top of page

Hampshire Butterfly and Moth Field Trips






June 2024


Wednesday 26th June 2024

Broxhead Common (afternoon only) (SU805376)

Meet at 13:30pm Target Species: Silver-Studded Blue

Leader: Ashley Whitlock  

Directions: Follow the main road A 325 north or south until you reach Bordon camp go right follow the Lindford road signposted Lindford /Headley. Broxhead Common can be found the first left as you go along the B3004. See signpost for Broxhead Common Nature Reserve  Park alongside road


Sunday 30th June 2024

Abbotstone Down (SU583364)

Meet at 09:30am Target Species: Marbled White, Dark-Green Fritillary, possible Purple Emperor and other good flora and fauna

Leader Ashley Whitlock  

Directions: On the M3 motorway come off at junction (9) Winchester By-pass take the A33 Basingstoke Road, B3047, follow signs to Itchen Abbas, then onto Itchen Stoke arriving at New Alresford at church head north into Old Alresford (B3046) signposted Abbotstone Down & Oliver’s Battery Settlement Car-Park. An old field trip site good flora and fauna, with woodland and chalkdownland-. Please Bring Lunch


July 2024


Wednesday 3rd July 2024

Abbotts Wood Inclosure

Meet at 09:30 am: Target Species: Purple Emperor, White Admiral,

Silver-Washed Fritillary, Possibly Red Kite, and Buzzard

Leader - Ashley Whitlock  

Directions: From the North along the A325 go through Farnham through Wrecclesham/Bird world fork left at the Public House called the Half-Way House. Meet at the Abbotts Wood Inclosure car-park on the right hand side at 0930 am. From the South follow the A3 until the junction with the A325, follow this through Whitehill and Frith End, then turn right at Goose Green Farm, follow road all the way around, called High Thicket Road, then onto Dockenfield Street. Car-park will be on your left, bring lunch (OS Map Explorer 14. Please Bring Lunch


Friday 5th July 2024

West Walk (SU601125)

Meet at 09:30am Target Species: Purple Emperor, White Admiral, Silver Washed Fritillary & Purple Hairstreak

Leader: Ashley Whitlock  

Directions: Find Wickham Village just north of Fareham and find the turning B2177 next to the church opposite the old railway bridge. Drive for a couple of miles and see the sign for hundred acres and turn left and the road will undulate before you get to the car-park close to the caravan park. There is a fee for the car-park, but there is an exceptional coffee and cake van on site! Please bring lunch



Sunday 7th July 2024

Whiteley Walk & Botley Wood (SU530095)

Meet at 09:30am Target Species: Purple Emperor, Purple Hairstreak,

and White Admiral

  Leader - Ashley Whitlock  

Approach from the West or East on the M27, and at (Junction 9 Solent Business Park) drive towards the Whitley Outlet Village. At the Solent Business Park meet in the car-park (Marks and Spencer’s) opposite (3 hours maximum free-before payment) of the Whitley Outlet Village. A walk around one of the best woods in Hampshire for Silver-Washed and White Admiral butterflies. Please bring lunch



Wednesday 10th July 2024

Carpenters Down Wood/Basing Wood (RG249NA)

Meet at 09:30am Target Species: Purple Emperor Purple Hairstreak &

White Letter Hairstreak

  Leader: Ashley Whitlock  

 Directions: On the M3 Motorway going north or south come off at Junction 6 and at first roundabout A339 north then to the 3rd roundabout Crockford Roundabout/Carpenters Down Road find the A33 Reading Road, first roundabout along the Reading Road take the first left the wood should be on your right hand side. There are parking changes at Basing Wood. Parking is at Popley Community Centre car park.


