Butterfly Conservation
saving butterflies, moths and our environment
Butterfly Conservation - saving butterflies, moths and our environment


Our events are a great way to see butterflies, learn about them, and visit some wonderful places and see many different habitats across Sussex. >We've got another excellent selection of butterfly field events lined up for you this year, all run by volunteers who are passionate about the wonderful butterflies that Sussex has to offer.

Most of our events are free and open to all, although there is a suggested donation of £2 to help us with our work if you are not a member of Butterfly Conservation. Please check the details carefully as some events are exclusively for members or require pre-booking. For further information, please contact Barbara Woods at events@sussex-butterflies.org.uk.

Please wear stout footwear to outdoor events and appropriate clothes for the weather conditions.

Dogs allowed but must be kept on a lead - Events that are suitable for children, but they must be accompanied by an adult.

Dogs allowed but must be kept on a lead - Events that are suitable to bring dogs along to, but they must be on a lead.

Transport: If you need or can offer a lift to any of our events please email the field trip organiser who will attempt to put you in touch with each other to reduce our carbon footprint! Public transport may be available to some events – try www.travelinesoutheast.org.uk for information.

Future field trips: If you have any ideas for future trips or would like to lead one to your favourite site the field trip organiser would like to hear from you!


Tuesday, 27th March 9.45am to

Surrey Butterfly Conservation transect training day - THIS WEEK

Suitable for:

Leader: Bill Downey - Email: billdowney@sky.com

Location: Gatwick

A training day in recording butterflies along a fixed transect route in order to gather data for UK BMS. There is no cost for this day, but it is being run with the expectation that people would either like to assist with some of the transects at Gatwick, or set up their own regular transect. There is a maximum number of 12 spaces for this training day Time: 9.45am for a 10am at Tilgate Park meeting room. After an hour or so session in the classroom (tea and coffee provided), we will be driving to Larkin’s Road at Gatwick, Horley to walk the conservation area and practice our transect Please bring along a packed lunch, warm layers and suitable footwear as the ground is very uneven and muddy in places. To book a space, please contact Bill Downey: billdowney@sky.com


Sunday, 22nd April 13:30 to 16:30

Butterfly Conservation Sussex at Haywards Heath Spring Festival

Suitable for:  Suitable for children Suitable for dogs

Leader: Barbara Woods - Tel: 01444 412483 - Email: b.woods512@btinternet.com

Location: Muster Green, Haywards Heath

Grid Reference: TQ328240

Meeting place: Muster Green, Haywards Heath

Come and talk to us on our stand at the annual Haywards Heath Spring Festival on Muster Green.


Saturday, 5th May tba to tba

Heathlands Reunited Butterfly ID Workshop

Suitable for:

Leader: Katy Sherman, Heathlands Reunited Activities and Engagement Officer - Tel: 07785425937 - Email: katy.Sherman@southdowns.gov.uk

Location: Midhurst

Grid Reference: SU 88659 21858

Meeting place: Heathlands Reunited South Downs Centre North Street, Midhurst, West Sussex, GU29 9DH

Butterfly Conservation Sussex is running a Butterfly ID work shop at Midhurst, West Sussex as part of the South Downs National Park’s Heathlands Reunited project. A morning "Classroom" session will be followed by a walk to practice new-found skills under the guidance of Butterfly Conservation members. Please bring a packed lunch and some water.

If you would like to attend, please register and we will contact you with further details nearer the event.

Saturday, 12th May 10:00am to 1:00pm

High Weald Springtime Skippers

Suitable for:  Suitable for children Suitable for dogs

Leader: Colin Gibbs - Tel: 07540 492851 - Email: colin.gibbs@yahoo.co.uk

Location: Hargate Forest

Grid Reference: TQ 57131 37611

Distance: 2.5km

Meeting place: Broadwater Down, Tunbridge Wells. Just off the A26 Eridge Road at the entrance to the forest next to the Woodland Trust sign (about 60m up the road from the A26 junction).

Target species: Grizzled Skipper & Dingy Skipper

Terrain: Gently undulating woodland, heath and grassland paths. Most tracks are wide and fairly easy going for all.

