Wildlife events in August

Discover the amazing wildlife and nature events happening around the UK this month!

Red squirrel and camera

Red squirrel and camera © GI Image / Getty


If you would like to submit an event for inclusion in this list, please see the bottom of this page for details.



Big Butterfly Count, Butterfly Conservation

  • Friday 20 July - Sunday 12 August
  • The big butterfly count is a nationwide survey aimed at helping Butterfly Conservation assess the health of our environment. It was launched in 2010 and has rapidly become the world's biggest survey of butterflies.




The Pantaloons 2018 outdoor theatre shows, with RSPB

© Mark Brandon / RSPB Images

  • Saturday 26 August, 2pm and 7pm; As you like it
  • Sunday 27 August, 2pm and 7pm; The importance of being earnest
  • RSPB The Lodge
  • Held on the lawn at The Lodge nature reserve and gardens. Bring your blankets, picnics and chairs and parents bring a bottle of your favourite tipple to enjoy Shakespeare in the open air.
  • Tickets: adults £15.00, children (age 7-16) £8, under 7s: free; family ticket 2+2 £40.00. Booking essential: the RSPB 01767 693333 and Pantaloons website.



Polar encounters: 200 years of contemporary and historical polar art, Bonhams

© Shelly Perkins

  • Monday 30 July - Friday 17 August
  • The Polar Museum, Cambridge
  • This is an exhibition showing artists' responses to some of the most extreme places on Earth. Hosted by Bonhams, there will be features of contemporary art, as well as 200 years of Arctic art by Inuit artists and European travellers to show different interpretations.
  • Free event.


Butterfly walk and big butterfly count, with Butterfly Conservation

© Nick Edge / Butterfly Conservation

  • Sunday 5 August, 2pm
  • Devil's Dyke, Reach
  • Come and enjoy a guided walk in search of Chalk Hill Blue butterfly and other grassland species - this is also a great opportunity to take part in the Big Butterfly Count!
  • Contact Ian Watts for more information and for booking by email: newsletter@cambs-essex-butterflies.org.uk


Introducing the Dragonfly, with the British Dragonfly Society

© David Kitching

  • Saturday 11 August, 10am 
  • Wicken Fen Nature Reserve, Ely
  • Specifically designed for the beginner, this course includes dragonfly identification, biology and ecology, including a session with the Microscope-TV link and a field tour of dragonfly habitats on site.
  • £35 per person, register here



Badger Watch

© Alasdair Grubb

  • Thursdays 9 - 30 August, start time varies with sunset
  • RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, Dee Estuary
  • Learn about badgers and watch them in a popular feeding spot.
  • Cost £12 (RSPB members £9.50). Spaces are limited, so booking is essential by phoning 0151 353 2720 or emailing deeestuary@rspb.org.uk . If you’d like a more exclusive encounter, book the new badger watching hide for an evening: £80 (£65 RSPB members) for up to 2 people. To book, email deeestuary@rspb.org.uk



Introduction to NPMS, with Plantlife

© Jill Williams 

  • Monday 6 August, 10am
  • Pill farm, Truro, Cornwall
  • An introduction to NPMS (National Plant Monitoring Scheme) to find out the aims of the survey, how to complete the survey, plant ID and a field activity.
  • Booking is essential: visit NPMS to book.


Kynance cove walk, with Butterfly Conservation

© Butterfly Conservation

  • Sunday 12 August, 11am
  • National Trust Kynance Cove car park, Lizard
  • Join us on this wonderfully scenic coastal walk on the Lizard as we look for Clouded Yellow, Grayling, Common Blue and Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary butterflies, and many more species.



