We weren’t going far. A drive through Bournemouth and down to Sandbanks saw us on the ferry to the Isle of Purbeck. We had been given permission to camp on a carpark because we were working as volunteers for the National Trust.
Now we like to be prepared, and, as our followers will know, we like to eat! Chris had booked us a table at the Pig on the Beach restaurant in Studland, so we decided to recky the carpark to check that it didn’t have a height barrier and wasn’t going to be locked. All ok so off we drove to the restaurant.
It is a wonderfully quirky place with a roaring log fire. Even on a Monday night it was pretty busy. We ate in the lovely old conservatory which is full of pots of herbs! Their 25 mile menu is excellent and very unusual.
Mains… Roast Purbeck Partridge with Plum jus, and Gurnard with Poole bay clams.
A super meal.
We drove back to our car park, where, to our horror we discovered a gate had appeared out of nowhere and was securely padlocked. There are no campsites anywhere near and we were in the middle of nowhere! There was however an exit lane with dragons teeth to prevent entry.
All I will say is that the next 20 minutes involved creative use of rubber mats and me risking life and limb holding the teeth down while Chris edged Boris onto the mats. I felt sure I would be flattened at any minute, or that the Police would arrive!
Fortunately neither happened and we spent a lovely night, getting up before dawn in our new role as volunteers to help the National Trust with its annual dear count. We had each been assigned a sector which we surveyed with an experienced recorder. I had the dunes sector, and although we only saw 2 deer in our sector, we heard a stag calling repeatedly, reminding us that this is the height of the rutting season.
Overall 80 volunteers recorded 580 deer across the whole area. We all ended up at the Knoll Beach cafe where we were rewarded with a nice cooked breakfast on the beach. Not bad for late October!