Dates & Prices
Dates: July-August 2023 (dates TBA)
Single supplement: £TBA
Price Includes: Services of the guides, accommodation & food, transport during the tour & a trip report
Not Included: Travel to & from meeting point, travel insurance, drinks & any other personal items
Leader: Jack Perks
Group Size: Minimum of 3 and a maximum of 8 guests plus 1 leader.
Grade: Generally easy walking at a gentle pace
- Experience a relaxing but action packed 4 day tour with TV wildlife cameraman & photographer Jack Perks
- Visit the picturesque paths of the Arne peninsula, exploring coastal lagoons, pine forest & some of the finest heathland in England
- Arne is one of the few places with all 6 UK reptile species including the two rarest – Smooth Snake & Sand Lizard
- We’ll visit Brownsea Island for its famous colony of red squirrels and use its bird hides for waders like godwit, knot and curlew, keeping a eye out for osprey, harriers and spoonbills.
- Dragonflies and damselflies are plentiful with 22 different species
- With luck we’ll also encounter the stunning Raft & Wasp Spider
- Slow pace and designed to suit anyone interested in wildlife photography – Jack can help you advance your skills during the holiday
Join Jack Perks for a wonderful wildlife adventure on the fabulous Arne Peninsula!
Jack Perks is a professional wildlife photographer based in Nottingham. He’s written and illustrated articles for magazines such as BBC Wildlife, Outdoor Photography and Diver to name a few. He published his first book ‘Freshwater Fishes of Britain‘ in 2016 and his second ‘a field guide to pond and river wildlife’ is out in 2018. Conservation is a something Jack is passionate about, having filmed for many groups such as WWF, Natural England, RSPB and The Wildlife Trusts though the underwater world is what really fascinates him having photographed 53 of the 57 freshwater fish species (nearly there!) and enjoys nothing more then being by a river. Jack has a particular interest in the the less liked of our species like reptiles, insects, fish etc, and tries to put them in more of a positive light.
Along with stills Jack has featured and filmed for many TV programmes such as Springwatch, Countryfile, The One Show and Wild Britain. He currently teaches photography at Nottingham Trent University and a part time lecturer at The University of Nottingham.
We’re excited to offer a summer holiday in Dorset to explore at leisure the wonderful area of Arne, as featured on BBC Winterwatch & Autumnwatch.
Arne is like a slice of the Mediterranean that’s been put into southern England! At 550 hectares it features many habitats from woodland, scrub, coastal mudflats, reed beds, sandy beaches and ponds but is most associated with heathland. Because of the variety of habitats Arne is home to a great diversity of wildlife and thousands of species have been recorded.
Many heathland specialists call it home, from all 6 native reptiles to tiger beetles, parasitic wasps and 237 species of spider recorded including the raft spider our largest native species, the wasp spider (a relatively recent colonist) and the stunningly beautiful ladybird spider.
Over 500 species of vascular plant have been recorded since the reserve was acquired by the RSPB in 1966, including Dorset Heath (Erica ciliaris), voted the county flower of Dorset in 2002 following a poll by the conservation charity Plantlife.
Arne played a starring role in last year’s BBC Winterwatch and 2016’s Autumnwatch broadcasts and has been nominated for ‘Nature Reserve of the Year’ in BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards 2018. Situated on the Arne peninsula, the reserve also gives fantastic views across Poole Harbour towards Corfe Castle and Purbeck.
During our stay we’ll go on a new part of the reserve that’s being surveyed for the first time to see what reptiles are present along with other wildlife. A moth trap will be put out at night also and we’ll head down in the morning to see what may have turned up.
The birdlife at Arne is phenomenal as well, with ospreys regularly using the estuary to hunt and roosts of waders such as sandpipers, curlew, oystercatcher and spoonbill present. The Dartford warbler can be seen on the many gorse bushes, and nightjars, which breed on the reserve can also be found.
There’s plenty of mammals to look forward to also with Sika deer being found all over the site. Originating in East Asia, these animals escaped from deer parks during the 1860s and have now become naturalised, living on the heath and oak woodland of the site. Water voles are present on the many pools and nearby Brownsea Island has a healthily population of red squirrels, which we will visit.
This promises to be an excellent opportunity to study and enjoy a variety of specialist species found on the Dorset heathland in summer. We hope you can join us!
Day 1: Arrival. We’ll meet at the hotel and discuss plans for the holiday over dinner.
Day 2: Breakfast at hotel. We will then head to the RSPB Arne reserve for the day.
Day 3: Breakfast at hotel. Trip to Brownsea Island.
Day 4: Breakfast at hotel. Another full day at RSPB Arne. departure late afternoon/early evening.
New holiday – testimonials will appear later
New holiday – report will follow later