Big butterfly count, with Butterfly Conservation

© Butterfly Conservation

  • Thursday 2 August, 11am
  • Doe Lea, Chesterfield, Derbyshire
  • Come and meet members of the East Midlands Butterfly Conservation at the National Trust's Hardwick Hall. There will be a chance to take part in a quiz, do a Big Butterfly Count and get help with butterfly identification.
  • Free event (admissions to Hardwick hall apply), booking not needed



The Big Wild Sleepout, with RSPB

© Nick Cunard / RSPB Images

  • Friday 3rd August, 5pm
  • RSPB Aylesbeare, Devon
  • This is a unique opportunity for families to pitch their tent and enjoy a night under the stars where camping is not normally allowed.
  • Adult RSPB member £25, non-member £28, child member £15, child non-member £18. Booking essential via the website


Bats, moths and nightjars, with the RSPB

© Andy Hay / RSPB Images

  • Friday 3 August, 8.30pm
  • RSPB Aylesbeare
  • The final night of Heath Week – venture out at dusk to discover the reserve’s night-time creatures. Bring a torch.
  • RSPB adult member £4, non-member £5, child £1. Booking essential online.



The butterflies of Lulworth, with Butterfly Conservation

© Butterfly Conservation

  • Wednesday 15 August, 11am
  • Bindon Hill, Lulworth, Purbeck
  • This is the fourth of five walks that are being hosted by The Heritage Centre at Lulworth Cove. These will be led by either a Ranger or a representative of BC. On this walk, we will be looking out for  second-brood Adonis Blue and Wall.
  • Free for Butterfly Conservation members. Booking advisable: call 01929 400155.



Brilliant butterflies and buzzing bees, with Butterfly Conservation

© Peter Eeles / Butterfly Conservation

  • Wednesday 8 August. 10.30am
  • Painswick Rococo Gardens, Painswick
  • Join us to discover the wonderful world of butterflies and bees at the Rococo Garden. We’ll give you identification tips and tell you how you can attract bees and butterflies to your own garden. We’ll also have spotting sheets and arts and crafts for the kids!
  • Free event (garden entry fees apply), booking not required.


Prinknash butterfly nectar garden open day, with Butterfly Conservation

© Iain H Leach / Butterfly Conservation

  • Sunday 19th August, 11.45am
  • Prinknash Abbey Park, Cranham, Gloucester
  • The Butterfly Nectar Garden at Prinknash is part of the walled garden owned by the monks at Prinknash Abbey. Members of the branch will be on hand to answer questions about butterflies and plants and Butterfly Conservation in general.
  • Free event, booking is not required



Dragonfly survey, with British Dragonfly Society

© David Kitching

  • Saturday 4 August, 10.30am
  • Cove Brook, Farnborough, Hampshire
  • This relatively wild area is attached to Southwood Golf Course in Farnborough, and is due to become part of a new Sustainable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) in the next year or so. This event will be an opportunity to assess which species are currently present, and also what improvements might be useful for the Council to make. This meeting is the late season follow-up visit from 2nd June.
  • Free event


Lake District

Introduction to Lichens, with Plantlife

  • Thursday 2nd August, 2pm
  • RSPB Haweswater, Penrith (Lake District)
  • This event is being delivered by April Windle (LOST Project Office), providing a basic introduction to lichens and highlighting the rich diversity that can be found in the special oakwoods of Haweswater.
  • Free events, booking essential via the website form.


Introduction to Lichens, with Plantlife

  • 16th August, 10am
  • Ashness Woods, Borrowdale, Lake District
  • Come and join Plantlife for a free lichen walk around one of the ancient woodlands of Lake District. This event is being delivered by April Windle (LOST Project Officer), providing a basic introduction to lichens and highlighting the rich diversity that can be found in the special oakwoods of Borrowdale.
  • Sign up via their website, booking is essential



The hairstreaks of Gait Barrows, with Butterfly Conservation

© Iain H Leach / Butterfly Conservation

  • Saturday 11 August, 9.15am
  • Gait Barrows National Nature Reserve
  • Search for brown and purple hairstreak (hopefully adults and eggs) and other late summer species. 
  • Booking is required - email tomdunbar@sky.com



Mini-raft building

© Andy Hay / RSPB Images

  • Tuesdays 24 July to 28 August
  • RSPB Frampton Marsh, Lincolnshire
  • Sink or swim? You can put your boat-building skills to the test by making miniature rafts from natural materials. Once they have been made you can see how good you were, as we test them in our water tank. Relax, you won't get wet yourself.
  • £2.50 per child, RSPB members 20% off. Booking essential: call 01205 724678 or email lincolnshirewashreserves@rspb.org.uk



Sensational butterflies, Natural History Museum

© The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

  • Until 16 September
  • Natural History Museum, London
  • See hundreds of live butterflies and moths up-close in our tropical butterfly house.This technicolour exhibition features a huge variety of these beautiful insects, ethically sourced from Africa, Asia and the Americas.
  • Free for members, individual £5.85, family £19.80. Booking isn't essential but tickets can be booked online.