Sunday 14th July 2024

Swanwick Lakes (SO31 7AY)

Meet at 0930am: Target Species: Purple Emperor, Silver Washed Fritillary and White Admiral

Leader: Ashley Whitlock  

Address: Sopwith Way, Swanwick Lane,, Swanwick SO31 7AY

Swanwick Lakes is a 35-hectare nature reserve in Swanwick in Hampshire. It is managed by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. Most of this site is woodland, and there are also meadows and lakes in former clay pits. The north-east meadow has many orchids and butterflies. Directions: M27 Junction 9 go south over three roundabouts find A3051/Park Gate go back over motorway along Botley Road go left at next turning Swanwick Lane past Elm Tree Public House Swanwick Nature Reserve is at the bottom of Sopwith Way (MARKED)


Wednesday 17th July 2024

Micheldever Wood (SO24 9UB)

OS Grid Ref (SU53013753)

Meet at 09:30 am: Target Species: Purple Emperor, Silver-Washed Fritillary, and White Admiral

   Leader: Ashley Whitlock  

Directions: Postcode SO24 9UB will get you on to Chillandham Lane but please note this postcode is for a private property further along and on the opposite side of the lane to the car park. SU 5301 3753 Micheldever Wood is five miles northeast of Winchester, bordering the M3. . Please Bring Lunch


August 2024


Wednesday 14th August 2024

Shipton Bellinger (SU222465)

Meet at 09:30am: Target Species: Brown Hairstreak, Wall Brown

Leader: Ashley Whitlock  

Directions: Meet at the Village Hall car-park, and then it is straight walk up to the Blackthorn thickets, where hopefully Brown Hairstreaks will be observed. From the A303 (T) the main Amesbury to Andover road, look for the A338 Shipton Bellinger/Tidworth road, this road goes underneath the main road of the A303 (T). The village of Shipton Bellinger is 2-3 miles on the left on the A338. Please bring lunch  



Sunday 18th August 2024

Noar Hill

Meet 10:30am: Target Species: Brown Hairstreak, Purple Hairstreak,

 Brown Argus, Clouded Yellow, good flora and fauna

Leader - Ashley Whitlock 

A look around the Noar Hill site for the elusive Brown Hairstreak, and other interesting invertebrates, especially in the set-aside fields on the North-East side of Noar Hill, in the morning and please bring lunch as in the afternoon we walk over to Selbourne Common, on the way looking at the Blackthorn hedges for any indication that the Brown Hairstreak is not confined to Noar Hill. Park on the small road alongside Charity farm marked on the (OS Map Explorer 133) Please bring lunch



Wednesday 21st August 2024

Beacon Hill (SU605227)

Meet at 10:30 Target Species: Silver-Spotted Skipper, Brown Argus, Clouded Yellow spectacular views

 Leader Ashley Whitlock 

Directions: Located just of the A32 the Wickham road from the south drive through Droxford village, and Corhampton Villages, then turn immediately left into the village of Exton (Easily missed) Past the public house called the Shoe Inn and along the narrow tracks up to Beacon Hill, to where the car-park is. Please bring lunch



Sunday 25th August 2024

Soberton Down/River Meon (SU612165)

 Meet at 10:30am: Target Species: Possible Brown Hairstreak

Leader Ashley Whitlock  

Directions: This site has been a good area now for several years where Brown Hairstreak eggs have been found, so chances of seeing a female laying may well be possible. Found along the Wickham Road (A32) Park in the car-park almost opposite the site, where the Town Hall is situated. We can also walk along the river Meon where there is another site where Brown Hairstreak eggs have been found, also Kingfisher, Dragonflies and other interesting flora and fauna. . Please Bring Lunch



September 2024

* Due other commitments Wednesday 4th September will be moved to later a date in September date to be confirmed.


Sunday 1st September 2024

Old Winchester Hill (SU640208)

Meet at 10:30am: Target Species: Adonis Blue, Silver-Spotted Skipper, & Clouded Yellow

Leader Ashley Whitlock  

Directions: The reserve can be found from the north through West Meon on the A32 well-marked as a NNR Reserve, also from the south throughout the village of Droxford, again along the A32, very steep hillsides in places. Please Bring Lunch



*Wednesday 4th September 2024

Portsdown Hill (PO6 3LS)

Meet at 10:30am: Target Species Brown Hairstreak, Common Blue, Clouded Yellow & Wall Brown

Leader: Ashley Whitlock: Tel 02392 731266 mob: 07752 182340

 Directions: Please find The Churchillian Pub Portsdown Hill Rd, Cosham, Portsmouth PO6 3LS. Directions are very similar to Portsdown Hill but instead of turning into the Fort Widley Car-Park drive further along the James Callahan drive until you see the Churchillan Public House, where there is a separate car-park other than the car-park for the public house.



