens. A nearby scheme "RSPB Ouse Fen" will include England's largest reed bed. Come prepared for a longer visit (deoending on weather) No toilets or other facilities on site but a pub in nearby Fen Drayton. Meet in car park (free) one mile along track leaving the Fen Drayton - Swavesey road at TL 352 680 (postcode given as CB24 4RB - but may be only approximate). Expect delays or diversions due to A14 roadworks.

The RSPB website gives more information on access and how to get there by train, bus, car and bike
https://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/reserves-a-z/fen-drayton-lakes/

Walk leader : Keith Gander who will be leading his first walk for our Group.

Time: 10am to 3pm

Price: Free event & free parking

Telephone: 07799 504313

E-mail: christophercoppock@live.co.uk

March 2020

Wed
11

HARROLD ODELL COUNTRY PARK, Bedfordshire - GUIDED WALK

Location: off Carlton Road, Harrold
Postcode: MK43 7DS (Google map)

Usually a good range of birds at this popular award-winning country park. Our last Group visit (in March 2019) gave us 43 bird species, plus a muntjac deer and our first Brimstone butterfly of the season.A quieter walk follows a delightful stretch of the River Ouse - this is on grass, though the main circuit has hard level paths.
Cafe and toilets on site.
Meet in car park off Carlton Road, Harrold, SP 956 566 They operate a donation system for parking and suggest a minimum donation of £1 per car. The money collected goes towards enhancing the Park for visitors and wildlife.
Walk Leader : Pete How

Time: 10 am to 12.30pm

Price: Free event. Suggested donation for parking £1

Telephone: 07946 884654

E-mail: christophercoppock@live.co.uk

Thu
12

DOUBLE BILL TALK - SWIFTS ... & ... GREENSAND TRUST - Bob Hook & Phil Irving

Location: The Cruck Barn, City Discovery Centre, Alston Drive, Bradwell Abbey, Milton Keynes
Postcode: MK13 9AP (Google map)

Two for the price of one at this evening's illustrated talk:

SWIFTS - Bob Hook is a keen birder and does a lot in both his professional work and his volunteering to conserve habitats and protect wildlife. He'll be talking to us about these fascinating birds, their life cycle and habits - and what is being done to help them to find "homes" when they visit our shores each summer.

GREENSAND TRUST - As Ecologist for the Greensand Trust, Phil Irving is ideally placed to tell us about the habitats of the Greensand Trust, including woodland, heath, grasslands and wetlands, looking at some of the plant and animal species they support and how they are managed or restored. A great insight into some of the local Trust sites that we visit.

Time: Doors open 7.15pm for a prompt 7.45pm start, ends at 10pm

Price: Group members £3, Non-group members £4, Children £1 - includes free tea/coffee at interval

Telephone: 07803905958

E-mail: AnnRSPBNBucks@hotmail.co.uk

Sat
28

SUMMER LEYS NATURE RESERVE, Northamptonshire - GUIDED WALK - EVERYONE WELCOME

Location: Off Wollaston to Great Doddington road - nearest postcode NN29 7PT

A second visit of the season to one of our favourite sites. Expect early spring migrants and possible passage waders. Five hides. Paths level but some rough and full circuit is two miles. Site is only partly wheelchair accessible - managed by Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire & Northants Wildlife Trust - see their website for more access information https://www.wildlifebcn.org/summer-leys
No toilets on site.

Meet in car park (free) signed off Wollaston to Great Doddington road SP 885 634 nearest postcode NN29 7PT

Walk leader, Chris Ward will help us to see the best that the reserve can offer.

Time: 10 am to 1 pm

Price: Free event & free parking

Telephone: 01908 669448

E-mail: christophercoppock@live.co.uk

April 2020

Thu
9

AN INSPIRATION OF WADERS - Rick & Elis Simpson, Wader Quest

Location: The Cruck Barn, City Discovery Centre, Alston Drive, Bradwell Abbey, Milton Keynes
Postcode: MK13 9AP (Google map)

Based on their recent book, Rick & Elis return to our Group to explore how waders have inspired people, the arts, culture, myths and legends and how they are, in themselves, a most inspiring group of birds. The final act is to suggest a collective noun for the mixed or unidentified clouds of waders that we see over our estuaries in winter.

