Tour Details

Dates:28th of Apr - 28th of Apr 2024
Group Size:Minimum 3, maximum 12
Grading:Easy to moderate. There will be some stiles and hills. Walking boots / hiking shoes recommended
PricesFull price: £95.00 / person Single room supplement: £0.00 / person Deposit: £95.00 / person
Price includes: Services of guide
Not included: Transport to and from the day's meeting point, food and drinks and other personal items, holiday insurance

Tour Highlights

  • A day of orchid hunting in the friendly company of European orchid expert Dr Richard Bate
  • A spectacular display of spring orchids, including Early Spider, Green-winged, and Early Purple Orchids
  • Other desirable wildflower targets, including the secretive Early Gentian
  • Additional wonderful wildlife, with the possibility of courting Adders, and basking Slow Worms

Tour Description

As a new orchid summer gets under way, the first orchids to flower are always keenly anticipated by orchid hunters. Chief amongst them are the charismatic (and highly variable) Early Spider Orchids, found only along the south coast of England from Kent to Dorset. Their finest British station is surely on the Dorset coast, where they flower in their many thousands in their favoured locales of herb-rich coastal turf.

Nor are they alone here, for they share their habitats with other orchids besides - Green-winged and Early Purple Orchids are also to be found here, amongst other beautiful wildflowers, including the secretive and sought-after Early Gentian Gentianella amarella ssp anglica, and the indigo blue Chalk Milkwort.

This day trip, in the company of the charismatic and friendly European orchid expert, Dr Richard Bate, promises a wealth of wonderful orchid and wildflower encounters, and many excellent photographic opportunities. Exploring on foot the mosaic of habitats that comprise the extensive and panoramic Durlston Country Park, the pace will be gentle and we'll be taking our time to see what we can find. Early Spider Orchids are prone to some interesting variations, and often reward a second glance! Moreover, at this time of year some of the local reptiles will be emerging from hibernation, so if the weather is fine we stand a chance of watching courting Adders, and basking Slow Worms and Common Lizards. There is always abundant wildlife of all kinds to be seen here on the spectacular Isle of Purbeck, and Richard looks forward to sharing it with you.

Though the pace will never be rushed, a reasonable level of fitness will be required for this day trip. Guests are invited to bring their own picnic lunch with them though, at the end of the day, if they would like to join Richard for his favourite fish and chip supper in Swanage, he will be delighted to have their company!

Guests can choose one or both of the two dates available - 27th or 28th April. Both days will follow the same format though, of course, with the more mobile wildlife we may not expect to see the same things on both days, or at least not in the same places!

Tour Leaders

Richard is a father of three, botanist, photographer and wildlife tour guide based near the South Lakes. His particular interest is in orchids, and this has led him to develop an expertise in the species of Britain and Europe.

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Tour Itinerary

  • 10am - meet at Durlston CP (please note, car park charges apply if you are driving yourself here)

  • 5pm - our exploration concludes

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