Date to be announced September/October 2024

Dependant on weather and target species being observed


Portchester Common & Portsdown Hill

Meet at 10:30am: Target Species Long Tailed Blue

Directions: From the (A3) south into Portsmouth look for sign for Queen drive towards Fort Widley. From the M27 find Junction 12 Southampton road (A3) then signposted to Queen Alexandria Hospital along London Road turn left at traffic lights, past hospital Alexandria Hospital. Southwick Hill Road very steep up to B2177 onto James Callahan drive roundabout then head east where the car-park is situated on the left hand side as you steep hill look for James Callahan Roundabout and follow signs for Fort Widley where the car park is on the left hand side.



Message from the field trip co-ordinator

Footnote:  If the weather looks inclement then please phone the leader of the field trip advertised. I will personally change the date of my field trips if the long range weather suggests the weather is going to be wet and windy, on the Hants Butterfly website page a few days before and also on the Hampshire Butterfly Facebook page.


To be re-arranged 

All Field Trips are led by Ashley Whitlock
Tel: 02392 731266  Mobile - 07752 182340

2023 Field Trip Highlights 

DSC_4016 (683x1024).jpg
DSC_3763 (1024x683).jpg
DSC_4023 (683x1024).jpg

The weather played a big part in the field trip programme again in the spring and several trips were cancelled, but several went ahead despite the weather being less than adequate. One of these was the first gathering at Broxhead Common, where we managed to see one Emperor Moth, and the weather was no better at Butser a week later where the cloudy conditions made the counting very easy as there wasn’t anything to count. However in the afternoon the sun did come out and it was a totally different day with lots of Duke of Burgundies, and other chalk downland species to see, and with that two Emperor Moths were also seen!


In the New Forest the Pearl Bordered Fritillary was seen in reasonable numbers, with a visit in the afternoon to Pig Bush Inclosure and hey-presto 20 or more Emperor moths visited us! At Coulters Dean there were excellent counts of Green Hairstreaks, and Small Blue amongst the rare Orchids. Into the early summer the sun was now sizzling, and brought out many summer species early including Grayling, Silver-Studded Blue and the Purple Emperor, which was seen at West Wood and Alice Holt Forest, and a new site for many at Micheldever woods, where Assembly Points became the centre of attention. One of the highlights for me was seeing two aberration Silver-Washed Fritillaries on one field trip, at Alice Holt Forest. The 'Valezina' which was a very fresh specimen, and a very rare 'Ocellata', which got everybody's attention, this is what field trips are all about everybody seeing something new and unusual.

A good turnout at West Harting Down saw several female Purple Emperors which were searching good areas of Sallow to lay their eggs. Unfortunately the weather turned again and the summer became quite damp, but the later target species like Brown Hairstreak still appeared at Shipton Bellinger in good numbers along with Wall Brown, this site is a very popular field trip, and I always look forward to it, as it a site where being flat makes the trip a bit more enjoyable, looking for that elusive Brown Hairstreak. Unfortunately we haven’t seen the Magpie Moth for several years now which is quite worrying.


The weather at the end of August turned back to summer and the beginning of September it was clear blue skies and was very hot. The last of the walks were done with plenty of water to hand and the butterflies were flying in a frenzied manner especially the Silver Spotted Skippers which I love to see. Several females on Old Winchester Hill were observed laying eggs and also mating. The site has now managed to save the Adonis Blue from disappearing from the Meon Valley, and can be found now at several other sites like Butser Hill, Oxenbourne Down, but it seems to be reluctant to breed on Beacon Hill, maybe the grazing regime can reverse this trend.


I would like to thank all who made the effort to come and join me on my walks and look forward to seeing some of you again in 2024.

