2018 Knoll Gardens – Garden Birdwatch

Following our 2018 survey, the updated list of birds seen at Knoll between January 2013 and October 2018 is shown below:

Species list for records dated 1 Jan 2013 to 16 October 2018 for Knoll Gardens
Scientific Name Common Name
 Turdus merula Blackbird
Sylvia atricapilla Blackcap
Cyanistes caeruleus Blue Tit
Pyrrhula pyrrhula Bullfinch
Buteo buteo Buzzard
Corvus corone Carrion Crow
Fringilla coelebs Chaffinch
Phylloscopus collybita Chiffchaff
Periparus ater Coal Tit
Streptopelia decaocto Collared Dove
Prunella modularis Dunnock
Regulus regulus Goldcrest
Carduelis carduelis Goldfinch
Dendrocopos major Great Spotted Woodpecker
Parus major Great Tit
Picus viridis Green Woodpecker
Carduelis chloris Greenfinch
Ardea cinerea Grey Heron
Passer domesticus House Sparrow
Corvus monedula Jackdaw
Garrulus glandarius Jay
Alcedo atthis Kingfisher
Aegithalos caudatus Long-tailed Tit
Pica pica Magpie
Anas platyrhynchos Mallard
Turdus viscivorus Mistle Thrush
Gallinula chloropus Moorhen
Caprimulgus europaeus Nightjar
Sitta europaea Nuthatch
Turdus iliacus Redwing
Erithacus rubecula Robin
Turdus philomelos Song Thrush
Sturnus vulgaris Starling
Strix aluco Tawny Owl
Columba palumbus Woodpigeon
Troglodytes troglodytes Wren

2018 Annual Butterflies, Dragonflies and Damselflies Report

The weather this year has been a roller coaster from high to low and back again with several species benefitting from the warm spells while others suffering from the colder ones. However, 2018 saw three ‘firsts’ for the garden.

(Keith Powrie, an expert in lepidopterology and odonatology, has undertaken regular surveys of Knoll Gardens on behalf of the Foundation since 2009.)


The first new appearance was a Marbled White which was seen briefly as it shot across to the Mill Pond from the Dragon Pond area on 6th July.

That day was 100% sun, a temperature of 28°C and very little wind. Nine days later, on the 15th July, the second newcomer, a White Admiral, was spotted. Again, there was 100% sunshine, with a temperature of 26°C and no wind at all.

Other notable appearances include the Brown Argus, which normally averages one sighting per year (apart from six being spotted in 2010) but which this year was logged at 30 sightings! Green-veined Whites and Orange Tips took advantage of the early warmth and almost doubled their average counts.


Dragonflies / Damselflies

Most species, apart from the Brown Hawker, whose appearances almost doubled over 2017, were around their annual mean figures. However, the third ‘first’ for 2018 was the appearance of a single male Keeled Skimmer, perched up by Dragon Pond.

The most common damselfly, the Azure Damselfly saw its worst year to date. Only 310 were seen compared to 730 last year and an astounding 1192 seen in 2010, the first year of counting.




The full detailed 2018 report is available here

For more information about butterflies and ways to encourage them into your garden, visit the Butterfly Conservation website: www.butterfly-conservation.org

Inaugural Community Lecture

Inaugural Community Lecture awarded to Dorset Wildlife Trust

In what is hoped will become an annual event, the first sponsored Knoll Gardens Foundation Community Lecture will be delivered to members of the Dorset Wildlife Trust’s (DWT) Wimborne Group in 2019.

The community lecture scheme was launched earlier this year to mark the tenth anniversary of the Foundation, a Wimborne-based charity that researches and promotes environmentally sensitive and wildlife-friendly gardening.

Dorset community groups were invited to apply to host the sponsored lecture and the charity’s trustees chose DWT as the best application from the many received. The inaugural lecture will be given by Knoll Gardens’ owner Neil Lucas.

“We are delighted to have been chosen to host the first Knoll Gardens Foundation Community Lecture, and we expect a great turnout to hear about Neil’s gardening philosophy,” commented Michael Evans, Chair of DWT’s Wimborne group.

“We strongly believe that our gardens are an important resource for wildlife and, amongst other initiatives, run an annual Wildlife-Friendly Gardens competition. We are keen to learn from Neil about how we might be able to use some of Knoll’s techniques in our own gardens.”

Neil’s lecture, Plants, Gardens and Wildlife: the work of the Knoll Gardens Foundation, will look at the naturalistic style of planting employed at Knoll and explore the Knoll Gardens Foundation’s work in researching and promoting the benefits of naturalistic gardening to wildlife.

