The Kingcombe Centre

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Walking in West Dorset

Wed 17 - Fri 19 May 2017

c Maurits Fontein (389)

image: Maurits Fontein 

Discover the ancient hills and vales of west Dorset, learning about natural history and conservation along the way.

Join us for a relaxed, informative few days exploring west Dorset on walks of around 8-10 miles.  Starting with an early evening stroll around the Kingcombe Meadows Nature Reserve, find out why these 450 acres of unimproved meadows and pastures are so biodiverse and important.  The second day will be exploring the beautiful ancient valleys of Loscombe and South Poorton on a full days walk.

Your evening will then include a very special dinner talk entitled ‘Landscape; how we have through the ages defined our experience and responses to the land from artists to tourists to agricultural improvers’.  We are delighted to welcome renowned author Anna Pavord, whose books include Landskipping, The Tulip, The Naming of Names and The Curious Gardener.  Anna has lived in this part of Dorset for forty years, writing for the Independent newspaper since 1986 and presenting programmes for BBC Radio 3 and 4.

On the final day we will head out to discover Powerstock Common Nature Reserve, home to the marsh fritillary, one of the UK’s rarest butterflies.  Early orchids will be emerging too, including common spotted, heath spotted and if you’re lucky the greater butterfly orchid.  

Note:   This trip will involve extended walks including steep hills & rough terrain.  You must have a level of fitness that will be suitable for such walks and good walking boots / outdoor clothing.

About the Leaders:

Jim White is a keen naturalist and has been connected to the Dorset Wildlife Trust since moving to Dorset in 1979.  He has always been passionate about nature and spent his entire professional career working in nature conservation, ending with 13 years as the Dorset team manager for English Nature (now Natural England).  He was awarded an MBE in 2008 for his services to nature conservation in Dorset.

Steve Masters has worked in the reserves team of Dorset Wildlife Trust for six years, spending the last five working on the west Dorset reserves. After studying for his degree in Zoology and Conservation at the University of Wales, Bangor, he then spent time studying bears in Ecuador before returning to the UK to work at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and RSPB. A passion for natural history has driven his interest in all aspects of ecology, specialising in mammals, particularly bats. Living and working in west Dorset for the majority of his life has led to an intimate appreciate of its landscape and species.

Note:  Steve Masters has taken over leading this walk from Maurits Fontein.


£269 pp Residential  -  includes 2 nights sole occupancy accommodation, full board including a home-cooked breakfast, tea/cake, lunch and 3 course dinner.

£189 pp Non-Residential  -  includes all of the above except accommodation and breakfast.


The course will start at 5pm on Wednesday and finish around 4pm on Friday.

What to bring: 

Just yourselves, comfortable walking shoes/boots, outdoor clothing and a bag to carry lunch.

The dinner talk will be open to additional guests to join.  See the website for details.

Coming from further afield or wish to extend you stay?  We offer B&B accommodation.

info2   book
Book online by clicking the BOOK button or call the Booking Office on 01300 320684.  
Please read our Terms and Conditions before booking
Download or view an Information Sheet by clicking on the Info button

New event for 2017.

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