Sun 14th - Fri 19th July 2019 - £875 (£250 deposit)You’ll feel you have reached the heart of hidden, rural Dorset on this four-night short break. We stay in a stunning barn conversion amid 500 acres of ancient wildflower meadows and woodlands on one of Dorset Wildlife Trust’s reserves. We’ll discover the area’s small mammals, including bats, and help to preserve their habitat, while removing some destructive plants that have invaded recently.
Marvellous in-house cookWe will sample the best of Dorset food, venturing out to local restaurants as well as benefiting from a marvellous in-house cook. You will learn about small mammal behaviour and how to place devices that catch the animals so that we can make notes about each one before releasing it back into the wild. You will learn how to handle animals carefully and safely before letting them go and you will be taught surveying methods. We’ll put up camera traps and check the rivers for signs of otters and water voles, as well as using electronic detectors to survey and record bats in the evening and seeing what moths we have caught in our trap in the mornings. A wildlife highlight of the week is an evening in a secret badger and fox hide watching these amazing animals interacting and feeding undisturbed only feet away.
Satisfying and essential workOur other task will be removing Himalayan balsam from wildflower meadows and woodlands close to the reserve. This pretty but damaging plant is growing out of control in some areas and stifling the local plant-life. We'll work as a group on this satisfying and essential project – there's Christine showing us how it's done!
Holding out your hand with a vole sitting on it in perfect calmness, just before it scurries away back to its home.
The sound of the field kettle boiling and the cake being cut ready for a morning break.
Laughing with new friends as you work together outside in the sunshine (or rain!)
Find out more detail about this holiday below.
ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURESYou have two options. We can meet you at Dorchester South railway station. Or you can travel directly to the Kingcombe Centre in your own vehicle.
- Dorchester South railway station: 14.30, Sunday 14th July 2019. Meet at steps outside ticket office. Direct trains run regularly from London Waterloo, Southampton (inc. airport), Bournemouth etc. – see times here. We will travel to Kingcombe from here, a journey of approximately 30 minutes.
- Kingcombe Centre: 15.00, Sunday 14th July 2019. Find map here.
VISA INFORMATIONYou are responsible for satisfying all relevant UK entry and visa requirements. Wild Days is unable to assist you with this. Detailed information specific to your nationality or country of origin can be found here.
GENERAL INFORMATIONSee our general information pages on:
- Dorset Wildlife Trust
- Pictures from our previous West Dorset Meadows holiday
- Kingcombe Centre
- Mammal Society
- Environment Agency factsheet: Himalayan balsam
- Colin Varndell's stunning images of Dorset landscape and wildlife