Now that summer is upon us, there is plenty of wildlife to keep an eye out for in Dorset, writes Dorset Wildlife Trust volunteer Lydia Harvey. Meadows of wildflowers, the dramatic landscape of the heathlands, a stroll along the waterside, can all offer up a wealth of wildlife, and are never far away.

From bees, butterflies and other insects, to birds, otters and lizards, the diverse landscape of the county helps to provide habitats for a number of rare and not so rare species.

The long-winged conehead, a bush cricket with a green body and a brown stripe down its back, has colonised much of southern and eastern Dorset in the last 30 years and can be found in a variety of different habitats in long grass from mid-July.

Butterflies such as the peacock, chalkhill blue, marbled white, purple hairstreak, white admiral and silver washed fritillary can be seen.

Keep your eye out for these colourful creatures everywhere, but especially in some Dorset Wildlife Trust nature reserves – Powerstock Common, Tout quarry on Portland Kingcombe Meadows near Dorchester and Lorton Meadows in Weymouth. Dragonflies and damselflies can be spotted on the wing, with a bright flash of colour in the corner of your eye as they pass by.

Fledglings will be leaving their nests, keep an eye out but do not interfere, as the parent birds are likely to be nearby.

If you fancy something different, try spotting some of the marine wildlife that can be found around our shores at Kimmeridge. Keep an eye out for Bleenies, inquisitive little fish, that can be found in rockpools or the spiky shelled spider crab that can walk forwards as well as sideways. There are plenty of flowers blooming along the coastline too, including Thrift along Chesil Beach, Sea Cabbage on the cliffs and Yellow Horned Poppy and Sea Rocket nearer the water’s edge. For more information on nature spotting events visit dorsetwildlife