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North Dorset Nature – Episode 20

Our weekly programme devoted to wildlife in Shaftesbury and the villages, presented by Dee Abbott. 

On this week’s show:

  • Creature feature – The emperor dragonfly: Nick Crump chats to Mariko Whyte about the emperor dragonfly, which can be seen out and about at the moment, particularly near water like ponds and lakes. It is one of the largest in the UK at about 8cm long. They can fly and dart around at incredible speeds up to 30mph, either to catch food on the wing or to attack any other dragonfly from entering their airspace. This is only possible because of special wings and amazing eyesight. The adults that we see flying are not destined to live long but the larval stage lives two years, feeding underwater voraciously as a carnivore and moulting through 5 stages.
  • Wild encounters – wild night out: Natalie Bourchier and Ben Hussey enjoy a wild night out, camping in a field on the farm in Motcombe. They have a close encounter with an icon of the countryside and examine the lives of crickets. Keen ornithologists should listen out for a mysterious nocturnal bird!
  • Semley artist Jane Hall – art, meadows and a nettles nursery: Mariko Whyte meets up with Jane Hall to talk about art, inspiration and butterflies. We find out which youngsters thrive in a nettles nursery and how a garden can be transformed into a haven for wildlife.