At the very heart of Greenwings is conservation. That is why from every holiday we host at least 10% of the profits are invested in conservation projects or donated to wildlife charities.
Introduction to Greenwings
Greenwings was born almost eight years ago, from an idea conceived by myself and a small group of friends. We are all experienced and passionate conservationists, with a particular leaning towards all things Lepidoptera. This, I hope, is evident in our name and logo – designed to signify our interest in butterflies and travel and is also a graphical representation of one of my favourite species, the Green Hairstreak.
As butterfly addicts we began our journey by hosting a local tour in Norfolk to watch Swallowtails during a sunny weekend in June 2010. We instantly enjoyed the experience of sharing the joy of butterflies with others and seeing the thrill in the eyes of people seeing something special like a Swallowtail for the very first time. Since then, like the hungry caterpillar, we have expanded rapidly and have metamorphosed to become recognised and established as the leading UK company for butterfly and moth watching holidays throughout Europe and beyond.
So from our humble but happy beginning in Norfolk we now offer expertly led small group holidays around the globe. Our full calendar of scheduled holidays can be viewed on our website, or you can contact us to request information or to discuss a bespoke trip which we can tailor make to fit your requirements.
Butterflies remain at the heart of Greenwings and will continue to be the fluttering heart of the company, but we also now offer holidays with several additional complementary themes – botany, birds, general wildlife, British Wildlife & photography.
As Greenwings has grown so has our team of guides for leading our holidays. We are proud to work with many of the very best experts and enthusiasts. They include Martin Warren, Tristan Lafranchis, Richard Lewington, Patrick Barkham, Richard Taylor-Jones, Adrian Hoskins, Simon Spencer and Steve Woodhall (South Africa).
I have been involved in nature conservation in England for over twenty years, both as a volunteer and in a number of paid positions. It isn’t just a job or career to me; it’s a way and a meaning of life. The rest of our small team share similar backgrounds and beliefs. Therefore, conservation has been at the very core of Greenwings since its inception. We strive to help support the conservation of habitats and species both home and abroad through our activities as a company and as individuals.
One way we achieve this is by our corporate membership and partnership with Butterfly Conservation (BC). We donate 10% of the profits from all our butterfly holidays to help fund vital conservation projects managed by the charity. We also donate prizes for their annual fundraising raffle, usually a butterfly watching holiday. And we like to get our hands dirty too! Several of us have direct involvement in conservation work carried out on important sites by our local BC Branch in Suffolk.
As Greenwings grows, thanks to the wonderful support of its ever increasing group of ‘Greenwingers’, we promise to maintain our conservation ethos, whilst offering an even wider range of locations and wildlife.
Some general information about our holidays
We believe in small group sizes for our holidays, typically between 6-12 guests and 1-2 guides. We design itineraries that provide our guests a relaxed pace but are wildlife packed at the same time. Although we record species and are successful at finding the target number we advertise, we don’t see it as the most important factor. We prefer to focus on the quality of wildlife experiences instead, along with immersing ourselves in the places we visit to get a true flavour of the wildlife, culture and history.
Our guides are all fine naturalists, often leaders in their chosen field, with a wealth of knowledge and experience and a high degree of professionalism. Of equal importance are their easy-going, friendly manner and a practical and flexible approach. Their goal is to make your holiday experience as enjoyable and rewarding as possible. We also, where possible, work with local experts. Their up to date intimate knowledge can be invaluable.
We are always looking for knowledgeable, talented and passionate people to join our team. Due to significant expansion and lots of exciting new tours in the pipeline we’re especially keen to recruit more butterfly & moth guides. Interested?
The skills and personal attributes we look for include:
- Excellent communication skills and a sociable character
- Love of natural history and ability to express this in both a fun and educational way
- Good sense of humour
- Organisational skills
- Be quick and effective at problem solving
- Expert knowledge of relevant discipline(s) – e.g. Lepidoptera (European or elsewhere)
Notice that we placed expert knowledge last on this list. Whilst it is clearly important, we believe it makes up no more than 50% of what you need to be a good and successful guide. Being a wildlife guide is as much about people as it is the wildlife, so it is essential to be good with (and enjoy being with) both.
So a potential guide for us must be able to demonstrate their capability for organising, managing and leading a group. Experience and qualifications in driving 9-seater vehicles and a working knowledge of first aid and how to deal with emergency situations will also be an advantage. A guide must also be prepared for long days and to be on call 24 hours a day whilst working on holidays.
Finally, guides need be willing and able to write and present good quality holiday reports, including a day-by-day account of the holiday, species lists and photos.
If you believe this is you, we’d love to hear from you!
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To read more about why we think you should choose us for your next wildlife holiday click here!
We look forward to greeting you on a Greenwings tour soon!