Open to all – beginners welcome. Children and families especially welcome. Dogs on leads. We hope to encounter a good range of springtime species during a leisurely walk through this lovely forest near the Kent border. Hargate Forest is a Woodland Trust reserve and is a strong-hold of the Grizzled Skipper and Dingy Skipper - both high priority species for conservation.

Nearby bus stops for buses 228, 229, 28, 29, 29X, U19, 786 (all within 100m). Nearest train station is Tunbridge Wells (2km away). Parking on roadside on Broadwater Down.

Sunday, 13th May 10:30 to 12:30

Return of the Mill Hill May “Big 5”

Suitable for:  Suitable for children Suitable for dogs

Leader: Chris Corrigan - Tel: 0798 2606661 - Email: chriscorrigan3@gmail.com

Location: Mill Hill LNR, Shoreham-by-Sea

Grid Reference: TQ 212 074

Distance: 2km (1.25mile)

Meeting place: Meet at the main (upper) car park on the road from Shoreham to Truleigh Hill. This is an approximately 30 min walk from Shoreham Railway Station

Target species: Adonis Blue, Wall, Green Hairstreak, Dingy Skipper and Grizzled Skipper

Terrain: Rough path along steep slope

The Mill Hill May “Big 5” – Going for the first Sussex Adonis blues of the year, wall, green hairstreak and dingy and grizzled skippers! This is a lovely potter around Mill Hill for all abilities, with families and beginners being especially welcome.

Good for public transport. Dogs are welcome as long as they are on a lead.

Saturday, 19th May 10:30am to 2:00pm

Malling Down Magnificent Seven

Suitable for:  Suitable for children Suitable for dogs

Leader: Colin Gibbs - Tel: 07540 492851 - Email: colin.gibbs@yahoo.co.uk

Location: Malling Down, Lewes

Grid Reference: TQ 42311 10604

Distance: 3km

Meeting place: Wheatsheaf Gardens, just off Malling ~Street (A26) Lewes. Down from Pets Corner and almost opposite the petrol station

Target species: Adonis Blue, Wall Brown, Dingy Skipper, Green Hairstreak, Brown Argus, Small Copper, Small Heath

Terrain: Very steep slopes, rough, uneven ground. Not suitable for those with mobility restrictions. Quite a few nettles and brambles – shorts / skirts only for the brave! One big climb and one very steep desc

Open to all – beginners welcome. Children and families especially welcome but please note that the terrain is a little tricky in places and it's a reasonably strenuous walk. Dogs on leads due to grazing sheep on the reserve. We are aiming to see the Magnificent Seven but with luck and some enthusiasm we may see a few more!

Good for public transport (buses 122,125,132,143,A5, 29). Nearest parking – Harveys Way, 5 – 10 minutes walk away but crossing a busy road.

Sunday, 20th May 10:30 to 16:30

Rare Species Landscape Walk

Suitable for:  Suitable for children Suitable for dogs

Leader: Neil Hulme - Tel: 07778 306816 - Email: nh@nhulme.eclipse.co.uk

Location: Heyshott Escarpment, Charlton Forest borders and Graffham Down

Grid Reference: SU900176

Distance: 7km

Meeting place: Meet at the sharp bend in the road at the most southerly point of Heyshott village. Please park with consideration for residents. You may need to walk some distance to the meeting point

Target species: Duke of Burgundy, Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Green Hairstreak, Grizzled Skipper, Dingy Skipper, Drab Looper

Terrain: Long and very steep climb and descent, over uneven and possibly slippery ground.

This walk is strictly for the very fit and energetic only. Packed lunch, plenty of fluids, a strong walking stick and boots with ankle support are essential. The walk involves a very steep climb and descent and covers a distance of at least 7km. We’ll be out all day.


Fritillaries for the Future

Saturday, 9th June 11:00 to 13:30

Return of the Small Pearls

Suitable for:  Suitable for children Suitable for dogs

Leader: Neil Hulme - Tel: 07778 306816 - Email: nh@nhulme.eclipse.co.uk

Location: Park Corner Heath & Rowland Wood

Grid Reference: TQ515147

Distance: 1.5km

Meeting place: By the main gate to the reserves

Target species: Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Terrain: Flat but occasionally damp under foot

A very special visit to Butterfly Conservation's reserve in Sussex.

