Thursday, 12 May 2022

Mapperton Wildlands

A few hours of homework for me today, in preparation for my first ever spot of 'guiding' over the weekend.

Can an old dog learn new tricks? Sunday morning at Mapperton Wildlands will be the proving ground. All I can say is that there is loads to look at, and I am perfectly capable of pointing at stuff and talking. What could possibly go wrong?

Seriously though, I am very much looking forward to getting involved with this fascinating project, a rare beacon of positivity in the gloom of so much ecological devastation. Coltleigh Farm was my destination today. One of five farms which make up the Mapperton Estate, and the first to begin its rewilding journey, it is already pretty impressive in terms of biodiversity, as the of photos indicates...

Heath Spotted Orchid

Green-winged Orchid.

One of the Coleoptera. Definitely. Fleabane Tortoise Beetle in fact, according to the wonderful British Insects by Paul D Brock.

Species-rich grassland. Lovely.

Burnet Companion

Common Blue

I'm pretty sure there is a geological term for these boulders,

Cute and inquisitive Fox cub

Understated beauty: Green-veined White

Southern Marsh Orchids (I hope) in a lush sea of wetland flora

Some had very spotted leaves though...

I'm on safe ground with this fragile beauty: Ragged Robin

Stonechats. Common on the coast locally, but not so much inland I suspect. Great to see. This pair had at least three young too. Brilliant.

Also lovely to see a few Yellowhammers here. This male was singing too.

Stonechat family (female out of shot) in a different field to the pair above. Not sure if they are the same birds, but would like to think not...

One for the dipterists. Not your average Cranefly though.

Two of the White Park herd...which have calves now, so respectful gap maintained!

I ended the day at Cogden, mainly for a Wheatear fix. The beach did not disappoint...

A super-skittish female, which wouldn't let me anywhere near.

Slightly less nervy male

Finally, by chance I came across a couple of Common Blues resting on a grass stem...

Simply stunning little things.


  1. With your knowledge of the flora and fauna Gav, I can't imagine you'll have any problem keeping your guests entertained and amazed. Enjoy!

    1. Thanks Dave. Hopefully everything I need to remember will come to mind as required!