Dates & Prices
Dates: May 2024
Price Includes: Services of the guides, pub lunch, trip report
Not Included: Travel to & from meeting point, travel insurance, drinks and any other personal items
Conservation Donation: Botanical Society of Britain & Ireland (BSBI)
Leader: Jon Dunn
Group Size: Minimum of 6 and a maximum of 15 guests plus 1 leader.
Grade: Gentle pace and short walks. Most sites visited are fairly level or with small inclines. Walking boots (or wellies) recommended for woodland sites.
- Exclusive orchid hunting day led by the author of Orchid Summer Jon Dunn
- Chance to find approximately 15 different species in a day
- Visit some special and beautiful locations in the ‘Orchid’ garden of England
- Some great species in the area, such as Lady Orchid, Monkey Orchid, Fly Orchid, White Helleborine, Common Twayblade, Early & Late Spider Orchid and several more!
- Beautiful butterflies to observe too, including Duke of Burgundy, Dingy Skipper, Green Hairstreak & Orange-tip.
- Relaxed pace to full appreciate the wildlife and landscapes & ideal for photography
Join Orchid Summer author Jon Dunn for a specially designed day exploring the orchid Garden of England – the woods and meadows of East Kent!
Jon Dunn is a natural history writer, photographer and experienced wildlife tour leader based in the Shetland Isles, but with strong links in mainland Europe and North America that see him travelling widely in search of memorable wildlife encounters.
An accomplished all-round naturalist and Fellow of the Linnean Society of London, Jon is the author of the critically acclaimed botanical bestseller “Orchid Summer” (Bloomsbury, 2018), and is also the author of the “Britain’s Sea Mammals” field-guide, and co-author of the “Britain’s Mammals” field-guide, both for Princeton University Press. Jon writes weekly “Rarity Round-Ups” for Rare Bird Alert. His writing and photography feature in many popular wildlife magazines, including BBC Wildlife, Birdwatching, and British Wildlife, and he is the wildlife columnist for regional airline Loganair.
We would love you to join Orchid Summer author Jon Dunn for a specially designed day exploring the orchid Garden of England – the woods and meadows of East Kent!
May is the perfect time of year to dive into your very own orchid summer, as our native orchids are at their absolute peak, and there’s nowhere better in Britain for a day of orchid-hunting than the botanically rich East Kent countryside – and no better host than the friendly and knowledgeable author of Orchid Summer, Jon Dunn.
Before moving to Shetland, Jon lived in the heart of East Kent for over ten years – he knows the countryside like the back of his hand, and knows where to see 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 – depending on the weather in the preceding days and weeks, there’s the possibility that we may find early examples of orchids that flower later in the summer, and late examples of earlier flowering species too. On our quest we’ll explore sheltered valleys, deep woodlands and chalk downs overlooking the English Channel.
Particular highlights will be two magnificent and dramatic orchid species that we should see in good numbers – Kent is the heartland of the British population of Lady Orchids, and hosts two of Britain’s three Monkey Orchid sites.
We would hope to see examples of several orchid genera during the day, so we’ll also see insect-mimicking Ophrys orchids, graceful Platanthera butterfly orchids, promiscuous Dactylorhizas, and subtle Neottias.
The day will have a relaxed pace, with plenty of opportunities for photography. Jon is an accomplished all-round naturalist, so we make no excuse if your attention is drawn to other wildlife we encounter during the course of the day – for example, it would be very wrong indeed if we ignored 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 no more than 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 request to book Monday 22nd May or Tuesday 23rd May. Please let us know your preference when you contact us or book.
Ken C, 2022: The “Orchid Garden of England” day in Kent with Jon was absolutely wonderful!! Jon is a really good guide, and his knowledge and enthusiasm shine out. He is very caring of his guests, and always very considerate. His local knowledge of the area, and his very safe and skilful driving in the VERY narrow lanes was exceptional. I cannot really find any fault at all with the day.
We were very happy to be driven to all the sites and Jon’s driving was excellent and the minibus comfortable. The pub for lunch was welcoming and the food was good.
Chris knows much more than I do about wild orchids, I am very much a novice, but the day suited us both. I learned a lot and saw beautiful moths, butterflies and other wild flowers as well as the impressive orchids.
One other point to add is that we enjoyed the company of the rest of the group. We were at the older end of the age range in the party but found everyone friendly. It was a pleasure to meet people of all ages and interests on our trip.
Thank you to Greenwings and especially Jon for an excellent day out in Kent!