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Outdoor Meetings

Outdoor Meetings for 2024

General Information

The following events are scheduled, but some details may change. Please check this page in the run-up to events or confirm by emailing the organiser of each meeting.

Most meetings will last 2-3 hours, but please email the organiser if you require more exact timings.

The events are free to members, but there will be a £2.00 fee for non-members. You may have a free first outdoor meeting with us to see if you enjoy our walks, then £2 per walk after that (or consider joining CHOG, which will give you free outdoor and indoor meetings for the whole year).
Payment is via the donate button on the CHOG Shop section of this website or by online payment to CHOG sort code 30-92-02, account number 02700708 or with cash on the day, please. Thank you.

OS grid references can be used to find the location on https://gridreferencefinder.com and what3words locations used on www.what3words.com.

For general enquiries about meetings, please contact Richard Cordery

Each outdoor meeting will be documented shortly after its date and posted to CHOG Online – see the CHOG Online page for how to connect.

The aim is to provide members who were unable to attend, or those who want to visit again, the opportunity to go birdwatching at the location themselves and try to find (or improve upon!) the variety of species encountered by the organised meeting. We shall endeavour to post an account of each meeting within two weeks of it taking place.

Sunday 14th January 09:00-12:00

Keyhaven and Pennington Marshes

An approximately 3 hour walk along the sea wall to the lagoons and back up. We will be looking for wading birds, ducks and geese in particular and a telescope would be very useful if you have one.

Meet at the Keyhaven Long Stay Car Park opposite The Gun Inn, near the toilet block SZ 306914:
Grid reference from Grid Reference Finder SZ 306915 click here
What3words link https://w3w.co/expect.launcher.squeaks
Shown as “Keyhaven Amenity Car Park” on GoogleMaps   click here

There are 2 car parks at Keyhaven. The one I have recommended is the Long Stay Car Park, RingGo location 2588. Parking is £5 for 4 hours, which should be plenty of time as I am aiming to get us back to the car park by 12 noon. There is some limited free on-road free car parking opposite the Gun Inn at this time of year. The short stay car park (by the sea wall up the lane) is RingGo location 22596 but the maximum stay is 3 hours and this also costs £5 so I would not recommend using this unless the long stay one is full (which is unlikely in my experience).

Please book by emailing Richard

 

Sunday 4th February 10:00-13:00
Birds of Poole Harbour Winter Safari Cruise

A three-hour boat trip embracing the safari experience, led by Birds of Poole Harbour staff, scouring the harbour for our hardy overwintering species from otherwise inaccessible areas such as the Wareham Channel and Frome Valley, as well as offering premier views behind the Brownsea Lagoon seawall. The exact route will be determined on the day, taking into account the state of the tide and latest sightings, to maximise the birding potential of the cruise.

This cruise has now been fully booked for the CHOG group and also on the BoPH website. You can join a waitlist for this date via their website:

https://www.birdsofpooleharbourbookings.co.uk/event/winter-safari-cruises

If you manage to get a place then please let Richard know. 

Please let Richard know if you join their waitlist and he will also add you to his waitlist and if anyone in the CHOG group has to pull out then he will let you know.

There is also availability on many other dates in the New Year if you are unable to join us on 4th February. See the BoPH website as above to book on these.

 

Sunday 18th February 14:00-16:00
Stanpit Marsh

An afternoon walk out to Crouch Hill to look for wading birds and probably then on round the rest of the Marsh looking for other wintering birds.

Please meet on Stanpit Recreation Ground, just next to the Stanpit Marsh car park:

Grid reference from Grid Reference Finder SZ171924

Grid Reference Finder link click here

what3words silks.other.jungle  click here

Google Maps link click here

Please book by emailing Richard

 

Saturday 9th March 08:00-12:00
Acres Down

A short walk up to the viewpoint out over the Forest, starting at 9.00am, with the option to have a short walk into Wick Wood starting at 8.00am to look and listen for woodland birds before this.

Meet at Acres Down Forestry England car park for each walk:
Google Maps link   click here
Grid Reference from Grid Reference Finder SU267097
Grid Reference Finder  click here
what3words awkward.uttering.discusses click here

Parking is either at the Forestry England car park (which is quite small) or more spaces immediately just past Acres Down Farm in the open area to the left of the track, before you get to the car park. There is a fairly steep walk at the start of the walk up to the viewpoint but fairly level after that.

Please book by emailing Richard and please let him know which of the start times you would like to join the walk.

 

Sunday 7th April 09:00-12:00
Hengistbury Head
Please note change of venue from Stanpit Marsh

Meet opposite the Hengistbury Head Visitor Centre on the rise overlooking the Harbour at grid reference SZ166911
Grid reference finder link See here.
what3words link See here.
Google Maps link See here.
Parking at Hengistbury Head Car Park (charges apply) See here.

Payment is by card, phone or RingGo App (location 59021) only. The ticket machines do not accept cash. Parking in Rolls Drive or the Solent Meads Golf Club car park (2 lanes nearest the road only) is unlimited at this time of year but is quite a long walk to the Visitor Centre from there. Parking in Broadway is a 1 hour time limit after 10.00am so you would need to leave the walk early if parking here, to get back to your car before 11.00am.

Please book by emailing Richard

 

Saturday 4th May 06:00-08:30
Millyford Bridge, New Forest (near Emery Down, Lyndhurst)

Early morning birdsong walk. Meet at the north end of the Forestry England car park (free parking)
Grid reference for grid reference finder SU267078,  click here.
what3 words seagulls.nylon.computers, click here.
Google Maps: click here.

