North Dorset Nature – Episode 13

Our weekly programme devoted to wildlife in Shaftesbury and the villages. This week’s North Dorset Nature is presented by Dee Abbott.

On this week’s show:

  • Thirty days wild – challenge yourself to go wild in June! Alex Hennessey from the Dorset Wildlife Trust encourages us to rewild our daily lives with this annual initiative from the Wildlife Trusts. Mariko Whyte finds out we can get involved.
  • Nick Crump chats with Tom Perrett about the common cuckoo. There is a lot to admire about this bird. Sadly, the numbers of cuckoos visiting the UK have dropped massively over the last twenty years and they are now on in the red conservation list, meaning there’s the highest concern that if the rate of decline continues, they will become extinct. How does it know what nest to lay the egg in? Does it choose which bird will be the host? How many eggs does it lay in other nests? Find out in our report.
  • Dee Abbott meets Robin George of Dorset Butterfly Conservation on Fontmell Down, where Robin recalls how she first became interested in the study of butterflies. They go off in search of butterflies that inhabit this rare and beautiful chalk grassland. We hear how the Chalkhill Blue has a strange relationship with ants that is mutually beneficial
  • The barbastelle volunteer bat survey. Would you like to discover a new site for one of the rarest bat species in Europe? Barbastelles, the ‘star-bearded’ bat, are secretive and understudied. This new PhD study gives you the opportunity to discover more about bats in the local area and contribute to brand new research, which hopes to help conserve this enigmatic species.