Wild Staycations

Wild Staycations

The Stiperstones NNR, Shropshire, UK - Mark Hamblin/2020VISION

Have you decided to holiday closer to home this year? Here are some tips for having a wild week away (or even a feral fortnight) without the stress of air travel.

Research where you’re going. Whether you’ve booked a cottage in Devon, a bothy in the Highlands or a campsite in the Lake District, make time to find out about the area you’re going to.

Local Wildlife Trust websites are a good start, and you can find details of Nature Reserves across the country by clicking here.


Rockpooling - Matthew Roberts

Reserve listings will give you an idea of what you might hope to see, and what facilities are available.

By visiting the local Wildlife Trust website you could even find events you can book yourself onto – things like rockpooling days (which we can't offer in Shropshire!), snorkelling safaris, ranger-led walks, workshops and family fun days are happening all over the country. A full list of Wildlife Trust events can be found here.

And don't forget to support the conservation of the local area, by making a donation to the Wildlife Trust!

Read around the subject. Guide books are fine, but to get a real taste of where you’re going, look for nature writing about your destination. A more personal view will give you a different perspective.

Try and be as environmentally friendly as possible whilst away - you can reduce your use of your car by exploring new walking and cycling trails, and using public transport will allow you to focus on the scenery outside the window and discover places off the main tourist routes. 

Bringing a piece of your holiday home is a great way of keeping the memories alive – just make sure it’s wildlife-friendly! Click here for what to avoid bringing home from your holiday.

Bird watching

(Jon Hawkins - Surrey Hills Photography)

Be prepared. Make sure you have weatherproof clothing and footwear so nothing can stop you getting out there.

Take your own optics, as places which used to provide them are now constrained by Covid protocols and may have stopped doing do.

Don’t miss the best bits! If you really want to see a particular beastie, it’s worth investing in the services of a local guide for a day. Nothing beats local knowledge of where is the best place to find those special species.

Sit still and wait. Running round like a mad thing looking for wildlife doesn’t make a relaxing holiday.

Relaxing in nature

Relaxing in nature (Matthew Roberts)

It’s remarkable what you can see even if you just sit in the car overlooking a likely looking spot and treat yourself to a cup of tea from your thermos while you wait for the wildlife to come to you!

Last week I was doing just that in the car park at Barmouth, and was rewarded with a grand sighting of bottle nosed dolphins arching through the sea.

Be flexible. Wildlife is just that – wild! It’s not a zoo.

If you don’t manage to see that iconic species, just relax and be satisfied that you’ve shared its habitat, lived where it lives and breathed the same air. OK, so I didn’t see a corncrake, but that great yellow bumblebee was a real treat...

Above all, enjoy your holiday!

Cath Price

Dr Cath Price

Membership and Engagement Officer