Visiting the Great Bustard Project
You can visit the reintroduction project at its home in the rolling Wiltshire countryside. The Great Bustards are wild and free-flying so catching your first glimpse of them is an experience not to be missed. Reintroducing Great Bustards to the wild in the UK is history in the making, and these first birds are the start of a self-sustaining population.
To book a visit, call: 07817 971 327
Booking a visit
The easiest way to arrange a visit to the Great Bustard Group is to purchase one in our online shop. Once your order has been confirmed, one of our team will be in touch to arrange dates and give you all the details. If you’d prefer to contact us to arrange a visit, you can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07817 971 327. Visits typically run on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 09:30, 11:30 or 14:00 (duration typically 90 mins). Become a member of the Great Bustard Group and all your visits will be free!
How much notice do I need to give for bookings?
Weekends are popular and tend to book up several weeks in advance. A week’s notice is usually enough for weekday tours.
How many people can I bring?
We are now able to host large groups, so why not get in touch and we’ll arrange the trip to suit you.
Is there a minimum number of people required?
Not at all, we are able to make bookings for one or two people and will add you to another trip to fill the Landrover.
Can I make a group booking?
A visit to the Great Bustard site is very popular with natural history, Wildlife Trusts, RSPB and other interest groups.
Can I turn up and hope to join a tour?
We ask that all guided tours are be pre-arranged as we are on Ministry of Defence owned land and planned trips are essential.
Can I do it myself?
Salisbury Plain is owned by the Ministry of Defence and is a live artillery training area with very restricted access for the public. The Great Bustard Site is situated on private property adjacent to the MoD Range Danger Area. Please refrain from searching for Great Bustards yourself – they are typically shy birds, notoriously difficult to see and can roam widely across the MoD ranges. During these early stages of the project, small flocks are very susceptible to disturbance and should flocks fragment, single birds become more vulnerable to predation. To avoid these problems please join a tour.
How can I pay?
We are only able to accept cash or cheque as payment for guided tours and merchandise available at the release site. However you may pay for your visit and order merchandise in advance via our online shop using credit and debit cards or PayPal.
Where is the site?
Our office address is not at the release site. We do not publicise the location of the release site to avoid undue disturbance to the birds, farm tenants and the MoD. When you make a booking you will be given full directions to the meeting point.
Do you have toilets?
Yes. As part of our parking arrangements there is access to toilets before and after your visit.
Is there much walking involved?
There is no walking involved. You will be met in the car park and taken to our viewing hide by a Land Rover.
Do I need binoculars or telescope?
Binoculars are useful for viewing the bustards so if you have a pair then do bring them along. But don’t worry if you don’t have any as the Great Bustard Group provide good quality telescopes (Swarovski) and binoculars for your use.
Do you have disabled access?
Unfortunately, due to the rustic setting of the release site we are not able to provide disabled access. However, our staff are happy to assist you and will do everything they can to make the trips available if possible.
Is there an age limit?
Certainly not! We have had babies and great-grandparents aged 96 join our tours! If you are agile enough to get in and out of a Land Rover you can enjoy a tour of the release site, and our staff are only too willing to assist you if necessary.
What time is best for a tour?
No particular time of day is better. In very hot weather Great Bustards tend to sit down during the mid-day heat (very rarely in the UK!). Other speciality birds of the release site are seasonal such as Hen Harrier and Short-eared Owl (September to March) and Stone-curlew (March to September) and can turn up at any time of the day.
Wildlife photos © David Kjaer