Covid-19 Statement

19 June 2022

We have now seen a full six months pass since out last newsletter and without wishing to be complacent, it would appear that everything has gone more or less in the right direction and travel has opened up properly. The main challenge is now for airlines and airports to physically enable travel to proceed smoothly and we are hopeful that the initial disruption as the whole industry gets moving again will settle down.

This means that the planned resumption of our tours will now go ahead, starting with Namibia in August. There are still one ot two places left on Andalucia in September and Kruger in October.

At last!

7 January 2022

A New Year brings new hope and the most recent changes to travel testing requirements is perhaps an indication that we just need to get on with life. At the same time, we are seeing increasingly encouraging predictions regarding the path that the pandemic is taking and it looks like 2022 is going to be a year of further improvement.

Deciding how to go forward with Wild Insights has been challenging in the extreme. It is clear that Covid will remain with us for the forseeable future and hiding away until it disappears completely is not an option. However, we will only run overseas tours when we have not only received appropriate FCOD advice but also that the hurdles to go through and risks are at an acceptably low level. This is why we would like to see a significant period (6 months) of  stability before making the irrecoverable payments for tours. Very regrettably and disappointingly, this ruled out both Extremadura and Estonia which were scheduled in April and May this year. As you will appreciate, we cannot hold on to the last minute to make these kind of decisions and neither would this be fair on the hotels we use.

However, the logistical risks and financial exposures of UK events are lower which is why, unless there is any backward step, we will continue with these as planned. As spaces have been created by the reduction in overseas activity, the option has been taken to add in some more UK events, both at Higham Hall and elsewhere. All events can be seen on the calendar page of this website.

Further ahead, tours in the second half of the year, starting with Namibia, will hopefully be preceded by a steadily improving situation and this gives us reasonable hope we can run them. We know everyone is so keen to get back to travelling again and we are keeping everything crossed for this to happen.

11 December 2021

It is now seemingly the case that any hope of confidently running overseas tours or any other activity in our lives is dependent on whether Covid-19 mutates or not. The emergence of a variant appears to have the power to immediately undermine the progress that has been made resulting in new levels of testing, re-categorisation of countries into red-lists and mandatory hotel quarantine plus all the associated chaos. Whilst there is no level of travel that is entirely risk-free this is presenting a new and completely uninsurable risk.

Nobody will be surprised that Linda and myself are not prepared to expose ourselves to either the logistical or financial consequences of such an event occurring during one of our tours. We will be assessing each tour which has been planned and communicating with everyone booked on accordingly.

UK events present a lesser risk and will, proportionally, feature more significantly in our forthcoming plans.

1 December 2021

The announcements last week once again cast a cloud of uncertainty over our plans. We have been here before and until we have further clarity regarding the significance of the new variant it would be premature to change anything. All those booked on overseas tours will of course be kept fully informed as soon as we know more. In the meantime please continue to rest assured that if we feel that there is an unacceptable risk of disruption at the point of making irrecoverable payments for flghts or ground arrangements we will either cancel or postpone and any payments made by those travelling will be fully refundable or transferable. This is the strategy we adopted with both the Netherlands and Costa Rica and in hindsight, it was the correct one.

We remain optimistic that despite this most recent bump in the road, the recovery continues and we will be able to complete the tours as planned.

In the meantime, although all the artwork had been completed for the new 2022 calendar we are holding off printing until we know more.

31 October 2021

With the continued roll-out of the very successful vaccination programme both here and throughout many of the countries to which we travel plus the lifting, by the UK Government, of all restricitons on travel, signals further recovery and we anticipate growing confidence as we move into 2022. Whilst we have exercised appropriate caution and patience, re-scheduling our January/February tours through to 2023, we are sufficiently comfortable about travel as we move into the spring. As long as there are no backwards steps, our first overseas tour since the pandemic will be Extremadura in April.

2nd August 2021

We hope everyone has had a good spring and summer. We felt this would be a good time to summarize where we are now with Wild Insights events.

UK

At long last, life here in the UK is very close to normality and we can see the way forward for events which were postponed from before. So Northumberland, Winter Birds on the Dee, Anglesy/N Wales coast and Getting to grips with Raptors are now all scheduled to go ahead along with Higham events such as Winter Birds and Lakeland Birds. We do not anticipate any restrictions and will not be imposing any ourselves other than everyone needing to be double-vaccinated. We anticipate everyone is already and we might all be triple-vaccinated by then. Apart from possible residual policies in hotels it is not intended that face-masks will be required when we are operating as a group although there is of course no problem if anyone wishes to. If Government rulings change then we will re-assess accordingly.

Overseas

Overseas travel remains complex and totally chaotic, the only reliable feature being the complete unreliabitity. 'Traffic lights' which flick from one colour to another at a microsecond's notice, incomprehensibe categorizations such as 'Amber Plus' and constant paranoia about mythical vaccine-evading variants are simply perpetuating a lack of confidence. This is bad enough if you are travelling independently but for planning group events it is creating far too much uncertainty. The prospect of one or more members of a tour testing positive (even if they have no symptoms) raises all sorts of questions such as whether the whole group would have to isolate and possibly quarantine in the country concerned with further quarant