Butterflies flourish

The continuing warm weather continues to result in some interesting sightings over recent weeks.

Report and pictures from our lepidopterology and odonatology expert, Keith Powrie

Week 19

A fairly early start, (for butterfly counting, that is) because of the expected high temperature yielded 25 butterflies. Most of them had been seen during the previous weeks, but a couple of Brown Argus were seen avidly nectaring on the Eupatorium.

Vey few Odonata were seen, although a very brief glimpse of a Hawker dragonfly with untinted wings was seen in the vicinity of where a Common Hawker was spotted during the ‘bioblittz’, a few days earlier.  A more positive sighting was made of a Black Darter, flying off from Lower Falls Pond.

Week 18

The butterfly count fell below the weekly average this week. Whether it was the fact that we started early to avoid the excessive heat, as butterflies are not overly fond of extreme heat, nor are we for that matter. or the cold nights of recent. or a mixture of both, who knows.

24 butterflies were counted, compared to the average of 42 for Week 18. Still no evidence of the normally abundant Green-veined Whites!
Gatekeepers & Meadow Browns were few and far between, as were Peacocks and Red Admirals. One Large Skipper was discovered, in a new haunt, by Lower Falls Pond.  The dark background with clear and distinct orange markings, indicate that it was probably a female.

The summer species of dragonfly have started to emerge with several Common Darters seen, plus one, competing with a Ruddy Darter, for territory on Upper Falls Pond.

Week 17

After several below average night-time temperatures, butterfly numbers were down on last week, however, they were still above average.

Peacocks and Large Whites were still in evidence in reasonable numbers and one of the Small Coppers seen last week continued to frequent its favourite spot at the end of the Long Walk, opposite the Decennium Border.

Small Copper

Commas, the least numerous of the common Nymphalids,(Admirals etc.) have now started to appear. Their name derives from the small, white, ‘comma-like’ marking on the underside of the otherwise camouflaged, hindwing. Like many other species, they are attracted to the Eupatorium.

Comma

Dragonflies were still few and far between. The Brown Hawker, seen last week was still present. Southern Hawkers were observed at 2 different sites, or it was the same one, twice.

A few stalwart Azure Damselflies, were hanging in there, trying to keep the species going. along with a lone male Blue-tailed Damselfly.

Blue-tailed Damselfly
Week 16

The average butterfly count for Week 16 is 36.

With the temperature in the mid 20’s and sun for the majority of the walk, and astounding 55 were counted today (17th) It is the highest count since the phenomenon of 2014. The second emergence of Brimstones, saw a record count of 12.

Last week’s figure of 12 Peacocks was increased to 15, and the discovery of 2 Small Coppers was the earliest for this species’s summer brood. Whether the warm weather has brought them out early, or the fact that they might have hatched from within the Gardens and not had to migrate in, who knows. The larval food-plant is Sheep’s Sorrel, mot something desirable in the Gardens!

2 Brown Hawkers, or possibly the same one in two different sites, were seen hawking around the Gardens – the first sign of any dragonfly activity for some while.

Week 15

While the dragonflies appear to remain as larvae in the ponds, probably as a result of the cool weather of recent weeks, the butterflies continue to flourish.

This week, last year, a grand total of 15 were counted. This year, more than twice as many were seen, 37 in all. The most abundant were, without doubt, the Peacocks, with 12 being seen, often in groups of 2 or 3.

Peacock

The summer brood of Brimstones were also on the wing, numbering 6 in all.
Both Large & Small Whites were seen but strangely, none of the more common Green-veined Whites were discovered. As well as the more regularly seen Large Skipper, a single, less frequent, Small Skipper was also spotted.

Small Skipper

But the star attraction has to be the pair of male Silver-washed Fritillaries in an aerial dispute over territories. Whether the reduction in disturbance, due to ‘Lockdown’, has prompted this upsurge in numbers, who knows! Then why haven’t the Odonata responded similarly?

Silver Washed Fritillary

 

Warm Weather Butterfly Increase

A report from our lepidopterology and odonatology expert, Keith Powrie

The bout of warm weather has kick-started the summer broods into early action.

The average number of butterflies to be seen during Week 12 has been established at 3.6, over the years of monitoring. In fact, last year, none were found at all. Yesterday, 25 were counted, 11 of which were Meadow Browns. The highest count for this species, during Week 12, so far, has only been 6.
The first Ringlets also appeared. This has been the earliest emergence for them since monitoring began.

