Dates & Prices


Date: Friday 16th August 2024 Confirmed departure

Price: £75 Places available

Price Includes: Services of the guide for the day 09:00 – 17:00, transport by minibus or similar

Not included: Lunch, drinks & snacks

Meeting place: Shoreham-by-Sea Train station

Leader: Kat Dahl & Terry Goble

Group Size: Minimum of 3 and a maximum of 12 guests plus 1-2 leaders

Conservation donation: Butterfly Conservation

Holiday Highlights

  • Enjoy a summer day out in Sussex for butterflies & other wildlife
  • Led by local naturalist Kat Dahl (plus Terry Goble for a larger group)
  • We will visit key locations to look for our main targets of Brown Hairstreak
  • Other butterfly highlights we may see include Silver-spotted Skipper, Clouded Yellow, Adonis Blue, Chalkhill Blue and Common Blue, Long-tailed Blue & we’ll be checking whites for Southern Small White too!
  • Relaxed pace to full appreciate the wildlife & for photography
  • In support of Butterfly Conservation

We invite you to join us for a summer day out in Sussex, looking for Brown Hairstreak, Silver-spotted Skipper, Adonis Blue, plus other butterflies!

Your Guides

Kat Dahl is a passionate naturalist born and bred, with a particular interest in insects, especially moths and butterflies. She is a wildlife guide for the Knepp Wildland project in Sussex, specialising in tours for Purple Emperor and other butterflies, and she is also a Learning Officer with the Berks Bucks Oxon Wildlife Trust, teaching people of all ages about wildlife. She has been a member of the Upper Thames Butterfly Conservation committee and is a member of their Conservation and Recording Team, and is an iRecord verifier for Upper Thames butterflies. She is also a member of Berkshire and Sussex Moth Groups, and leads the moth surveying for the Steyning Downland Scheme, a landscape conservation project in Sussex.

Kat has worked on projects to protect turtles in Cyprus and rehabilitate Snow Leopards in Kyrgyzstan, but is happiest moth-trapping, butterfly-watching and caterpillar-hunting, and sharing the wonders of nature with others.

Terry Goble has undertaken voluntary work for the RSPB, Bat conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation and fund raising for many wildlife charities. Later he studied for a degree in Environment and Conservation. During his degree years he focused on his passion for butterflies and studied the fluctuating populations of butterflies on the South Downs. He enjoyed tracking the spread of species such as Silver-spotted Skipper, but was alarmed at the decline of some much-loved species. He continues voluntary work to help restore habitat and conserve these precious but diminishing populations. After university Terry started to look to change his career and stumbled upon leading tours for wildlife holiday companies, which seemed to fit his profile of interests for travel, animals and of course people. Over the ensuing years he has now led many butterfly tours to Europe including Hungary, Croatia, Romania and Greece and has also enjoyed learning to identify butterflies in some more exotic locations. He has had the opportunity to unravel some of the myriad species of butterflies in the Americas, ‘glasswings’ being a particular favourite. He also very much enjoys sharing knowledge with others and is equally happy to learn from people as well.

Join us for a summer day out in Sussex, looking for Brown Hairstreak, plus more summer butterflies.

The focus of the day is to spend time searching for the late summer species that can be found on the downs and woody scrubs in Sussex. We will be targeting the Brown Hairstreak, Silver-spotted Skipper and the stunning Adonis Blue.  There will of course be many other butterflies on the wing at this time as Chalkhill Blue, Clouded Yellow, Painted Lady and Wall Brown are some of the many we can expect. Until last season Long-tailed Blues were also possible; it remains to be seen if they recover in 2022.

The day will begin at our meeting point, at Shoreham Train station at 9am.

Our first port of call is a little-known valley tucked away behind a small Sussex hamlet, ten minutes from Shoreham. Here it’s possible to see both Adonis and Chalkhill Blue in their hundreds and in addition to this visual feast there are often Clouded Yellows and possible Silver Spotted Skippers. Birds include migrants, ravens and birds of prey including Red Kite, Peregrine and Buzzard. There is also plenty of floral interest with the rare Red Star-thistle and Lady’s Autumn Tresses both present.

Our next visit is at a reliable site for the Brown Hairstreak, another ten-minute drive to Steyning. The Brown Hairstreak is a tricky butterfly to see well as it spends much of its time zig zagging around the tops of blackthorn shrubs. However, with patience the females come down to the young blackthorn to lay eggs and then superb views can be had.  With luck the males may also follow. There may be other species such as Small Copper, Wall Brown and migrating birds (Spotted Flycatcher, Wheatears and Winchats). There is a short descent to the valley bottom at Steyning, which is a 5-minute walk down a reasonable path.

At this point we will take a short break to purchase snacks for a picnic lunch and to use the facilities at a local shopping center. We will usually visit (Weather dependent) an historic fort, which is a site for Wall Lizards and migrating birds as well as the odd butterfly to enjoy our lunch.

The afternoon will be determined partly by our sightings in the morning. We may visit alternative sites to catch up with any missed butterflies. However, if they have bred this year then one option will be to look for Long-tailed Blues on the outskirts of Brighton. Another butterfly we will be seeking is the Silver-spotted Skipper. This attractive little butterfly has expanded rapidly in the last few years and should be found among the short turfs on the downs at a few near-by sites.

Depending on the sightings the tour will finish around 5pm and the clients will be returned to Shoreham Station.

Generally speaking, the paths are good with gentle slopes, but good strong walking boots are recommended as the paths can be uneven and undermined by rabbit burrows. There is one steeper descent, which should be no problem for most, but we can find an alternative if this proves to be tricky.


To follow

New trip – testimonials will appear later