Expeditions and endeavours, Natural History Museum

© The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

  • Until October 2018, 10.00am
  • Blue zone, Natural History Museum, London
  • The observations of flora and fauna made by artists on voyages of natural history have contributed greatly to our understanding of nature. The exhibition content will rotate every four months, giving you a rare opportunity to see remarkable never-before-displayed original illustrations and photographs.
  • Free event. Booking not required.


Life in the dark, Natural History Museum

© The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

  • Until 6 January 2019, 10.00am
  • Waterhouse Gallery, Natural History Museum, London
  • Explore the extraordinary diversity of animals that survive and thrive in a world without light. From the dead of night, to the darkest caves and into the deepest oceans, there is undiscovered life in the dark. From fish to foxes, bats to boas, visitors will get up close to a huge variety of creatures specially selected from the Museum’s world-leading Collection.
  • Free for under 16s, adult £11.50-£12.50, concessions £7.50-£8.50. Booking isn't essential but tickets can be booked online.


Yamal: The stream of life, Horniman Museum and Gardens

© Horniman Museum and Gardens

  • Until 6 January 2019
  • Horniman Museum and Gardens, London
  • Yamal: The Stream of Life is a display of over 3,000 objects from around the world that celebrates creativity and explores what it means to be human. Images by Bryan Alexander are also on display as he documents his daily life for 25 years spent in the Nenets in the Yamal region of Northwest Siberia.
  • Free event. Booking not required.


Yoga, Natural History Museum

© The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

  • 19 August, 9 September, 7 October, 18 November, 9 December, 8.15am
  • Natural History Museum, London
  • Rise and shine at the Natural History Museum with a unique yoga class. Before the Museum opens its doors for the day, join us under Hintze Hall's magnificent blue whale skeleton for an experience weaving breath-work with movement and sound.
  • Members £31.50, non members £35. Booking essential online.


Silent disco, Natural History Museum

© The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

  • 31st August, 10.15pm
  • Natural History Museum, London
  • Make waves under Hope the blue whale as you don a headset and dance the night away at this unique silent disco. Three DJs battle it out on separate wireless channels playing the best in pop, rock and party classics. A full bar will serve drinks into the night before the nearby Night Tube takes you home.
  • Members £20, non members £22. Booking essential online.


Lates, Natural History Museum

© The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

  • 31 August, 21 September, 26 October, 6pm
  • Natural History Museum, London
  • Meet our scientists and discover more about the natural world at this free event. Attend talks in the Attenborough Studio or hang out with Hope the blue whale. Walk with dinosaurs through Earth Hall, wander through the Life in the Dark, or simply relax before a silent disco.
  • Free entry



Damselflies and dragonflies workshop, with the British Dragonfly Society

© Dun.can, flikr

  • Saturday 11 August, 10.30am
  • NWT Cley Marshes, Norfolk
  • Learn about Nofolk's dragonflies and damselflies at the Wildlife Trusts' Cley Marshes Nature Reserve. The key points to aid identification, where to find them and about their life cycles. Indoor session in the morning, followed by a field visit to a local site after lunch.
  • £22 for NWT members, £26 for non-members. Booking is essential: call 01263 740008.



Countryfile Live

  • 2-5 August
  • Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
  • Summer's best day out! This year’s event is bigger and better, and celebrates BBC Countryfile’s 30 year anniversary. Click here to find out more (including how to get a discount on tickets). 