Dragonflies, however, were noticeable by their absence, and only damselflies were to be found at any of the ponds.

Below is a photo of a Ringlet. Note how similar it is to a Male Meadow Brown. (Inset) Close-up, it can be distinguished by the extra number of ‘eyes’, or ‘ringlets’. In flight, it appears much darker, almost black, as it lacks the paler areas, outboard on the wings.

Ringlet

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Simply adding a couple of clicks every time you do your normal shopping allows you to support us and costs you nothing at all! With more and more shopping being done online this really is a great way you can keep supporting the Foundation without leaving home

COVID-19 – Updated

As notified previously, further action has been required at Knoll Gardens

THE NURSERY & GARDENS ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED TO ON SITE VISITORS

Earlier Notification (18-March)
The charities policy on protecting volunteers and staff has been communicated directly to those involved.
As the situation develops we may well be required to consider further action.

All garden events have been cancelled up to the end of May but the gardens and nursery remain open as usual.

Apply for next Community Lecture

Dorset-based community groups with an interest in horticulture, conservation or environmental issues are invited to apply to host the third free Knoll Gardens Foundation annual Community Lecture. Awarded in 2020, the lecture must be given before the end of 2022

Apply now to host the annual Knoll Gardens Foundation Community Lecture completely free of charge!

To view or print the application pack  select the image below:-

Please note that this invitation is not restricted to horticultural groups. Any community organisation from within Dorset, Hampshire, Somerset or Wiltshire is welcome to apply

Trailcam – Who came for Christmas?

Whilst you were getting excited, cooking the Christmas Dinner, and possibly enjoying a drink or two,our Knoll Gardens wildlife visitors were being recorded on our Trail Camera.

No sign of Santa or Rudolph we’re afraid, and largely just our ‘regulars’.

Take a look at our Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day compilation below in our  Trailcam Gallery  which also includes some of the captures from last year.

We’ll be unpacking some more images, from recent months and capturing some more as we move around the Garden later this year.

Volunteers plant 5,000 bulbs

One of our Bulb Planting Lists

 

In late 2019 KGF volunteers planted nearly 5000 spring bulbs across the garden, including many natives.

Look out for them in the lower lawn, sedge meadow and the shady section of the new project area.

Other volunteer work has included emptying a section of the Long Walk and replanting to showcase Miscanthus Sunset and Panicum Purple Breeze, whist smaller planting has taken place around the Dragon Garden.

If you are interested in joining the Foundation as a Volunteer, take a look at our Support us page for details or perhaps pop along on one of our Volunteer Recruitment Open Mornings (see our Events schedule for dates)

 

Foundation Events for 2020

Visit us and find out more!

Due to situation with Covid-19 all events from 17th March through to the end of May have been Cancelled – The position beyond this will be subject to further review

The Knoll Gardens Foundation is hosting over 30 events in the garden this year and these are detailed below.

A full list of all garden events, including horticultural walks, talks and classes hosted by garden owner Neil Lucas, can be found on the  Knoll Gardens website.

Please note that tickets are non refundable unless the event is cancelled by Knoll Gardens.

FEBRUARY

Wed 26
Knoll Gardens Foundation Community Lecture

Brownsword Hall, Poundbury, Dorchester DT1 3GW February 26 2020 7.30pm £7.50

Dorchester Camera Club hosts the annual Knoll Gardens Foundation Community Lecture: ‘Plants, Gardens and Wildlife’ presented by Knoll Gardens owner, Neil Lucas.

Booking – Email dorchcamclub@gmail.com for information and tickets

Sat 29
Bugs and Buds

Knoll Gardens February 29, 2020 10:30 am – 12 noon £5

Organised by the garden’s charity – the Knoll Gardens Foundation, our Saturday morning monthly toddler club aims to inspire a love of nature from a young age, encouraging interaction with the garden’s many wildlife inhabitants as well as its trees and flowers.
Book Online

Events suspended until End of May
 Bugs and Buds also on: 28 March, 25 April, 30 May, 27 June, 25 July, 29 Aug, 26 Sept, 31 Oct, 28 Nov & 12 Dec.

MARCH

Sat 28
Bugs and Buds

Knoll Gardens March 28, 2020 10:30 am – 12 noon £5

Details as per Saturday February 29

APRIL

Thurs 9
Bat Walk with Jan Freeborn

Knoll Gardens April 9. 2020 7pm £6.50

Enjoy a short presentation and familiarise yourself with the garden’s layout before taking a special evening stroll as you search for Knoll’s most elusive night-time visitors. Using the latest technology and years of experience, Jan will help you identify the bats you see and hear, and attempt to attract them down for a closer look.

