Nature Course: Dragonflies & Damselflies - A Beginners Guide

Places are available on the Essex Wildlife Trust adult course on Dragonflies and Damselflies - Aimed at all those of who wish to know more about these fascinating species that are proving increasingly popular.

You will be able to understand the life of dragonflies and their importance as an indicator of a healthy environment.

The morning will be looking at the lifecycle, threats and species that occur in Essex. The afternoon will concentrate on practical identification so that the course attendees will feel confident in identifying dragonfly and damselfly species in the field.

Date: Wednesday 10 July 2019

Time: 10.00am-4.00pm

Venue: Abbotts Hall Farm


Suggested donation: £30

Booking is essential, for more information on the course and booking details visit EWT's website here.

Butterfly Identification and Recording Course 26th June 2019

Spaces are available on the Essex Wildlife Trust adult course on Butterfly Identification and Recording this June. This course is aimed at people who are interested in learning how to take part in butterfly monitoring in Essex as part of the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme,  but is also suitable for anyone who has an interest in butterflies and wants to find out more.

The course covers butterfly ecology, identification of common Essex species and butterfly surveying using the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme methodology. The course will also include an opportunity to search for and identify butterflies around Abbotts Hall Farm, weather permitting.

Date: Wednesday 26th June 2019

Time: 10am - 4pm

Venue: Abbotts Hall Farm, Great Wigborough.

Suggested donation: £30 per person.

For more information or to book click here.

Orchards East Events in Essex

Orchards East are running a pruning workshop and volunteer event in Essex this spring, details below:


Pruning workshop: Saturday 30 March, Ricebridge Orchard, Thorpe-le-Soken (Essex) 1000-1530.

We have arranged one final pruning course for this winter! Anna Baldwin will be leading a workshop at Ricebridge Orchard, Thorpe-le-Soken, concentrating upon the care and management of mature apple and pear trees which are more than 40 years old. No previous pruning experience is needed. Places are limited and will go quickly! 


Volunteer Event: Tuesday 2 April, St Mark's College, Audley End (nr Saffron Walden) at 6pm.

For those for whom Norwich is rather hard to reach, join us at St Mark's College and enjoy another opportunity to hear from Tom Williamson about Orchard East's discoveries.


To book a place on either of these courses please contact Howard Jones on 07854 701363, or via email:

Shoresearch survey dates for 2019 announced!

Shoresearch Survey. Photo: Essex Willdlife Trust
Shoresearch Survey. Photo: Essex Willdlife Trust

Join our Shoresearch project and help survey our marine wildlife! Shoresearch is a volunteer scheme to identify and record animals, plants and habitats along our shoreline. The project aims to build a baseline of data on the marine wildlife that occurs in Essex.

Essex Wildlife Trust’s Living Seas Team organises surveys at several locations along the Essex coast. We usually survey for 2 – 3 hours.

Who can take part?
We welcome volunteers of all ability and experience to join Shoresearch! If you are keen to learn and happy to give up a few hours of your time, you are welcome. Prior knowledge of marine life is not necessary, but the events are still good for more experienced surveyors. The shore can sometimes be slippery and hard to access, so you do need to be fit and mobile to take part.

Shoresearch events are suitable for 16+ and we ask you to please not bring dogs. Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

What do I need to bring to a survey?
• Appropriate clothing for weather conditions on the day (warm clothing and waterproof trousers are often useful; sun protection).
• Sturdy footwear - wellies or other waterproof footwear, preferably with good ankle support.
• Drinking water.

How to get involved?
Please register for each survey by emailing

Dates for 2019 are as follows:


  • Wednesday 13th March - Walton on the Naze. Meet at 10:00am.
  • Wednesday 24th April - Chalkwell Beach, Southend. Meet at 10:30am.
  • Monday 13th May - Cudmore Grove, Mersea. Meet at 13:00.
  • Tuesday 25th June - St Lawrence. Meet at 11:00am.
  • Thursday 25th July - Wrabness. Meet at 10:30am.
  • Friday 9th August - Colne Point. Meet at 13:00.
  • Saturday 24th August - Walton on the Naze. Time TBC.
  • Thursday 3rd October - Chalkwell Beach, Southend. Meet at 10:30am.
  • Tuesday 5th November - Colne Point. Meet at 10:30am.


For more information about Shoresearch please see our survey pages.

Orchard Management workshops in Essex this winter - book now!

Orchards East Logo
Orchard at Abbotts Hall farm. Photo: EWT

Orchards East are running a number of orchard management workshops in the East of England this winter, including three in Essex. Details are below, for more information or to book please email Howard Jones,


Essex workshop dates:

Sunday 20 January – Community Orchard Pruning, South Woodham Ferrers, nr Chelmsford, Essex. 10:00-15:00. Tutor Dr Anna Baldwin.

This one-day workshop is aimed particularly at people who care for community orchards, especially those planted within the last 20 years or so. The emphasis will be on the care and pruning of apple trees, skills which are also applicable to pear trees. No previous experience of fruit tree pruning is required. The workshop will take place outdoors, tools and PPE are provided. Free to attend. 

Saturday 16 February – Community Orchard Pruning, St Laurence Orchard, nr Southend-on-Sea, Essex. 10:00-15:30. Tutor Dr Anna Baldwin.

A one-day workshop aimed at those who care for community orchards, which are newly or recently planted, and those which contain more mature trees. The day will include formative pruning and care of young trees and restorative pruning of veteran trees. While pruning will mainly take place on apple trees, the skills learned can also be applied to pear trees. No previous pruning experience is required. The workshop will take place outdoors, tools and PPE are provided. Free to attend.

Sunday 3 March – Maintenance Pruning of Mature Fruit Trees, Cressing Temple Barns, nr Braintree, Essex. 10:00-15:30. Tutor Dr Anna Baldwin.

One-day workshop aimed at those with an interest in pruning mature fruit trees to enhance fruit production. The emphasis of the day will be upon pruning apple trees of around 25 years of age. No previous pruning experience is required. The workshop will take place outdoors, tools and PPE are provided. Free to attend.