Dark Dorset Online Scrapbook is an archive of current and past events relating to local history, folklore and mysteries that can be discovered in the English county of Dorset.

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Monday, 31 August 2009

New Video: Big Cats in Britain - Presenting the Evidence with Jonathan McGowan

Big Cats in Britain - Presenting the Evidence with Jon McGowan


Dorset Naturalist and Big Cat Investigator Jonathan McGowan gives a lecture about Mystery Big Cats in Britain at the Centre for Fortean Zoology's annual Weird Weekend conference held in Woolfardisworthy, North Devon on 14th August 2009.

For more information about Jonathan's work visit his website at www.thenaturalstuff.co.uk

For more information about the Centre for Fortean Zoology and the Weird Weekend Conference visit www.cfz.org.uk

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

News Clipping: Ghostbusters set for night at Nothe Fort

Ghostbusters are beating a path to the door of the Nothe Fort to hunt down the supernatural.

Some 50 visitors are braving the attraction’s tunnels on a rare night time opening with ghost expert Alistair Chisholm.

Their adventure on Bank Holiday Monday, August 31, comes before Paranormal Tours holds its first overnight ghost hunt at the fort in October.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Wednesday 26th August 2009

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

News Clipping: Wicker Man climax to spiritual gathering near Weymouth

A pagan group is holding a spiritual gathering for hundreds of people in fields near Weymouth over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

The highlight of the event, organised by the Weymouth-based Dolmen Grove, will be a fire ceremony when a wicker man will be burned.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Tuesday 25th August 2009

Sunday, 23 August 2009

News Clipping: Digging up the past at Maiden Castle

Families and history lovers will be blazing a trail to Dorchester for a Bronze Age festival at Maiden Castle.

They will be digging up the past at the ancient monument just outside the county town on the weekend of September 19 and 20.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Sunday 23rd August 2009

Crop Circle Discovered near Weymouth

A mysterious crop circle has been discovered in a field opposite the Victoria Inn, Knights-in-the-Bottom.

According to the Dorset Echo, Tuesday 16th August, the 100ft long by 60ft pictogram was first noticed by Tony Smith on Monday morning.

The last crop circle know to appear in the area was on 29th June 1994. When a large circle with ring appeared near Snipes Gate, Langton Herring.

The location of the recent crop circle.
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  • The first reported crop circle in the county, was not far from this current circle, in a field near Bagwell Farm Campsite, Langton Herring in August 1991. This was a simple 10 metre circle with an outer ring.

Event News: Bump-a-Story with Graham Rogers

On 27th August 2009 at 3.00pm. Let storyteller Graham Rogers lead you through the ancient landscape of the South Dorset Ridgeway. Join Graham on this short walk which will be accompanied by tales influenced by food and farming. Witness the change that agriculture has made to the countryside around you.

Bring something comfortable to sit on.The event involves a short walk across uneven ground.All ages welcome (children must be accompanied by a parent/guardian at all times)

Part of the Sting in the Tale Festival of Stories 21-31 August 2009. For the full programme click here

Free but Booking essential for more information and joining details contact the Project Officer.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

News Clipping: 'Don't panic' advice after jellyfish seen off Weymouth

Swimmers were today warned not to panic after two sightings of poisonous jellyfish off the coast near Weymouth.

The Portuguese Man o’ War were spotted off the coast in Weymouth and Worbarrow Bay, near Lulworth.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Saturday 15th August 2009

Thursday, 13 August 2009

News Clipping: Delight at lake as harrier chicks are raised

Wildlife guardians in Weymouth are celebrating some important new arrivals.

The first marsh harriers to breed in Dorset in almost 50 years have successfully raised three chicks.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Thursday 13th August 2009

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

News Clippings: Perseids meteor show peaks in southern England

The Spectacular Perseid meteor shower, which reaches its peak tonight (Aug 12), should be visible across Dorset’s night sky.

READ MORE - Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Wednesday 12th August 2009

News Clipping: Freddie the wonder crab is all right at Sea Life Park

Staff at Weymouth Sea Life Park thought they were seeing double when this giant crab turned up with two right claws.

The curious crustacean, thought to be about 10 years old, was found on the seabed near Swanage by Wareham-based fisherman Simon Clark.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Wednesday 12th August 2009

Monday, 10 August 2009

Event News: Where the Ridgeway meets the Sea - 13th August 2009

A walk led by Gordon Le Pard along the coast from Osmington, with tales of shipwrecks, smugglers, a lost village and John Constable.

13th August 2009 2.00pm - Meet Osmington Mills Car Park.

View this map on Multimap.com
Get directions on Multimap.com


Free but Booking Essential, please contact the Project Officer.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Event News - Weird Weekend 2009 14th - 15th August 2009

Punk rock legend and monster hunters rub shoulders in North Devon and a new monster hunting expedition is announced

From the 14th to the 16th of August this year, the sleepy North Devon village of Woolsery is to play host to the largest gathering of monster and mystery researchers in the world. The tenth annual Weird Weekend is bringing speakers from as far afield as Australia to talk on their adventures and discoveries.

