Late spring is the perfect time of year to dive into your very own orchid summer, as our native orchids are at their peak, and there’s nowhere better in Britain for a day of orchid-hunting than the botanically rich East Kent countryside.
We’re delighted to offer day trips over the course of a weekend in the company of the friendly and knowledgeable author of botanical bestseller Orchid Summer, Jon Dunn.
Before his move to Shetland, Jon lived in the heart of East Kent for a decade, and he knows the countryside like the back of his hand - in particular, where to find all of Kent’s orchid specialties at their very best.
During our day of orchid-hunting with him we could see as many as fifteen different orchid species of several orchid genera, including insect-mimicking Ophrys orchids, graceful Platanthera butterfly orchids, promiscuous Dactylorhizas, and subtle Neottias. Particular highlights will be two magnificent and dramatic orchid species that we should see in good numbers in their prime – Kent is the heartland of the British population of Lady Orchids, and hosts two of Britain’s three Monkey Orchid sites. We will also see examples of Britain’s only population of Late Spider Orchids at a site on the chalk downs overlooking the English Channel.
The day will have a relaxed and easy pace, with plenty of opportunities for photography. Jon is an accomplished all-round naturalist, so he may attempt to distract you from the orchids if he hears Nightingales or finds newly emerged Duke of Burgundy butterflies!
We’ll enjoy a delicious pub lunch in the heart of orchid country, and will maximize our time in the field – there will be short drives of approximately twenty minutes between sites. The emphasis is very much on enjoying Britain’s wildest flowers, in the company of a guide armed with an inexhaustible supply of colourful orchid stories.
You can choose to book either Saturday 1 June or Sunday 2 June. Both days will follow the same itinerary. Please ensure, if booking online, you pick the day and date of your choice.