For every ticket purchased £2.50 will be donated to the garden’s charity, the Knoll Gardens Foundation and £2.50 to the Dorset Bat Group
Book Online

Fri 24
Foundation Friday; RSPB Members Day

Knoll Gardens April 24, 2020 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Free to RSPB members

Meet up with representatives of the RSPB, the country’s largest nature conservation charity, and discover how Knoll’s naturalistic gardening ethos continues to create a garden that welcomes wildlife as well as providing year-round beauty.

On this special day RSPB members and volunteers can visit the gardens free of charge on production of a valid RSPB membership card or proof of volunteering status.

No booking required. Normal garden admission charges apply to all non RSPB members and volunteers.

On this special day for every full price ticket purchased £5 will be donated to the garden’s charity, the Knoll Gardens Foundation.

Sat 25
Bugs and Buds

Knoll Gardens April 25, 2020 10:30 am – 12 noon £5

Details as per Saturday February 29

MAY

Fri 1
Foundation Friday; Volunteer Recruitment Open Morning

Knoll Gardens May 1, 2020 10:00 am – 1:00 pm Free of charge

Based in the garden at Knoll, the Knoll Gardens Foundation charity promotes a sustainable, wildlife friendly gardening style which can create stunning effect whilst requiring little maintenance. This special open morning is your chance to understand more about what the charity does and how you can get involved. Foundation volunteers will be in the garden to talk about their role, and explain more about the ethos of the garden. There will also be the opportunity to talk to trustees about the volunteering opportunities currently available.

Find out more about volunteering with us

Volunteer Recruitment Open Morning also on Friday 21 August

Fri 1
Foundation Friday; By Invitation only – Art Groups

Knoll Gardens May 1, 2020 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Free of charge to invitees

The Knoll Gardens Foundation welcomes local art groups to the garden free-of-charge as part of the charity’s drive to promote wildlife friendly gardening with the ‘wow factor’.

No admission charge but groups are requested to book in advance.

Call the nursery on 01202 873931 or email foundation@knollgardens.co.uk

Arts Groups also on 14 Aug

Fri 15
Foundation Friday; Garden Bee Walk – with Rowena Jecock

Knoll Gardens May 15, 2020 11:15 am – 12:15 pm £5.50

Join Knoll’s bumblebee surveyor (and Knoll Gardens Foundation charity trustee), Rowena Jecock in the garden to discover more about the fascinating world of our bees, begin to identify some of the species you are most likely to find in your own garden and what you can do to help them thrive.

For every ticket purchased £4 will be donated to the garden’s charity, the Knoll Gardens Foundation.

Book Online

Garden Bee Walk also on Fri 10 July

Fri 15
Foundation Friday; Dorset Wildlife Trust Members’ Day

Knoll Gardens May 15, 2020 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Free to DWT members

Meet up with representatives of Dorset’s largest conservation charity and discover how Knoll’s naturalistic gardening ethos continues to create a garden that welcomes wildlife as well as providing year-round beauty.

In recent years, Knoll’s charitable arm, the Knoll Gardens Foundation has been working very closely with Dorset Wildlife Trust. On this special day DWT members and volunteers can visit the gardens free of charge on production of a valid DWT membership card or proof of volunteering status.

No booking required. Normal garden admission charges apply to all non DWT members.

On this special day for every full price ticket purchased £5 will be donated to the garden’s charity, the Knoll Gardens Foundation.

Fri 22
Foundation Friday; Meet the RSPB

Knoll Gardens May 22, 2020 10:00am – 4:00pm Normal garden admission charge

The RSPB, the country’s largest nature conservation charity, is bringing its interactive wildlife information stand to the garden. The charity will be offering wildlife advice and information as well as showcasing different wildlife habitats.

Meet the RSPB also on Fri 21 Aug

Fri 22
Foundation Friday; By Invitation only – Dorset Arts and Crafts Association

Knoll Gardens May 22, 2020 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Free of charge to invitees

The Knoll Gardens Foundation welcomes members of the Dorset Arts and Crafts Association to the garden free-of-charge as part of the charity’s drive to promote wildlife friendly gardening with the ‘wow factor’ to the local community.

No admission charge for DACA members, but please show proof of membership on arrival.