More information regarding the Dorset Wildlife Trust can be found on the DWT website

2018 Knoll Gardens Summer Survey

Our 2018 Knoll Gardens Summer Survey recorded wildlife found in the Garden which included Butterflies, Bees, Birds,  Reptiles, Moths and Mammals  and more :-



Species Common Name Abundance (notes)
Argynnis paphia silver-washed fritillary 1 (seen regularly over past few weeks)
Aricia agestis brown argus 6 (Good numbers for 2nd brood)
Celastrina argiolus holly blue 4
Gonepteryx rhamni brimstone 1
Leptidea sinapis wood white 1
Maniola jurtina meadow brown 14
Pararge aegeria speckled wood 12 (Good numbers for second brood)
Pieris brassicae large white/ cabbage white 6
Pieris napi green-veined white 5
Pieris rapae small white 7
Polyommatus icarus common blue 6 (male and female)
Pyronia tithonus gatekeeper 4

Bees, Wasps and Hornets

Species Common Name Abundance (notes)
Ancistrocerus gazella European potter wasp 1
Andrena denticulata grey banded mining bee 1
Anthophora furcata fork tailed flower bee 1
Apis mellifera honey bee hundreds
Bombus hortorum garden bumble bee 1
Bombus hypnorum tree bumble bee 1
Bombus lapidarius red-tailed bumblebee 1 (male)
Bombus lucorum White tailed bumblebee 1 (Queen)
Bombus pascuorum common carder bee 3
Bombus pratorum early bumble bee 1
Bombus terrestris buff tailed bumblebee 1 (Queen)
Bombus vestalis cuckoo bumblebee 1 (male)
Cerceris rybyensis ornate tailed digger wasp 1 (female)
Dolichovespula media median wasp 1 (male)
Hylaeus communis common yellowface bee 1 (female)
Philanthus triangulum bee wolf wasp 1 (male)
unidentified wasp 2
Vespa crabro hornet 3


Species Common Name Abundance (notes)
Coenagrion puella azur damselfly 1
Lestes sponsa emerald damselfly 1
schnura elegans blue tailed damselfy 2
Enallagma cyathigerum common blue damselfly 1
Ceriagrion tenellum small red damselfly 1


Species Common Name Abundance (notes)
Buteo buteo buzzard 3
Carduelis chloris greenfinch 2 (males)
Columba palumbus wood pigeon 6
Corvus corone crow 1
Corvus monedula jackdaw 1
Cyanistes caeruleus blue tit 1
Erithacus rubecula robin 4
Fringilla coelebs chaffinch 1 (female)
Garrulus glandarius jay 1
Parus major great tit 1
Periparus ater coal tit 1
Pica pica magpie 1
Picus viridis green woodpecker 1
Pyrrhula pyrrhula bullfinch 3 (2 male 1 female)
Regulus regulus goldcrest 1
Sitta Europaea nuthatch 2
Sturnus vulgaris starling 4 (2 juveniles)
Troglodytes troglodytes wren 2
Turdus merula blackbird 4


Species Common Name Abundance (notes)
Anguis fragilis slow worm 1 (pregnant female)
Rana temporaria common frog 1
Zootoca vivipara common lizard 3
Species Common Name Abundance (notes)
Aedes cantans mosquito 1
Bibio hortulanus fly 1
Conocephalus discolor longwinged conehead cricket 1
Coreus marginatus dock bug 1
Eristalis inticana drone fly 1
Gerris lacustris pond skater 1
Harmonia axyridis harlequin ladybird 1
Meta segmentata lesser garden spider 1
Myathropa florea batman hoverfly 1
Oniscus asellus woodlouse 1
Palomena prasina common green shieldbug 1
Panorpa communis common scorpionfly 1
Syritta pipiens thick-legged hoverfly 1
Tipulidae daddy longlegs/ cranefly 1
unidentified earwig 1
unidentified black fly 1
Volucella pellucens hoverfly 1


Species Common Name Abundance (notes)
Abrostola tripartita spectacle 1
Acentria ephemerella water veneer 1
Cyclophora annularia the mocha 1 (scarce)
Cyclophora punctaria maiden’s blush 1
Ecliptopera silaceata small phoenix 1
Elophila nymphaeata brown china mark 1
Furcula furcula sallow kitten 1
Manulea lurideola common footman 1
Miltochrista miniata rosy footman 1
Ochropleura plecta flame shoulder 1
Patania ruralis mother of pearl 1
Perizoma bifaciata barred rivulet 1


Species Common Name Abundance (notes)
Soprano pipistrelle bat 1

Invitations for 2019 Biordivesity Lecture Welcome

Dorset community groups invited to apply for first free annual garden biodiversity lecture in 2019 – Deadline for entry 29th June 2018

Dorset community organisations with an interest in gardens, conservation and wildlife are invited to apply to host the first free annual lecture sponsored by the Knoll Gardens Foundation. It is the first time we have offered a free lecture to local groups and we hope it will become a regular annual event. The lecture will be presented by Knoll’s owner Neil Lucas, RHS Council member and Senior Judge, and the UK’s leading ornamental grass specialist. Interested groups can select from one of three lecture topics and the charity’s trustees will chose which organisation will host the first lecture based on information provided in a simple application form.

Neil Lucas is in great demand as an entertaining and knowledgeable speaker. He holds ten Chelsea Gold Medals, is the author of the best-selling book ‘Designing with Grasses’ and has been a Council Member at the RHS since 2012.

Normally costing over £500 plus expenses, the presentation will be delivered, completely free of charge, to the selected community organisation able to provide a venue, audience and projector screen.

Applications are not restricted to gardening organisations. Any Dorset community group is welcome to apply whose members would appreciate hearing from an internationally acknowledged horticultural expert, completely free-of-charge.
Application deadline is 29 June 2018.