Dogs are welcome on a lead. Please clean-up after your dog!


Sunday, 1st July 10.0am to 4.0pm

Storrington Wildlife Garden Open Day

Suitable for:  Suitable for children Suitable for dogs

Leader: Martin Kalaher - Tel: 01903740047 - Email: martinkalaher@hotmail.com

Location: Cherry House, Kithurst Lane, Storrington. Red-brick house (second on the left in Kithurst Lane, whic

Grid Reference: TQ082140

Distance: 100-200 metres.

Meeting place: The back garden of Cherry House.

Target species: All three meadow Skippers, Marbled White, Ringlet and many others. I have recorded 19 butterfly species as a daily total.

Terrain: The driveway is on an incline but the back garden is flat.

This is a wildlife garden which attempts to be as insect-friendly as possible. Last year 30 butterfly species were recorded with daily counts of 100+ butterflies in early July (when Gatekeeper numbers peak).

Wildflower meadow and herbaceous borders stocked with British Native plants. Children welcome as are dogs if well-controlled.

Saturday, 7th July 10:00 to 13:30

High summer butterflies on the High Weald

Suitable for:  Suitable for children Suitable for dogs

Leader: Paul Johnson - Tel: 0752 8861058 - Email: paul.johnson.1603@hotmail.co.uk

Location: Hargate Forest

Grid Reference: TQ571376

Distance: Approximately 4-5 km

Meeting place: Please meet at the entrance to Hargate Forest on Broadwater Down on the southern edge of Tunbridge Wells. There is ample free on-street parking on Broadwater Down.

Target species: Woodland species including White Admiral, Silver-washed Fritillary and possibly Purple Emperor.

Terrain: Some slopes but the walk will mainly be on good forest rides.

All welcome on this walk around the Sussex High Weald mature woodland near Tunbridge Wells.

Join us in the afternoon too for an optional walk nearby at Eridge Old Park for grassland and woodland butterflies. Details to be given out on the day. Please bring a packed lunch if staying for both walks.

Sunday, 15th July 10:30 to 13:30

Bevendean Blues

Suitable for:  Suitable for children Suitable for dogs

Leader: Geoff Stevens & Tessa Pawsey - Tel: 07422543872 - Email: dbsgms@gmail.com

Location: Bevendean, Brighton

Grid Reference: TQ338065

Distance: 3.25km (2.0 mile)

Meeting place: Meet at the corner of Heath Hill Avenue and Norwich Drive Bevendean Brighton.

Target species: Chalkhill Blues, other downland species and day flying moths

Terrain: Some steep slopes.

All welcome on this downland walk seeking Chalkhill Blues and more.

Dogs welcome as long as they are kept on a lead.


Saturday, 25th August 10:00 to 12:30

Brown Hairstreaks at the Steyning Downland Scheme

Suitable for:  Suitable for children Suitable for dogs

Leader: Richard Roebuck - Tel: 07973 751001 - Email: richard@roebuckonline.co.uk

Location: Steyning

Grid Reference: TQ173113

Distance: 1.2 miles to the site up a footpath on a gentle incline and then through a kissing gate to the res

Meeting place: Meet at at the Corner of Mill Road, at the base of the footpath leading up to the Steyning Downland Scheme area adjacent to the Bowls club and allotment.

Target species: Brown Hairstreak but often other common species associated with Chalk Grassland and the season

Terrain: Grassland with varying Gradients but wear stout footwear and clothes for the forecast weather conditions.

All are welcome but children should be accompanied by an adult.

Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a lead. Please wear stout footwear and appropriate clothes for the weather conditions.


Saturday, 17th November 13:30 to 17:00

Butterfly Conservation Sussex AGM

Suitable for:  Suitable for children Suitable for dogs

Leader: Chair - Tel: Not available - Email: web@sussex-butterflies.org.uk

Location: Cyprus Hall, 12 Cyprus Road, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 8DX

Grid Reference: TQ 31496 19116

Meeting place: Cyprus Hall in Cyprus Road, Burgess Hill. The hall is about 5 minutes walk from Burgess Hill Station.

Target species: All Sussex species seen throughout 2018.

Join us for our Annual General Meeting with tea and cakes and talks after the AGM. Details to follow shortly.

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