Sat 30
Bugs and Buds

Knoll Gardens May 30, 2020 10:30 am – 12 noon £5

Details as per Saturday February 29

JUNE

Fri 5
Foundation Friday; We value our Volunteers

Knoll Gardens June 5, 2020 10:00 am – 3:00 pm Free for Volunteers

In celebration of National Volunteers Week Knoll Gardens offers free garden admission to everyone who give up their valuable time to volunteer in any capacity. Meet up with our own volunteers in the morning or simply relax as you enjoy a stroll around our naturalistic garden.

Please bring some proof of your volunteering status to gain free admission.

More Information – link to knollgardensfoundation website pls

Thurs 11
Bat Walk with Jan Freeborn

Knoll Gardens June 11. 2020 8:30 pm £6.50

Enjoy a short presentation and familiarise yourself with the garden’s layout before taking a special evening stroll as you search for Knoll’s most elusive night-time visitors. Using the latest technology and years of experience, Jan will help you identify the bats you see and hear, and attempt to attract them down for a closer look.

For every ticket purchased £2.50 will be donated to the garden’s charity, the Knoll Gardens Foundation and £2.50 to the Dorset Bat Group
Book Online

Fri 12
Foundation Friday; By Invitation only – Camera Clubs

Knoll Gardens June 12, 2020 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Free of charge to invitees

The Knoll Gardens Foundation welcomes local camera clubs to the garden free-of-charge as part of the charity’s drive to promote wildlife friendly gardening with the ‘wow factor’ to the local community.

No admission charge but groups are requested to book in advance.

Call the nursery on 01202 873931 or email foundation@knollgardens.co.uk

Camera clubs also on 11 September

Fri 26
Foundation Friday; NGS Open Day

Knoll Gardens June 26, 2020 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Normal Admission charges

The National Garden Scheme is the most significant charitable funder of nursing charities in the country having donated over £50m to date. Your visit today will help its work.

No booking required; but normal admission charge applies which will be donated to the NGS.

NGS Open Day also on 25 Sept

Sat 27
Bugs and Buds

Knoll Gardens June 27, 2020 10:30 am – 12 noon £5

Details as per Saturday February 29

JULY

Fri 10
Foundation Friday; Garden Bee Walk – with Rowena Jecock

Knoll Gardens July 10, 2020 11:15 am – 12:15 pm £5.50

Join Knoll’s bumblebee surveyor (and Knoll Gardens Foundation charity trustee), Rowena Jecock in the garden to discover more about the fascinating world of our bees, begin to identify some of the species you are most likely to find in your own garden and what you can do to help them thrive.

For every ticket purchased £4 will be donated to the garden’s charity, the Knoll Gardens Foundation.

Book Online

Fri 17
Foundation Friday; Guided Butterfly Walk with Keith Powrie

Knoll Gardens July 17, 2019 11:00 am – 12:30 pm £5.50

In time for the nation’s Big Butterfly Count, dedicated lepidopterist Keith Powrie leads a walk around the gardens to help you identify the many butterflies to be found there. Keith has been recording butterfly sightings at Knoll for many years and brings an infectious enthusiasm to any guided walk.

For every ticket purchased £4 will be donated to the garden’s charity, the Knoll Gardens Foundation

Book Online

Fri 17
Foundation Friday; By Invitation only – BNSS

Knoll Gardens July 17, 2020 10:00 am – 3:00 pm Free of charge to BNSS members, staff and volunteers

The Knoll Gardens Foundation welcomes staff, members and volunteers of the Bournemouth Natural Science Society to the garden free-of-charge as part of the charity’s drive to promote wildlife friendly gardening with the ‘wow factor’ to the local community.

No admission charge but visitors are requested to show proof of membership or volunteering status on arrival.

For more info email foundation@knollgardens.co.uk

Sat 25
Bugs and Buds

Knoll Gardens July 25, 2020 10:30 am – 12 noon £5

Details as per Saturday February 29

AUGUST

Mon 3
Bat Walk with Jan Freeborn

Knoll Gardens August 3. 2020 8pm £6.50

Enjoy a short presentation and familiarise yourself with the garden’s layout before taking a special evening stroll as you search for Knoll’s most elusive night-time visitors. Using the latest technology and years of experience, Jan will help you identify the bats you see and hear, and attempt to attract them down for a closer look.

