Destination UK

Taking part in the Knoll Gardens Wildlife Survey

Posted on
August 11, 2019

Last week we took part in the annual “Every Creature Counts Wildlife Survey” at Knoll Gardens with Dorset Wildlife Trust.

The survey provides an important year-on-year record, and offers the opportunity for everyone with an interest in wildlife, regardless of age to get involved and I was relieved to see lots of other children taking part when we arrived.

We arrived to a hive of excitement as a juvenile grass snake had been found sunning itself near a seating area.

We then headed to the survey area to pick up our clipboard and bug pot and headed off to see what we could find.

Our first spot was a stunning chafer beetle on the reeds in the pond and despite my best efforts to catch it for Sebby, it managed to evade my attempts, so he settled for a spider instead.

Finding insects is actually harder than you would think, although we did see lots of honey bees and wasps.

During one of our trips back to the main tent where they were collating the information, we were introduced to one of their bee experts, who took Sebby and I off to learn about the beautiful creatures.

We were shown a Bee House which contained lots of bamboo tubes that provide a place for bees to reproduce and gather pollen and nectar for their young. After laying eggs, the adults die, leaving a new generation to take over. There was also an area of plain soil for mining bees who lay their eggs in dirt.

We had a “bee postcard” which identified different types of bees, although as amateurs we struggled to tell the difference, but Sebby did manage to catch both a male and a female bumble bee which were recorded and then set free.

Taking part in a wildlife survey is a great way of learning all about insects and we found several different species of beetle, spiders and butterfly and even found some wild strawberries growing which were yummy!

In main tent was also a net basket containing moths and cocoons and Sebby got the chance to hold a couple of moths, including this beautiful Hawk Moth……

……and a Black Arches moth.

Knoll Gardens has events running throughout the year and we are looking forward to the Family Garden Wildlife Safari on 17th August which will get the kids out and interacting with the garden’s many wildlife inhabitants as well as its trees and flowers.  Depending on the weather, activities could include pond dipping, moth trapping and bug hunting.

Sebastian Knoll Gardens

Knoll Gardens is just outside Wimborne and clearly signposted from all major routes. Check out their events page for more information about upcoming workshops, which include macro photography and even Yoga!

  1. Reply

    Rebecca Smith

    August 12, 2019

    Jack loves all things insects so would love to take part in a survey like this. Looks like a lot of fun.

  2. Reply


    August 12, 2019

    What a neat place to go! My nephew is fascinated with bugs and would love to go here for a day.

  3. Reply

    Corina Blum

    August 12, 2019

    It sounds like a lot of fun for the kids as well as really educational. I think my two would love it.

  4. Reply

    Sarah | Boo Roo and Tigger Too

    August 12, 2019

    This is such a wonderful thing for the children to get involved in, helps them notice the world around them

  5. Reply


    August 13, 2019

    What a wonderful place to visit! A proper adventure for the kids (and I’d love to visit too!). This is just the sort of thing I’d love!

  6. Reply

    Becca Talbot

    August 13, 2019

    Such a lovely initiative 🙂 I would have loved to be a part of this when I was younger! I remember doing pond dipping and mini beast hunts when I was in the Beavers LOL! X

  7. Reply


    August 13, 2019

    My children love looking for bugs, this sounds like a lovely event.

  8. Reply

    Mellissa Williams

    August 13, 2019

    What a fab annual thing to be a part of – perfect for the kids!

  9. Reply

    Stephanie Merry

    August 14, 2019

    Oh my niece and nephew are quite obsessed with bugs and insects at the moment so they would love this x

  10. Reply


    August 14, 2019

    When my son was small he accidentally stood on a slug and it went squish under his foot, ever since he has been super scared of critters. Something like this would hopefully teach him that insects are cool.

  11. Reply

    Alex Gladwin

    August 15, 2019

    This looks so interesting, my boys would love this, they love anything outdoors and in nature! x

  12. Reply


    August 16, 2019

    This is so cool! I wish we’d had something similar when I was a kid. I’d love to take my little cousins there!

  13. Reply

    Charli Bruce

    August 18, 2019

    This is so cool, my kids would absolutely love to do this even though they are all completely different ages. We are always looking for great days out so I shall definitely check out their events page, thanks!

  14. Reply


    August 18, 2019

    I wish I wasn’t so scared of insects and bugs! Its daft really considering how small they are! xxx

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Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog