WILD ORCHID STUDY HOLIDAYS AT MANZAC D'EN BAS 

We are delighted to announce that we will be hosting our first orchid holiday in 2019.  The focus of this holidays will be the extensive wild meadow which grows in the fields directly next to Manzac d'en Bas - many people who have stayed here and have seen this meadow have said that if a similar meadow existed in Britain, it would have closely protected status and access to it would be strictly limited. As well as an extensive range of grasses, flowers and insects, this meadow is especially remarkable because of the variety and quantity of wild orchids.

We are really delighted that Dr Henrik Pederesen will be leading our first orchid study holiday.  He is a true expert in his field with over 25 years studying orchids, as can be seen from his brief profile introduction below.

Ph.D. Henrik Æ. Pedersen was employed in scientific positions at the Natural History Museum of Denmark for 21 years. In 2017, his status changed to Emeritus – an affiliation that now supplements his appointments as External Lecturer at Roskilde University and Adjunct Professor at Kasetsart University. In the last few years, Henrik has strengthened his focus on nature interpretation through lectures, courses and guided tours organized by his solo company Select Nature. During more than 25 years of orchid studies, he has produced many papers and books – including 'Orchids of Europe' (with B. Mossberg) and 'Ophrys: the Bee Orchids of Europe' (with N. Faurholdt). Henrik is member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission where he is affiliated the Orchid Specialist Group.

The book which is mentioned here - 'Orchids' (of Europe) is available through Amazon by clicking here  It is a beautifully illustrated and written book and extraordinarily good value at £13.99 for a hardbook of such quality.  (53% saving on normal price)

In May 2018, Henrik very kindly visited Manzac d'en Bas and the Ariege to complete a recce trip to assess the viability of an orchid based holiday.  This was an extremely successful visit and in two days we visited four sites in the Ariege and between them in that short time, we identified 24 different orchid varieties, some of which are shown in the photoghraphs above and below.  Apart from the excellent variety of orchids we saw, Henrik was also hugely impressed by the sheer population of each variety which were available here and his conclusion from this visit was that this area certainly had something very special to offer any orchid enthusiast.

Pyramidal Orchid and Bee Orchid
Pyramidal Orchid and Bee Orchid
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Plough-share Serapias
Plough-share Serapias
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Tongue Orchid
Tongue Orchid
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Fly Orchid
Fly Orchid
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Group of Pyramidal Orchid
Group of Pyramidal Orchid
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Group of Bee Orchids
Group of Bee Orchids
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Heath Spotted Orchid
Heath Spotted Orchid
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Military Orchid
Military Orchid
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Dull Ophrys
Dull Ophrys
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Common Spotted Orchid
Common Spotted Orchid
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Man Orchid
Man Orchid
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Frog Orchid
Frog Orchid
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These holidays take place towards the end of May, beginning of June, when the wild orchid meadows are at their very best. 

In addition, here at Manzac d'en Bas, we have a purpose-built studio which is in a spectacular location within the garden with glorious views across rolling countryside to the Pyrenees.  This light, airy, spacious, warm facility is ideal for any 'classroom type' work that could be done in association with the field study.

Our holidays are all-inclusive and we provide accommodation, food and drink (wine and beer etc) throughout the week.  It also includes transport, both to and from the airport, and any locations we may visit during the holiday.

The peacefulness and beauty of the surrounding countryside and the flexibility of the accommodation make Manzac the ideal location for  holidays (as well as other activity holidays including painting, photography, etc).