For every ticket purchased £2.50 will be donated to the garden’s charity, the Knoll Gardens Foundation and £2.50 to the Dorset Bat Group

Book Online

Tues 4
Knoll Gardens Foundation; Annual Garden Wildlife Survey

Knoll Gardens August 4, 2020 10:00 am – 3:00 pm Normal admission charges

Join wildlife volunteers and experts from the Dorset Wildlife Trust and the RSPB along with other wildlife enthusiasts, as they discover more about Knoll’s garden wildlife and help survey the garden. Suitable for all ages, beginners and experts alike, everyone is welcome to come along and get involved.

No booking required.  For every full price ticket purchased £5 will be donated to the garden’s charity, the Knoll Gardens Foundation

Fri 14
Foundation Friday; By Invitation only – Art Groups

Knoll Gardens August 14, 2020 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Free of charge to invitees

The Knoll Gardens Foundation welcomes local art groups to the garden free-of-charge as part of the charity’s drive to promote wildlife friendly gardening with the ‘wow factor’.

No admission charge but groups are requested to book in advance.

Call the nursery on 01202 873931 or email foundation@knollgardens.co.uk

Fri 21
Foundation Friday; Volunteer Recruitment Open Morning

Knoll Gardens August 21, 2020 10:00 am – 1:00 pm Free of charge

Based in the garden at Knoll, the Knoll Gardens Foundation charity promotes a sustainable, wildlife friendly gardening style which can create stunning effect whilst requiring little maintenance. This special open morning is your chance to understand more about what the charity does and how you can get involved. Foundation volunteers will be in the garden to talk about their role, and explain more about the ethos of the garden. There will also be the opportunity to talk to trustees about the volunteering opportunities currently available.

Find out more about volunteering with us

Fri 21
Foundation Friday; Meet the RSPB

Knoll Gardens August 21, 2020 10am – 4pm Normal garden admission charge

The RSPB, the country’s largest nature conservation charity, is bringing its interactive wildlife information stand to the garden. The charity will be offering wildlife advice and information as well as showcasing different wildlife habitats.

Fri 21
Foundation Friday; By Invitation only – Horticultural Groups

Knoll Gardens August 21, 2020 10:00 am – 3:00 pm Free of charge to invitees

The Knoll Gardens Foundation welcomes local horticultural groups to the garden free-of-charge as part of the charity’s drive to promote wildlife friendly gardening with the ‘wow factor’.

No admission charge but groups are requested to book in advance.

Call the nursery on 01202 873931 or email foundation@knollgardens.co.uk

Fri 21
Foundation Friday; Ringwood Natural History Society Members Day

Knoll Gardens August 21, 2020 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Free of charge to invitees

The Knoll Gardens Foundation welcomes members of the Ringwood Natural History Society to the garden free-of-charge as part of the charity’s drive to promote wildlife friendly gardening with the ‘wow factor’ to the local community.

No admission charge for RNHS members, but please show proof of membership on arrival.

Sat 29
Bugs and Buds

Knoll Gardens August 29, 2020 10:30 am – 12 noon £5

Details as per Saturday February 29

SEPTEMBER

Fri 11
Foundation Friday; By Invitation only – Camera Clubs

Knoll Gardens September 11, 2020 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Free of charge to invitees.

The Knoll Gardens Foundation welcomes local camera clubs to the garden free-of-charge as part of the charity’s drive to promote wildlife friendly gardening with the ‘wow factor’ to the local community.

No admission charge but groups are requested to book in advance.

Call the nursery on 01202 873931 or email foundation@knollgardens.co.uk

Fri 25
Foundation Friday; NGS Open Day

Knoll Gardens September 25, 2020 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Normal Admission charges

The National Garden Scheme is the most significant charitable funder of nursing charities in the country having donated over £50m to date. Your visit today will help its work.

No booking required; but normal admission charge applies which will be donated to the NGS.

Sat 26
Bugs and Buds

Knoll Gardens September 26, 2020 10:30 am – 12 noon £5

Details as per Saturday February 29

OCTOBER

Sat 31
Bugs and Buds

Knoll Gardens October 31, 2020 10:30 am – 12 noon £5

Details as per Saturday February 29

NOVEMBER

Sat 28
Bugs and Buds

Knoll Gardens November 28, 2020 10:30 am – 12 noon £5

Details as per Saturday February 29

DECEMBER

Sat 12
Bugs and Buds

Knoll Gardens December 12, 2020 10:30 am – 12 noon £5

Details as per Saturday February 29