On Countryfile this Sunday: the Isle of Purbeck, Dorset
The team visits the Isle of Purbeck, Dorset. Matt Baker celebrates the 70th anniversary of Enid Blyton's Famous Five series and visits a golf course once owned by the author, while Ellie Harrison searches for all six reptile species native to Britain. Adam Henson investigates the local underwater eco-system from a glass-bottomed kayak and Katie Knapman learns how the Jurassic coast has inspired artists. Meanwhile, Tom Heap investigates government plans concerning toxic waste disposal. Including Weather for the Week Ahead.
1. Take a trip on Swanage steam railway
Traditional steam train fans will be delighted by this standard gauge preserved railway. A range of journeys, family events and galas take place throughout the year, and dining and even driving experiences are also on offer.
2. Visit Corfe Castle
These dramatic ruins date back to the English Civil War. Looking out across Purbeck, it’s easy to let your imagination run wild as you count the arrow holes and picture this imposing building in its glory days. And with a replica medieval siege engine, traditional costume activities and guided tours, there's something for the whole family.
3. Follow the Famous Five Adventure Trail
Relive the glory days of childhood adventure by solving the clues along a trail that would delight Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy the dog. Running throughout summer, the trail is designed to be completed over a few days, exploring much of the Purbeck and Poole area and celebrating all things Blyton. Be sure to pack plenty of ginger beer!
The park covers around 280 acres of beautiful countryside, with a stately home and visitor centre at the heart of it all. There is plenty of information on the park’s wildlife, including a live TV stream of the resident guillemot colony and an underwater microphone. The isle also has the highest number of wildflower species of any comparable area in Britain, many of which cna be found in the park, the most common being the early spider orchid.
A haven for wildlife, the beaches around the village of Studland are a birdwatcher’s dream. Grebes, divers and warblers can all be spotted here, so be sure to bring a pair of binoculars. It’s also one of the few places that all six native species of British reptile can be found, as Ellie finds out on Sunday. Finally, two of our most precious coastal water-dwellers, spiny- and short-snouted seahorses have been recorded in these waters, making it a very diverse area for wildlife.
A pretty market town, Wareham has some hidden treasures, including it's own museum and the smallest church in England. Situated on the River Frome, the town boasts some ideal picnic and walking spots. The town features the remains of a Roman settlement, although it's thought the town really came into being around the Anglo-Saxon era - the remains of the town wall can be seen.