  • Friday 17 - Sunday 19 August
  • Rutland Water
  • The British Birdwatching Fair (known as Birdfair) is held annually at Rutland Water on the third weekend of August. Each year Birdfair raises money for a different Birdlife campaign, the 2018 project to create a haven for Argentina’s flamingos. Find out more in the BBC Wildlife August 2018 issue (on sale from 1 August). 



Minerva's Owls of Bath Sculpture Trail

  • Monday 25 June - Monday 10 September
  • Bath, Somerset
  • From the end of June, 100 individually decorated large and smaller owl sculptures are to land in and around the streets of Bath for a colourful 3-month public art event to celebrate Bath’s Roman heritage and raise funds for local charities. The project takes its inspiration from the Roman Goddess Minerva, to whom the Roman Baths Temple was dedicated in the 1st century AD, and whose animal symbol was the owl of wisdom. 


Discover Exmoor's Dragonflies, with the British Dragonfly Society

© Dave Smallshire 

  • Wednesday 8 August, 10am - 4pm
  • Pinkery Centre for Outdoor Learning, Simonsbath, Somerset
  • Join a local expert from the British Dragonfly Society to learn the principles of dragonfly identification and field survey techniques. The day will consist of an indoor session in the morning, followed by outdoor fieldork in the afternoon.
  • £5 per person, register here



The Student Wildlife Photography Competition Exhibition

© Matt Wall

  • Wednesday 1 - Friday 31 August
  • RSPB Minsmere, Suffolk
  • The nine winning images from A Focus On Nature's first Student Wildlife Photography Competition will be on display at the reserve's visitor centre during August. 


Moth trap opening and butterfly survey, with Butterfly Conservation

© Butterfly Conservation

  • Wednesday 1 August, 10am
  • Forest lodge car park between West Stow country park and West Stow Hall, Suffolk
  • Join Sharon Hearle to see moths caught the night before in 5 traps set in the forest followed by an optional 3 mile walk to record butterflies and moths. Grayling might be recorded.
  • Free event, email Sharon Hearle: shearle@butterfly-conservation.org or call 07920131526 to register attendance.


Butterfly walk, with Butterfly Conservation

© Peter Eeles / Butterfly Conservation

  • Saturday 18 August, 10am
  • Sutton Heath, Woodbridge
  • Embark on a butterfly walk to look for Grayling, Small Copper and summer dragonflies.
  • For booking, call Kevin Ling on 07443 623987.



Kingsbury Water Park Survey, with the British Dragonfly Society

© David Kitching

  • Sunday 12 August, 10.30am
  • Kingsbury water park, Warwickshire
  • To survey this extensive area of mature flooded sand and gravel pits that constitute the water park. Eighteen species have been recorded in the park. On occasion very large concentrations of Migrant Hawker have been seen at this time of year.
  • Free event.



Dragonfly walk, with British Dragonfly Society and Freshwater Habitats Trust

© David Kitching

  • Sunday 5 August, 10am
  • Skipwith Common National Nature Reserve, Selby
  • A joint meeting with Freshwater Habitats Trust. A Flagship Ponds Site, the walk will visit various ponds across the reserve.




A wild night out at Cove Bay, with Butterfly Conservation

© Butterfly Conservation

  • Saturday 4 August, 8pm
  • Coast Road, Cove, Aberdeen
  • Enter the mysterious world of night creatures! This will include setting up sugar and light traps to attract moths – which we will release unharmed after identification - and using detectors to pick up ultrasound of hunting bats.
  • Free event, donations welcome. Booking is essential: call 01224 326429 or email countrysideranger@aberdeencity.gov.uk



Glenborrodale reserve summer walks

© Ben Andrew / RSPB Images

  • Wednesdays between 6 June - 26 September, 2pm – 4.30pm
  • RSPB Glenborrodale
  • Discover the wildlife gems of Glenborrodale reserve on this guided walk led by a local naturalist. Easy walking, though the path is uphill in sections and uneven. Stout footwear recommended. Children must be accompanied by an adult. No booking required.
  • RSPB members £4, Non members £8, Under 16s Free