Time: Doors open 7.15pm for a prompt 7.45pm start, ends at 10pm

Price: Group members £3, Non-group members £4, Children £1 - includes free tea/coffee at interval

Telephone: 07803905958

E-mail: AnnRSPBNBucks@hotmail.co.uk

Wed
15

WENDOVER WOODS FOR FIRECREST & WILSTONE RESERVOIR - GUIDED WALK

Location: North side of minor road Wendover - The Hale. Nearest postcode HP22 6DR

Breeding firecrests are a Chilterns speciality. Despite intensive public use this is their best-known site with around ten pairs present. Chris Coppock, Walk Leader will do his best to find some for us to see. After an hour or so here we will continue to Wilstone Reservoir (approximately 6 miles - maps and directions provided).

For Wendover park on the north side of the minor road from Wendover to The Hale SP 889 074
Nearest postcode HP22 6DR

For Wilstone Reservoir Meet in car park (free) under reservoir dam off B489 Marsworth to Aston Clinton road. SP 904 135. Limited space in car park so please car-share if possible.
PE Mead & Sons Farm Shop is just a few minutes along the road - postcode HP23 4NT

Time: 10am to 3pm

Price: Free event & free parking

Telephone: 07708310402

E-mail: christophercoppock@live.co.uk

May 2020

Sun
10

CELEBRATE THE DAWN CHORUS AT LINFORD LAKES, Milton Keynes

Location: Linford Lakes NR, off Newport Rd (opposite drive to Black Horse pub)
Postcode: MK14 5AH (Google map)

Hear birdsong at its best, as the reserve is away from toads. The wetland, wood and scrub attract a huge variety of songsters, and early morning is also good to see mammals. Stay for tea, coffee, biscuits (and loos!) at the end. Paths accessible with care to wheelchairs/buggies. Meet in car park (free). Entrance signed off north side of Newport Road, opposite drive to Black Horse pub. After 50m fork left and follow road for 1/2 miloe to centre. SP 843 429. MK14 5AH

Time: 6am to 8.30am PLEASE NOTE EARLY START!

Price: Free event & free parking

Telephone: 07708 310402

E-mail: christophercoppock@live.co.uk

Thu
14

THE LODGE : PAST AND FUTURE - Peter Bradley, Senior Site Manager, RSPB & our 2020 AGM

Location: The Cruck Barn, City Discovery Centre, Alston Drive, Bradwell Abbey, Milton Keynes
Postcode: MK13 9AP (Google map)

As Senior Site Manager at The Lodge reserve in Sandy, Bedfordshire, Peter is at the heart of the reserve's conservation work. He'll give us some of the history of the area, tell us about RSPB's re-creation of the heathland since 2004 and the wildlife that benefits from this - and outline some of the future developments planned.
Please note that this illustrated talk will be preceded by a short Annual General Meeting

Time: Doors open 7.15pm for a prompt 7.45pm start, ends at 10pm

Price: Group members £3, Non-group members £4, Children £1 - includes tea/coffee at interval

Telephone: 07803905958

E-mail: AnnRSPBNBucks@hotmail.co.uk

Wed
20

COLLEGE LAKE - GUIDED WALK - EVERYONE WELCOME

Location: Upper Icknield Way, Bulbourne, Tring, Buckinghamshire

Postcode: HP23 5QG (Google map)

This flagship BBOWT reserve has visitor centre, toilets, cafe and shop. Expect chalkland flowers and butterflies, as well as birds. Paths mostly good, with some wheelchair access. Two Trampers are available to book for those who need a little help to get round the 2 mile main circuit (contact the reserve in advance on 01442 826774.
Meet in car park (£3 suggested donation - which goes to support the reserve and its wildlife).
Reserve is signed off the B488 1/4 mile north of the canal bridge, Bulbourne
SP 936 138 HP23 5QG
Please take a look at the reserve website for more information https://www.bbowt.org.uk/nature-reserves/college-lake