This year’s line up includes Rat Scabies, drummer with the legendary punk band The Damned, who will be regaling the audience with tales of his hunt for the Holy Grail (we are NOT joking). Tim the Yowie Man has flown in all the way from Australia to speak about his hunt for the yowie, the yeti like ape-man of the Australian bush. Tim the Yowie Man is an Australian cryptozoologist and paranormal investigator. In 2008, he was nominated for `Australian of the Year` for his work in raising environmental awareness.

Other speakers include:
  • Irish scholar Ronan Coghlan will be speaking on the lost continent of Atlantis.
  • Tim Matthews on crop circles
  • Andy Roberts: Renowned researcher and author, on The Big Grey man of Ben McDhui
  • Ecologist Oll Lewis will be giving us his theory on the Kraken, the multi-armed monster of maritime folklore.
  • Julian Vane will be showing us some of the weirder exhibits from Devonshire museums.
  • Dr Jan Bondeson will be revealing the secrets of the death dealing medieval serpent known as the basilisk.
  • From the USA Nick Redfern will be looking into Russian experiments to hybridise humans and apes.
But there is far more to the Weird Weekend than just talks. The organisers, The Centre for Fortean Zoology - the world’s only full time scientific organisation dedicated to researching mystery animals - will be revealing details of their latest thrilling expedition. Each year, the Centre takes part in at least one expedition to the farthest flung reaches of the world on the track of monsters and mystery beasts.

Also appearing will be Sam Shearon; fortean artists who will be exhibiting their monster related artwork. Taxidermist and Dorset Naturalist Jonathan McGowan will be exhibiting his wildlife photography and stuffed animals. There will also be stalls, quizzes, competitions and activities for children.

Venue: Woolsery sports and community hall
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Tickets for the three-day event cost £20 in advance or £25 on the door. More information can be found on the Weird Weekend website at www.weirdweekend.org

For more details, or to interview any of the speakers, please telephone Jon, Corinna or Oll on 01237 431413

Saturday, 8 August 2009

News Clipping: Triffids invade Dorset

A deadly tropical plant native to central and south America has been discovered in two Dorset gardens.

Datura Stramonium, or Devil’s Snare, is used by the South American Indians to poison their hunting spears and fishing hooks, and is prised in some cultures for its hallucinogenic qualities.

READ MORE - Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Saturday 8th August 2009

Thursday, 6 August 2009

News Clipping: Woolsery's weird weekend approaches

It is billed as the world's strangest weekend happening and the village of Woolsery is bracing itself for an influx of visitors from all across country and the world.

Explorers, palaeontologists, a barrister, an international renowned expert in gout and a world-famous rock star are among the speakers at The Weird Weekend at the Community Hall next Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
READ MORE - Source: North Devon Gazette 6th August 2009

News Clipping: Smack of dangerous jellyfish wash up on West Dorset beaches

West Bay’s swimming beach had to be closed on Tuesday after a smack of Portuguese Men o’ War were spotted off the coast.

West Dorset coastguards have been giving warnings after an invasion of more than 100 were found up along the coast.

READ MORE - Source: Bridport and Lyme Regis News Thursday 6th August 2009

(See previous blog entry A rare visitor blows into bay)

News Clipping: Whiter shade of sparrow in Long Bredy

A rare white sparrow has been photographed by a wildlife enthusiast near Dorchester.

Gardener Trevor Toogood has taken an interest in birds and wildlife all of his life.

But he said he has never seen anything like this pale sparrow before and felt compelled to capture images of it.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Thursday 6th August 2009

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

News Clipping: Ghostbusters probe at Nothe Fort

Ghostbusters are holding their first paranormal probe at the historic Nothe Fort in Weymouth.

Paranormal Tours is holding the ghost hunt at the attraction with special equipment to spot ghosts and signs of supernatural activity.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Wednesday 5th August 2009

Monday, 3 August 2009

Weymouth's Firework Display

No summer season in Weymouth would be complete without a series of spectacular firework evenings.


Next years summer special on Weymouth Seafront is sure to attract big crowds enjoying an evening of live music provided by local bands, an abundance of seafront attractions, competitions and of course those magnificent International Fireworks at 9.30 pm.

Dates for 2009
  • Monday 3 August
  • Monday 10 August
  • Monday 24 August
  • Monday 31 August
Each display will take place from a floating pontoon in Weymouth Bay.

Source: www.visitweymouth.co.uk

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Meet the locals… (or why you should be careful of things that go bump in the night)

If and when the summer sunshine ever arrives, so could a wave of potential dangers in Dorset.

There is a multitude of beasties itching to take a bite out of you, from man-eating sharks and big cats to angry squirrels.

Read More: Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Sunday 2nd August 2009

Neglect is casting Britain's once bright woodlands into darkness

A botanist has surveyed 100 woods where the plant life was recorded in detail in the 1930s. She has found dramatic differences including loss of diversity and character - and modern farming methods are to blame.

The gentle pleasures of a summer's woodland walk have become darker and duller, thanks to fertiliser from farms and the ancient art of coppicing dying out.

The discovery came after botanist Sally Keith retraced the steps of the pioneering ecologist Professor Ronald Good, who cycled the lanes of Dorset in the 1930s, recording in great detail the plants he found. Of the 1,500 woodland sites Good noted, Keith revisited almost 100, as close to the day and month of the original survey as possible.

Read More: Source- The Observer Sunday 2 August 2009

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