Ashley Whitlock Hampshire Field Trips Organiser

DSC_6920 (1024x684).jpg
DSC_4602 (1024x684).jpg
DSC_3236 (1024x597).jpg
DSC_3837 (1024x473).jpg
DSC_4081 (720x1024).jpg
DSC_4523 (1024x683).jpg
DSC_4573 (1024x867).jpg
DSC_4499 (1024x488).jpg
DSC_5026 (1024x683).jpg
DSC_4475 (1024x668).jpg
DSC_5016 (726x1024).jpg
DSC_5055 (844x1024).jpg
DSC_4799 (1024x683).jpg
DSC_4764 (683x1024).jpg

Photographs of field trips in 2023 by Donald Simcox

dom simcox 7.jpg
DSC03988 group r.jpg
dom simcox.jpg
dom simcox 12.jpg
dom simcox 9.jpg
Dom simcox 6 (2).jpg
BC walk 2023.jpg
DSC01995 2 pearl bordered.jpg
Dom simcox 3.jpg
Dom simcox (2).jpg
dom simcox 11.jpg
dom simcox 8.jpg
dom simcox 10.jpg
dom simcox 13.jpg
DSC04243 r.jpg
DSC04409 r group.jpg

2022 Field Trip Highlights 

DSC_3327 (1024x703).jpg
DSC_2723 (671x1024).jpg
DSC_3257 (1024x666).jpg
DSC_2894 (684x1024).jpg
Emperor 2a (2).jpeg

Photo: Bryn Jones

DSC_1659 (1024x684).jpg


2022 had a full programme of walks starting in late April in the New Forest with a look at the Emperor Moth where we saw several fresh males on the heathland. Into May and the Duke of Burgundy was seen at two sites visited in one day, Beacon Hill and Stephens Castle Down, we also saw another (14) species of butterfly. One of the best spring field trips was at West Wood looking for the woodland Duke of Burgundy and a count of (25) were seen in the small clearing where they breed on Primrose. Stockbridge Down turned out to be sublime, with another impressive amount of species counted (19). Cool overcast weather greeted us at Martin Down in the last week of May but we managed to see our quarry the Marsh Fritillary and Adonis Blue.


The summer field trip programme started in Bentley Wood, but we were unfortunate not to see our target species, the Small Pearl-Bordered Fritillary and the Argent and Sable Moth, however later in the month the Silver-Studded Blue impressed at Broxhead Common.     The biggest prize in the field trip calendar, the Purple Emperor turned in a good performance at West Wood with up to (8) individuals being seen, along with Silver Washed Fritillaries, White Admirals, and Scarlet Tiger Moths. In the afternoon we were entertained by good counts of Dark Green Fritillaries skimming over the tall grasses at Pitt Down. Now we were into a long hot summer and we all sweltered at Pamber Forest although not seeing our quarry, the Purple Emperor. Although hot at Creech Wood we were luckier and saw the Purple Emperor at one of the Assembly Points.


West Harting Down is a walk not for the faint hearted, but the view and the species count is well worth the effort, we had a good count of Purple Emperor for once, with two on the ground, and other species making it an impressive (20) species in total. Several field trips had to be rearranged as the heatwave broke due to low pressure systems. However at Shipton Bellinger, the Brown Hairstreak and Wall Brown were counted in good numbers and at Broughton Down the Silver-Spotted Skipper was whizzing about keeping everybody happy. Butser Hill NNR turned out to be a triumph as the site was covered in a veil of cloud at 10:30 but as the morning wore on the sun came out as the mist lifted, and the butterflies were flying in droves, including in the list were Silver Spotted Skippers, Clouded Yellows and Adonis Blues.


2022 was a successful year and I would like to thank all of you who came and hope you will join me again in 2023, my 10th anniversary year of arranging field trips.


Ashley Whitlock Hampshire Field Trip Organiser

DSC_2779 (683x1024).jpg
DSC_2416 (1024x728).jpg
DSC_2886 (1024x683).jpg
DSC_2781 (1024x683).jpg
DSC_3416 (1024x684).jpg
DSC_3427 (617x1024).jpg
DSC_3435 (1024x684).jpg
DSC_3413 (1024x504).jpg
DSC_3881 (657x1024).jpg
DSC_3895 (1024x684).jpg
DSC_3349 (826x1024).jpg

2021 Field Trip Highlights 

DSC_1200 (684x1024).jpg
DSC_1192 (1024x678).jpg
DSC_1198 (699x1024).jpg

Abbotts Wood Inclosure Field Trip July 2021

DSC_0118 (1024x683).jpg

Another season of field trips, several of which had to be cancelled due to the inclement weather we have encountered in 2021.  