Dunnet Head seabird walks, with RSPB

© Andy Hay / RSPB Images

  • Thursday 5 April to Thursday 30 August, 2pm
  • RSPB Dunnet Head
  • A guided walk looking at the puffins and other birds nesting in the seabird cities at the most northerly point on the British mainland. Find out more about their habitat and learn about their lives. 
  • RSPB members and under 16s free; Non RSPB members £5 (refundable if you join the RSPB on the day), booking not required


Outer Hebrides

North Harris Eagle Walk

© Chris Gomersall / RSPB Images

  • Wednesdays between 6 June - 29 August, 10am
  • North Harris, Outer Hebrides
  • A guided walk in search of golden eagles and sea eagles in the North Harris hills, led in partnership by the RSPB and the North Harris Trust. These hills hold one of the highest densities of golden eagles in Europe! Please come prepared with waterproofs and sturdy footwear.
  • £5 per adult, children and RSPB members free. Booking essential: call 01859 550280 or email robin.reid@rspb.org.uk



Field meeting, with BSBI, Plantlife and PSNS

© Plantlife

  • Saturday 4 August, 10.30am
  • Ballinluig, Perthshire
  • The emphasis will be on learning how to pursue identifications in the field, by means of plant families. The area chosen is rich in examples of common species from many families, with one or two rarities thrown in for interest.
  • Booking is essential: email faithanstey@gmail.com



Lochwinnoch bat night, with the RSPB

© Andy Hay / RSPB Images

  • Friday 24 August, 7.30pm
  • RSPB Lochwinnoch
  • Come and learn about bats, listen to our presentation on these amazing creatures, this will be followed by a walk out onto the reserve, with bat experts and bat detectors to listen to the bats chattering with each other.
  • Adults: £6; Children: £4.80 (RSPB members: £4.80/£3.80). Booking essential: 01505 842663.



Jupiter's great wildflower hunt, with Plantlife

© Bill Baillie

  • 8 August, 2pm
  • Jupiter urban wildlife centre, Grangemouth
  • Have you ever smelled meadowsweet? Does white dead-nettle sting? Can you eat tufted vetch? Join us for a wildflower discovery! Plantlife will be joining us at Jupiter for a walk around the reserve looking at all the wildflowers. This event is for ages 5-12.
  • Free event, booking is essential via their webpage.




Love lego, love nature, with RSPB

© Eleanor Bentall / RSPB Images

  • Tuesday 21 August, 1pm
  • RSPB Conwy
  • Does your child like Lego? Is your child a budding animator? This Lego workshop will consist of an exploration of one of the reserve’s habitats, recreating wildlife, and making an animated video using iPads. Organised in partnership with G2G Communities Lego Education.
  • For children aged 6-14: £12 Wildlife Explorer, £15 non-members. Booking essential: call 01492 581025



Bearded tit and breakfast walk, with the RSPB

© Andy Hay / RSPB Images

  • Wednesday 22 August, 7.30am
  • Newport Wetlands
  • Take part in the challenge to find our most elusive birds hiding in the reedbeds – the bearded tits.  Setting off early will give us more chance of hearing them ping, and if we’re really lucky we will see family groups foraging.
  • RSPB member £6.40, non member £8 – breakfast roll and hot drink included. Booking essential: Call 01633 636363


Northern Ireland

Lough Beg Orchid Safari, with the RSPB

© Morgan Vaughan / RSPB Images

  • Saturday 4 August, 11am
  • Lough Beg - meet at O'Neill Arms Country House Hotel, Toome
  • Join RSPB Northern Ireland to explore the rich wetland near Toomebridge to look for stunning Irish lady's-tresses orchids and other rare plants in full bloom, such as chaffweed - one of Europe's smallest flowering plants.
  • RSPB members £16, non members £20. To book, phone 028 9064 5630 or email rspbnievents@rspb.org.uk


How to submit an event

If you have a wildlife or nature-themed event that could be included on this page, please e-mail Megan Shersby with the following: 

  • Name of event
  • Date and time
  • Location (including county) 
  • Information about the event (no more than 50 words) 
  • Pricing and booking details
  • Publicity image (with credit)

Ideally, events should be received at least two weeks before the calendar month begins.


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