Breakfast at The Cat and Fiddle, Lyndhurst Road, Hinton Admiral, Christchurch, Hampshire, BH23 7DS at 9.00am for those who would like to join us after the walk. Google Maps link: click here.

Please let Richard know if you would like to book for breakfast too when you book for the walk.

Please book by emailing Richard

 

Saturday 18th May
Salisbury Plain

Visit to the Great Bustard Group, starting at Enford Village Hall, Longstreet, Enford, Wiltshire. SN9 6DD 09.30am, involving a 2 hour tour of the site in Land Rovers with stops to see the Bustards and learning all about the project as we go around.

This will be followed by visit to the site of the Hen Harrier reintroduction project run by Natural England at Parsonage Down, meeting at 12.30pm for lunch (please bring your own packed lunch) followed by a tour of the site. There will be no Hen Harriers there at the time, but we will hear all about the project from Natural England staff.

Great Bustard Group tour costs £25.

ONE SPACE AVAILABLE NOW due to a cancellation. There is still availability for the afternoon part of this trip.

Hen Harrier reintroduction site visit can accommodate a maximum of 15 cars in the car park, so car sharing is encouraged, if you are happy to do so. No charge for this part of the day but I will ask if we can give donations to the project.

You may book for either event alone or for both, depending on availability. Please book by emailing Richard

If time allows after the we may go on to the RSPB Winterbourne Downs reserve to look for Stone Curlews on the way back home.

 

Sunday 19th May 07:00
Beginners Birdsong Workshop

This is an outdoor workshop for members only to learn how to identify birds primarily by song, also to understand the difference between song and calls.
Led by Dave Taylor.  Length: approximately 2.5 hours. Cost: £5

For more info and how to book click here…

 

Saturday 1st June – 09:00-11:00 + optional raptor watch
Pig Bush, New Forest

A walk around the woodland and heathland circuit for breeding bird, followed by an hour or two raptor watching. If staying for the watch, bring seats and a picnic, as it will be adjacent to the car park. Led by David Taylor.

Please meet at the Forestry England Pig Bush car park:

Grid Reference: SU362050. Grid Reference Finder link click here

what3words: friend.leader.swept  Click here

Please book by emailing David

 

Sunday 9th June 11:00-13:30
Mudeford Wood and Mude Valley

A walk starting from the Community Centre, for dragonflies and birds.
Meet at Mudeford Wood Community Centre, Pipers Drive, Mudeford, Christchurch BH23 4TR
Grid Reference from Grid Reference Finder SZ183930
Grid Reference Finder link   click here
what3words  oddly.horses.random click here
Streetmap link click here
Google Maps link click here.

Please book by emailing Richard

 

Sunday 21st July 09:30-12:30
Wild Woodbury, Bere Regis 

A visit to the Dorset Wildlife Trust rewilding site with a guided walk, kindly given to us by Seb Elwood, DWT Wilder Dorset Ranger.
The walk will be approximately 4km in length across several fields. The fields are uneven ground, with slopes in places, and by July possibly some higher vegetation too.

https://www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/what-we-do/conservation-work-land/wild-woodbury

Meet at Court Farm
Grid reference for Grid Reference Finder SY849946 Link: click here
what3words manifests.hobbit.weeds Link: click here
Google Maps link: click here.

Address for any satnavs is Court Farm Cottages, Bere Regis, BH20 7LL.

Up a short track off Southbrook Road in Bere Regis, opposite Elder Road. There is a large entrance sign which should make it easy to find. At the end of the track there’s an official car parking area which will fit about 14 cars, but the gates will be opened up onto the yard where there is space for another 25/30.

There is a single portaloo on site, but there are also local pubs (one being about a 1min walk away) which could be used if necessary for toilet facilities.

Please book by emailing Richard

 

Saturday 10th August 10:00-12:30 (guided walk) with option to stay on for lunch and an afternoon walk there.
Arne RSPB reserve

RSPB guides will give us a guided walk in small groups around the reserve with the possibility of visiting parts of the reserve not normally open to the public.

We have been permitted to use the benches at the café for eating packed lunches if you wish to bring one, or to purchase food from the café there, if you would like to stay on for this. Cost for the guided walk is going to be in the region of £10 per person (the more people attending, the cheaper it will be). This includes parking and entry (car-sharing is encouraged if you are happy to do so). Non-RSPB members normally pay a £5 entry fee per person at the reserve and the RSPB have said that if any non-members would like to donate £5 to the RSPB then this would be most welcomed, but it is not mandatory.

If anyone would like to stay on to continue with another walk in the afternoon then I will be starting around 1.30-2.00pm (weather permitting).
If you would like to join for the afternoon walk only, please email Richard. If you are coming on the afternoon walk only, non-RSPB members would need to pay a £5 entry fee per person at the reserve but RSPB members are free of charge. No fee is payable for the afternoon walk for CHOG members (£2 for non-members or free if it’s your first walk with us)

Please meet in the reserve car park at 09.45, grid reference SY971876

Grid reference finder link See here.
what3words link See here.
Google Maps link See here.

Bookings must be received before Monday 22nd July so that Richard can let the RSPB know numbers coming along, in order for them to arrange the appropriate number of guides for us.

Please book by emailing Richard

Car Sharing
We encourage car sharing for outdoor meetings where possible for environmental reasons and to assist with parking, especially as car-parks at some venues have limited space. If you have friends or family coming along to the meetings, please make arrangements for car sharing yourselves, but only if you are happy to do this in the current Coronavirus situation and with adequate precautions where necessary.

Harbour Map


Our interactive harbour map helps you to identify locations around the harbour and gives some useful pointers.

Harbour Map

Our interactive harbour map helps you to identify locations around the harbour and gives some useful pointers.