We started in the New Forest in April looking for the Emperor Moth, this was during the period when only 6 people could meet outside due to Covid. We were successful in attracting one fresh male with my ‘lure’. In early May the Duke of Burgundy's were beginning to emerge in reasonable numbers on the slopes of Butser Hill and later in the month the rearranged Bentley Wood and Martin Down trips turned out to be rescheduled luckily for the better weather.


At Bentley Wood Pearl-Bordered Fritillaries were past their best and we didn’t see the Small Pearl-Bordered Fritillary as to was too early, but the Martin Down trip on the last day of May was a triumph, seeing the Duke of Burgundy at this site for the first time and also plenty of Marsh Fritillaries and Adonis Blues plus other flora and fauna.


In mid-June Dark Green Fritillaries adorned Abbotstone Down which also appears to be one of the best sites for the Green Hairstreak.  However due to the wet weather several summer walks were rearranged but this turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the Purple Emperor was late to emerge in 2021!


In July we had two Purple Emperor field trips to Alice Holt Forest and West Wood in the space of three days and saw an extraordinary (24) Purple Emperors, and also another male of this impressive species was seen at West Harting Down the following week. In addition the beautiful Silver-washed Fritillary Valezina was seen in Crab Wood on the West Wood field trip.


August was no better weather wise but we managed to get in one of the best Field Trips at Shipton Bellinger where all the target species were seen. The Brown Hairstreak was noted about a dozen times despite the weather being cloudy with short periods of sunshine, and the elusive Wall Brown was encountered at least three times, along with good counts of Magpie Moths.


The New Forest at Beaulieu Heath produced the Grayling and in September the Adonis Blue and the lovely Silver-Spotted Skipper were seen in reasonable numbers at old Winchester Hill and Beacon Hill.


I would like to thank all those who joined me in 2021 and hope to see you all in 2022.


Ashley Whitlock

Field Trip Co-ordinator

DSC_1021 (1024x600).jpg
DSC_8936 (1024x683).jpg
DSC_9409 (1024x683).jpg
DSC_9082 (723x1024).jpg
DSC_9278 (1024x670).jpg
DSC_9681 (1024x731).jpg
Kevin photo 2021.JPG
DSC_0014 (1024x677).jpg
DSC_9699 (738x1024) (2).jpg
DSC_0141 (1024x821).jpg
DSC_0925 (1024x684).jpg
DSC_0901 (1024x683).jpg
DSC_1031 (1024x656).jpg
DSC_0595 (1024x684).jpg
DSC_1041 (1024x683).jpg

Field Trips of Yesteryear Highlights

Meanwhile let's have a look at some fields trips from yesteryear....There have been so many highlights over the years and for those who have been on my field trips I hope this brings back some memories. For any of you reading this and thinking of dipping your toes into the Hampshire Butterfly field trips in the future, then I hope these notes and pictures will encourage you to come along. Join me and my other fellow field trippers for a day out looking at Hampshire's glorious flora and fauna. On most occasions we find our' target' species, but even if we dont we have a good go, and I must say we tend to learn a lot from other people's knowledge.
These are just a snapshot of many field trips I organise every year. There are invariably up to 20 walks starting at the end of April with at least 3 or 4 every month and these will go on until the first week of September. I try and start them about 10:30 am, so everybody who is coming can get to the site in ample time. As the Purple Emperor is such a fickle butterfly and very weather dependant, it can be flying very early in the rides, so some of the field trips will start at 09:30 am in June and July.  
Field trips are for everyone, however rough terrain over fields and in woods could regrettably make access impossible for some people with mobility issues...although having said that there are exceptions and photographs in this section under (May 2016 Martin Down) show a mobility scooter moving over the chalk downland with some ease and the owner saw everything he wanted to see! 