Walk leader : Pete How

Time: 10 am to 12.30pm

Price: Free event - Parking donation (suggested £3) to support the Wildlfe Trust

Telephone: 07946 884654

E-mail: christophercoppock@live.co.uk

June 2020

Sun
7

RSPB OTMOOR, Oxfordshire & GALLOWS BRIDGE

Location: Otmoor Lane, near Backley, Oxfordshire (nearest postcode OX3 9TD)

Our Group donations have helped the RSPB to restore this huge former wetland from intensive agriculture. Summer specialities include hobby, turtle dove and many dragonflies. Three hides but no toilets. Level but lengthy walking. Meet in car park SP 570 126 (free parking for RSPB members so make sure you take your membership card). It's a small car park so RSPB request car-sharing and ask us to avoid overspill onto the lane. From Abingdon Arms, Beckley (postcode OX3 9TD) take Otmoor Lane for 1 mile (passing the firing range)

Coming back there will be an optional stop at BBOWT Gallows Bridge Farm for breeding curlew etc (signed off minor road linking A41 to Grendon Underwood SP 671 199

Walk leader : Mike Bird

Time: 10am to 1pm (Otmoor) 2.30pm (Gallows Bridge)

Price: Free event - free parking for RSPB members at Otmoor

Telephone: 07510 320661

E-mail: christophercoppock@live.co.uk

Wed
24

LITTLE LINFORD WOOD

Location: off Little Linford to Gayhurst road, Milton Keynes

As well as birds, this ancient woodland and BBOWT reserve has attractive flowery rides and scarce butterflies.
Paths are uneven. No toilers on site.
Meet in car park (free - but small - so please car-share where possible).
SP 834 455. Nearest postcode MK16 8LU. Entrance is a private farm road leaving Little Linford - Gayhurst road (north side) at SP 850 458. After 3/4 mile pass under M1. Continue past Dairy Farm (look out for dogs) then wood is straight ahead.
Walk leader : Keith Gander

Time: 10am to 1pm

Price: Free event & free parking

Telephone: 07799 504313

E-mail: christophercoppock@live.co.uk

July 2020

Thu
2

BUGS AND BIRDS - with MK Wildlife Explorers Group - LINFORD LAKES NR

Location: Linford Lakes NR, off Newport Rd (opposite drive to Black Horse pub) SP 843 429
Postcode: MK14 5AH (Google map)

Part of the Milton Keynes Festival of Nature
We're working with our junior local RSPB Group - MK Wildlife Explorers on this joint event.
It will be a hands-on event, giving the opportunity to explore nature in a variety of different ways - including pond-dipping if it's not too dry. Please feel free to bring along with you any young people who would be interested in having fun and learning more about nature and wildlife
For more information call or text Jane Grisdale on 07999 878689 or visit www.mkfestivalofnature.org.uk (further details will be on that Festival of Nature website nearer the time - at present it still carries details of the 2019 Festival)

Time: 7pm to 8.30pm

Price: Free event

Telephone: 07999878689

Wed
15

NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY EVENT, College Lake

Location: Upper Icknield Way, Bulbourne, Tring, Buckinghamshire

Postcode: HP23 5QG (Google map)

Our first photography event in May 2019 went very well indeed and several people suggested we repeat it - so we are!
Another chance to try wildlife photography - even if you're a complete beginner and your only camera is your 'phone. If birds seem too challenging College Lake has plenty of flowers and insects - and the later date this year will give you chance to focus on some different species.

Some of the comments from last time:
" ... a wonderful walk with Paul ... and wonderful tips for improving our photos"
"Had a great morning - thank you Paul and other experienced photographers for sharing your knowledge ... I managed to get some good shots with just my mobile"
"Cameras included expensive SLR gear, Bridge cameras, small cameras and smart phones ... everyone learned something"
"Felt a little apprehensive with an old mobile 'phone and an even older camera. Needn't have worried as all so helpful giving lots of tips - would happily go again"

Time: 10am to 1pm

Price: Free event - Parking donation (suggested £3) to support the Wildlfe Trust

Telephone: 07973431602

E-mail: christophercoppock@live.co.uk