Spring Wildlife Safaris in the Forest of Dean
Animal-lovers will be sure to welcome a new collection of Spring Wildlife Safaris at Tudor Farmhouse in the Forest of Dean has just launched a collection of guided wildlife safaris, taking advantage of the forest’s abundance of animals during the Spring months.
Throughout March, April and May the hotel will be offering six guided group walks with photographer, broadcaster and all-round wildlife detective Ed Drewitt, searching for bats, deer, badgers, foxes, mice, voles, hedgehogs and the elusive wild boar, before returning to the hotel to enjoy breakfast, afternoon tea or charcuterie boards, all created by head chef Rob Cox who recently won the title of South West Chef of the Year.
There are three different Wildlife Safaris to choose from; from sunrise walks witnessing a special Dawn Chorus, to afternoon and evening walks spotting wild boar (and boarlets), fallow deer, badgers, foxes and hedgehogs as they emerge to feed at dusk. Each session will last for approximately two hours and cost £60 per person, with overnight packages also available.
Covering 204 square miles (27,000 acres) of forest and mixed woodland, bordered by the River Severn and the River Wye, the Forest of Dean is the perfect home for wild animals to thrive, boasting over 30 species of mammal and many more species of bird. The forest also has over 20 million trees and is at its best during the Spring when new buds start to emerge and wildflowers scatter the floor.
Witness the Annual Springtime Dawn Chorus
This early morning session begins at 5am, with guests heading into the forest just as the sun begins to rise. At this time, groups can witness thousands of male birds wake up and sing together, an important daily ritual and one not to be missed, before they slowly peter out to find food for their chicks. Groups will then divert their attention to mammals, such as wild boar and fallow deer, before they hide away for the day. Having witnessed one of the forest’s special annual events, groups will head back to the hotel for a well-earned breakfast and to warm up by the fire.
Tickets available from £60 per person and include a two hour guided wildlife safari with Ed, as well as breakfast. The only departure is 13 April 2019, lasting from 5am to 8:30am.
Spot Wild Boar, Fallow Deer and Foxes at Dusk
Later afternoon and evening sessions are best for those looking to spot wild boar, when they emerge from their dens (often in fir or conifer trees) to feed at dusk, as well as fallow deer, small Muntjac and foxes. Groups will be led to popular boar ‘hang outs’ and wait to spot humbug-patterned boarlets, as they run alongside their parents, whilst also listening out for evening birdsong as the blackbirds, song thrushes, robins and wood warbler’s proclaim their territories before nightfall. Before returning to the hotel for afternoon tea or charcuterie boards, groups will stop off at the nearby Cannop Ponds to spot striking Mandarin Ducks doze off on the banks.
Tickets available from £60 per person and include a two hour guided wildlife safari with Ed, as well as afternoon tea (afternoon sessions) or a glass of wine and charcuterie boards (evening sessions). Dates include: 16 and 17 March between 4pm to 7:30pm, 22 March between 5pm to 8:30pm and 28 April, 04 May between 6:45pm to 10pm.
Those looking to combine a wildlife safari with an overnight stay can do so from £249, based on two sharing a double room on a B&B basis including two safari tickets.
Aside from spotting wildlife, guests can borrow a pair of Hunter wellies and explore the area’s famous Sculpture Trail, visit nearby Puzzlewood (the backdrop of many blockbusters, including Star Wars) and pretty Symonds Yat, where guests can try their hand at canoeing, kayaking, hiking and cycling. What’s more, the hotel has recently been named as ‘Country Hotel of the Year’ by the prestigious Good Hotel Guide, giving yet another reason to visit.
For more information or to book, please visit www.tudorfarmhousehotel.co.uk or call 01594 833046
Mark Bibby Jackson
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