outdoor Events

1. Saturday 16th October – Hazeland Past And Present

About This Event

Morning: Tours of Hazeland

Whether this will be your first tour of the site or whether you would like another chance to see Hazeland, we invite you to a tour of Hazeland’s meadows, ancient woodland and hillside pastures now planted with trees, to learn more about the progress we have made this year.

Afternoon: 2pm History Walk of Hazeland

Join us to hear historian Nick Baxter talk about the ancient Forest of Pewsham, which once stretched south from Hazeland’s border, events from local history and the colourful characters that played their part in influencing it. This will be a chance to walk the beautiful site, including riverside meadow, ancient woodland, an abandoned canal, and hillside views, gaining a new historical perspective from Nick’s tour as you go.

Please be aware when visiting Hazeland that due to sustaining the biodiversity at the site there are no hard-standing paths and we cannot allow dogs onto the site.

We would like to thank the National Lottery Heritage Fund and all our generous funders for their support in making this project possible.

2. Saturday 24TH JUly – Big Butterfly Count at Hazeland

about this event

The meadows at Hazeland are teeming with butterflies in July. Inspired by Butterfly Conservation’s ‘Big Butterfly Count’ we are inviting you to come and help us find out about the fantastic diversity of butterfly life at Hazeland in our citizen science survey on Saturday 24th July.

Butterfly Conservation says:

“We count butterflies because not only are they beautiful creatures to be around but they are also extremely important. They are vital parts of the ecosystem as both pollinators and components of the food chain. However, they are under threat. Butterflies are key biodiversity indicators for scientists as they react very quickly to changes in their environment. Therefore, if their numbers are falling, then nature is in trouble. So tracking numbers of butterflies is crucial in the fight to conserve our natural world. Counting butterflies can be described as taking the pulse of nature and we depend on you, our citizen scientists, to help us assess how much help nature needs. “

Morning and afternoon sessions are available for up to 30 people to walk a carefully planned route around the site. We will provide you with a map and identification sheets and there will be volunteers around the site to help you with identifying what you see. No prior knowledge of butterflies is need to enjoy this event.

The morning sessions run 10-12.30 and the afternoon sessions run 1.30 to 4. When you have signed up for one of the sessions you are welcome to join us at a time that suits you within the session, bearing in mind that the walk takes about an hour to an hour and a half.

Full details and directions will be sent out once you have registered. We’re looking forward to having you at Hazeland to find out more about the butterfly life and enjoy this special place.

Please be aware that due to preserving the biodiversity at Hazeland there are no hardstanding paths and we are not able to allow dogs on site.

This event is free to attend and we are very grateful to the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Calne Town Council for supporting community engagement at Hazeland.

Photo of a Peacock butterfly taken in the Riverside meadow at Hazeland by Kevan Wind, July 2020.

3. Free family Forest School sessions at Hazeland

about this event

Come and explore the wonderful Hazeland project with Family Forest School sessions this summer. The beautiful 34 acre site includes riverside meadow, ancient woodland and hillside meadows with views across the surrounding area. Experienced Forest School Leaders from Wiltshire Wildlife Trust will be offering a range of outdoor games, crafts and nature based activities over five Tuesdays in the summer holidays from 10am -2pm. Join them to explore this secret world of woods, meadows and wildlife at Hazeland.

Online Events

1. Wednesday 20th October – The History of Pewsham Forest

Hear historian Nick Baxter’s illustrated talk on the history of the ancient Forest of Pewsham, a lost wooded landscape which once ran up to Hazeland’s boundary.

We are delighted to have Nick speak to us on the history of Pewsham Forest which once formed, with Melksham or Blakemore Forest, a vast forest comprising a triangle of territory from Calne to Chippenham to Melksham. He will be telling us about the forces that shaped it, how it ended with deforestation in the 17th century, and what has happened to it since. As well as the fascinating characters who played a part in the forest’s history: the Kings, politicians, monks and outlaws who affected it.

Nick Baxter is a history enthusiast, passionate about the real history of people and places in Wiltshire. For more information, visit

2. TUESDAY 20TH JUly 19:00 – Butterflies of Morgan’s Hill

About this event

Join Nick Self from Wiltshire Wildlife Trust to hear more about the teeming butterfly life at this very special Wiltshire nature reserve.

To quote Butterfly Conservation “butterflies are not only very beautiful creatures to be around but they are also extremely important. They are vital parts of the ecosystem as both pollinators and components of the food chain. However they are under threat.” Tonight’s talk will look at a wonderful nature reserve were work is being done to preserve these fascinating creatures.

Morgan’s Hill is a Wiltshire Wildlife Trust nature reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest known for its wildflowers and butterflies. This superb chalk grassland SSSI sits at the head of the Marden Valley and is awash with butterflies during the spring and summer months. One of the rare, but characterful species of butterfly that resides there is the Duke of Burgundy. Others to be seen include the Adonis, Chalkhill, Common and Small blues as well as the Marsh Fritillary – one of the UK’s most endangered species of butterfly. The reserve is a magnet for moths such as the Mother Shipton, named after a Yorkshire witch because its wing pattern is thought to resemble an unpleasant face.

Nick Self is a Wild Landscapes project officer with Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and warden at Morgan’s Hill nature reserve and will give us a fascinating virtual guide through the butterfly life at this beautiful site.

The talks will be hosted by Avon Needs Trees with Chair Nikki Jones. There will be an opportunity for a Q&A session with the speakers.

This is a free, online event organised by Friends of the Marden Valley and Avon Needs Trees. Absolutely all are welcome.

To find out more about Friends of the Marden Valley please visit

For more information on Avon Needs Trees please go to Avon Needs Trees is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

For more information about Morgan’s Hill nature reserve:

Photograph of a Marsh Fritillary copyright Charles J. Sharp, courtesy of Creative Commons at Wikimedia Commons