Two Field Trips in 2020 under Government Covid restrictions were to Shipton Bellinger to see the Brown Hairstreak and Wall Brown on the 9th August and the 20th August at Old Winchester Hill to see the Clouded Yellow and Silver Spotted Skipper

Female Wall Brown Portsdown Hill (3) (10

Adonis Blue

 Wall Brown

DSC_7168 (2).jpg

 Female Brown Hairstreak

DSC_7170 (746x1024).jpg

 Male Brown Hairstreak

DSC_7246 (1024x684).jpg

 Male Adonis Blue

DSC_7256 (1024x684).jpg
DSC_7254 (746x1024).jpg
DSC_7249 (1024x881).jpg

 Brown Argus

DSC_7261 (683x1024).jpg

 Painted Lady

 Silver-Spotted Skipper

 Clouded Yellow

May 2019 New Forest : target species : Pearl-Bordered Fritillary and Raft Spider

DSC_6688 (1280x748).jpg

Class of 2019

DSC_6681 (1024x683).jpg

 Raft Spider

DSC_6653 (1024x674).jpg

 Female Broad-bodied Chaser

DSC_6667 (683x1024).jpg

 Pearl-bordered Fritillary

DSC_6685 (1024x681).jpg

 Tiger Beetle

DSC_6641 (1024x683).jpg

Pearl-bordered Fritillary

DSC_6678 (1024x683).jpg

 Common Lizard

DSC_6682 (1024x684).jpg

Ranmore Inclosure New Forest

May 2018 Botany Bay Surrey Target Species :Wood White and Nightingale

DSC_2111 (1024x726).jpg

One Wood White

DSC_2157 (683x1024).jpg

Two Wood Whites

DSC_2146 (683x1024).jpg

 Mating pair of Common Darters



 Speckled Yellow Moth

DSC_2130 (683x1024).jpg

 Three Wood Whites

DSC_2139 (1024x683).jpg

 Four Wood Whites

DSC_2141 (683x1024).jpg

Green Hairstreak

August 2017 Beacon Hill NNR (Exton) target species: Silver-spotted Skipper

DSC_0850 (1024x639).jpg

Class of 2017

DSC_0855 (1024x683).jpg

Female Chalkhill Blue

DSC_0840 (684x1024).jpg

Comma on Bramble

Silver Spotted Skipper September 2013 OW

Silver-Spotted Skipper

DSC_0856 (1024x684).jpg

 Old Winchester Hill from Beacon Hill

May 2016 Martin Down target species: Marsh Fritillary, and Adonis Blue. 

DSC_3772 (682x1024) (456x684).jpg

Mating Small Blues

Female Marsh Fritillary.jpg

Female Marsh Fritillary

Male Holly Blue.jpg

Female Holly Blue

You and everybody enjoying the scenery a

Class of 2016

Female Adonis Blue.jpg

Female Adonis Blue

Burnt Tip Orchid.jpg

 Burnt Tip Orchids

DSC_3759 (682x1024).jpg

Male Marsh Fritillary

Male Brown Argus (1024x683).jpg

Male Brown Argus

DSC_3793 (1024x682).jpg

Horseshoe Vetch

July 2015 West Harting Down target species Purple Emperor, Hummingbird-Hawk Moth

West Harting Down July 2015.jpg

West Harting Down 

Mating Silver-Washed Fritillaries August

Mating Silver-Washed Fritillaries

Male Purple Emperor West Harting Down (5

A rather battered male Purple Emperor

At the summit spectacular views West Har

Always time to eat!


Hummingbird Hawk Moth

May 2014 Hyden Wood target species: Orange Tip and Bluebell woods.


Admiring the view


Robin on her nest

Along the South Downs Way from Hyden Woo

 Part of the south downs way


 Bluebells in all their glory in the wood

Speckled Wood.jpg

Speckled Wood

Male Orange Tip (1024x671).jpg

 Male Orange Tip

June 2013 Setley Common target species:

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary and Silver-Studded Blue


 Male Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Silver-Studded Blue mating New Forest 20

 Mating Silver-Studded Blues

Clouded Buff New Forest 2014.jpg

Male Clouded Buff Moth


Large Skipper

bottom of page