Mark Cocker

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Extremadura is one of the last European landscapes that is both a working farmland environment and a magnificent place for wildlife.


In conjunction with Martin and Claudia Kelsey I am planning a week-long exploration of this wonderful place with a group of 6-8 participants. The aim is to investigate all aspects of nature and to take our time. There will be no concern for tick lists. At the same time we will observe everything and are sure to encounter a substantial cross-section of all that Extremadura has to offer.


The pace will be relaxed. Although this is not a writing course, the aim is to enjoy the deepest emotional and imaginative engagement with the landscape. The approach has been developed over many years of careful thought and a major part of the week will be time for reflection, discussion and patient encounter. We will look at the commonplace and the rare. We will consider how Extremadura's diverse parts fit together as a whole. Above everything we will be steeped in the region's magnificent sense of natural abundance.


Our week comes after the region's torrid summer is passed but when autumn rain often brings a 'second spring': a fresh flush of green with new flower. At the same time, parts of the summer scene - butterflies, moths and draonflies especially - will still be on the wing. Yet we will still be in time to catch a first glimpse of winter with the arrival of the first crane flocks.

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through 360˚

Sun 14 – Sat 20 Oct 2018

Prices and arrangements


£1375 (£175 discount for participants in shared room) includes all transfers to and from Madrid airport, all transportation, meals including packed lunches, and accommodation. Martin and I will accompany all excursions. Additional costs only for drinks and snacks during the day and drinks with dinner. A £150 deposit is payable on booking.


Our programme is based on 9am – 5pm excursions. We provide a detailed breakdown of all daily plans closer to departure, along with reading lists and checklists of useful items and clothes. Our programme is flexible to take advantage of Martin's intimate understanding of his home area.


For more information on accommodation etc see the drop-down page on Teaching 'Extremadura Course details' or view Casa Rural's website:


You can also email me using the contact form here and I will send you a PDF with more details.

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The course is now full for 2018. If you would like to hear of future courses please email me here