Peter Orchard

wildlife tutor

Based in
Wareham, Dorset, United Kingdom
Also teaches in Bournemouth, Dorset, Poole
Peter Orchard | wildlife tutor

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I first became interested in nature and wildlife some 35 years ago whilst on holiday in Wales. At first I was only interested in birds and I struggled to identify what I was seeing when out and about.
A WEA course in 1979 on bird watching changed all that as it explained to me that there were underlying principles to be taken in to consideration when bird watching and it was not a case of trying to match what I had seen to pictures in books.
In 1984 I visited a field studies centre on the Isle of Skye and that was a real eye opener for me. During the stay we looked at everything from mammals (especially otters) to lichens, discussed their features and life styles. I went a bird watcher and came back a naturalist!
We then met a couple through the Southampton Natural History Society who were passionate about wildlife and so, so knowledgeable. We became good friends and they taught us so much before they passed away, both in the early years of the new millennium.
These people have not only taught me about nature but also the importance of having teachers and mentors who can guide your developing knowledge and enhance it. Now, having retired from work, I would like to repay these people who helped me by passing on what I learned from them to others.

Group Classes

Understanding Nature

Run in conjunction with the Workers Education Authority. To book phone the WEA on 0845 458 2758.

'Understanding Nature' is the first of a three part series of ten week courses called 'Looking at Nature'. The other sessions are 'Discovering Nature' and 'Exploring Nature'.

The 'Understanding Nature' course is mainly classroom based and looks at a range of factors that influence habitat and how animals respond to habitat. The lessons cover the very basics of taxonomy, geology, botany, biology, geography, ecology, and phenology.

Suitable for beginners the course draws together these diverse topics and provides an understanding of nature and some of the key principles in how nature works. This is a firm foundation for then being able to appreciate the countryside and nature.

It's a: 
Holton Lee (near Wareham)
Dorset, south west, United Kingdom
Date and time: 
Wednesday mornings from 10.00 to 12.00 starting 21st September 2011 for ten weeks.


Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong learning Sector

Ten week preparation course covering the basic fundamentals for teaching adults.

Apr 2009 - May 2009

Dorset Village Halls Adviser

Advising and training volunteers who serve on management committees of village and community halls in Dorset.

Apr 2009 - Mar 2011

Social Enterprise Centre & Training Organisation

Director of a charity that provided work place training and experience to people for whom opportunities had been restricted by mental health problems or a learning difficulty

Sep 1996 - Oct 2008

Amateur Naturalist

Keen amateur naturalist with an interest in all living things and how they relate to each other.

Past chair of the Southampton Natural History Society and a current member of the Dorset Wildlife Trust local members group I have always been passionate about sharing knowledge so others can enjoy wildlife and the countryside to the full.

I am a volunteer with the RSPB in Dorset and give talks on a variety of topics and am also a regular 'roaming guide' on the Arne reserve helping visitors understand what they see.

I submit photos to Flickr and run my own website about Dorset's wildlife called the 'Nature of Dorset'.

Having retired in March 2011 I now have time to help others share what I have enjoyed for 35 years.

Jun 1977


Aimed at: Beginner and Intermediate.
Online teaching offered


I operate as an registered tutor with the Workers Education Authority. Course bookings should be made through the WEA as that ensures you are covered by insurance whilst participating on one of my courses. The WEA also monitor quality and provide me with mentor support as a tutor.

Last login: 9 years 44 weeks ago

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