Thursday, 7 July 2016

Wildwood celebrates as three rare little kittens take a bow

Wildwood celebrates as three rare little kittens take a bow

Three extremely rare Scottish Wildcat kittens have made their first appearance at Wildwood, near Herne Bay in Kent.

The two females and one boy are now 11 weeks old but have been off show to visitors until all their vaccinations had been completed.

Keepers have a pattern of naming Wildcat kittens after places in Scotland. So without further ado allow us to introduce boy Oban and girls Fearn and Rhu. As she is the smallest, keepers have nicknamed her 'Little' Rhu.

Dad, RJ, is currently separated from mother Carna and her kittens for their safety.

Keeper Sally Holt said "If we decide that it is possible, we will carefully integrate them in a few weeks when the kittens are bigger and stronger."

Scottish wildcats are seriously in decline, and face genetic extinction due to interbreeding with the domestic cat. Just 100 remain, making them rarer than the Bengal Tiger and the Giant Panda. As the name suggests, the cats are only found in Scotland. They once roamed all over the UK, but were persecuted and their habitat destroyed driving them north.

Said Sally: "The reason they look so much like your average tabby cat is because they breed with our domestic moggy. Hence, diluting 'wildcat' genetics and producing what we call a hybrid cat, with altered markings on its coat. It is vital we try to conserve what we have left in the wild and in captivity."

All Wildcats at Wildwood have been genetically tested for their purity in order to determine whether they are good candidates for joining the conservation breeding programme, run by Scottish Wildcat Action.

Even though the kittens may look cute and cuddly, do not be fooled! Wildcats are exactly that -WILD.

Sally commented: "At just 4 weeks old, the kittens were already showing off their bold and fiery attitude with hisses and spits when keepers entered their enclosure. They are certainly not to be messed with!"

Ends


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Friday, 17 June 2016

Wildwood Conservation Courses Summer 2016

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Welcome to our new  programme of summer courses!

(printable version attached)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

To book a course now, please e-mail:

courses@wildwoodtrust.org

or call

01227 711 471 

 

Booking is essential for all courses

 

Office hours: Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm 

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

Dormouse Handling and Surveying Workshop

 Saturday 9th July, Saturday 13th August, Saturday 3rd September

This course is aimed at ecological consultants and those in training for their dormouse handling licence. A classroom session on survey methods followed by handling, sexing and weighing captive dormice under supervision. Limited to 6 places per workshop.

 

10.30am - 4.00pm  £45

 

Tutors: Hazel Ryan or Suzanne Kynaston

 

 
 

 

 

New!Badger Ecology and Survey Techniques

 

Sunday 26th June

This workshop will provide a comprehensive background in badger biology and ecology. Learn techniques used in surveying badgers and gain an understanding of the threats they are facing. We will then move to the woods to look at field signs before we meet Wildwood's badgers.

 

10.00am - 4.00pm  £30

 

Tutor: David Williams

 
 

Introduction to Bat Ecology and

               Conservation      

         In partnership with Kent Bat Group

 

       Saturday 2nd July

Aimed at those interested in bats or just starting out in bat work, this course provides a general background to the ecology and biology of these fascinating mammals with a particular focus on bats in Kent and the work of the Kent Bat Group. Includes survey methods, monitoring, bat identification, meeting live captive bats and a visit to our bat flight cage.

 

                                10.00am - 4.30pm £30

                                   Tutor: Hazel Ryan

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 Dormouse Ecology    and Conservation

    In partnership with the

         Mammal Society*   

    Sat 16th July and Sat 20th August

This one day course is recognised as the definitive course on dormouse ecology and monitoring. It is ideal for those with a general interest or those working towards their Dormouse Handling Licence. Included is a field visit to check nest boxes and information on relevant legislation.

 

9.30am - 4.45pm  From £97.44 per person 

*Please book direct with the Mammal Society http://www.mammal.org.uk   Tel:023 8001 0984

Tutor: Hazel Ryan

Bears: their natural history and conservation

 

Sun 17th July

Bears are possibly the most charismatic of all the carnivores and have come to be symbolic of the natural world. This course aims to give an insight into this unique family, covering their evolution, how they live, what they eat, how they are adapted to their habitats. Bear mythology and conservation will also be discussed. A part of the day will also involve observing Wildwood's own rescued brown bears and find out their story.

 

9.30am - 2.30pm £30

 

 

Tutor: Suzanne Kynaston

 
 
 
 

​​

A Natural History of Kent's Mammals

In partnership with KWT (Kent Wildlife Trust)*

Saturday 30th July

 

This course will provide an overview of Kent's Mammals, small and large. The focus will be on their ecology, reproduction biology and conservation issues. Their habitats and distribution in Kent will also be covered. (NB: Please note that mammal identification is covered in a separate course). The morning will be spent in the classroom, and the afternoon will be spent on a tour of Wildwood's mammals (including a behind-the-scenes look at some of our captive breeding areas).

9.45am - 4.30pm  £30

Tutor: Suzanne Kynaston

*Please book direct with the KWT  http://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk   Tel:01622 622012

 

 

 

 

      Gardening for 

       Bumblebees

 

Sunday 18th September

 

Gardens are now a vital resource for many of our decreasing insect pollinators and this course will give a guide to what to plant in your gardens to help attract them. The talk will look at the best plants for your lawn and borders;different soil types and how to make your garden flower throughout the year. Wild flower lawn creation, management and maintenance will also be discussed. Discover how to identify our most common bumblebees and learn about their ecology and lifecycle and their importance within the ecosystem.

 

10.00am - 4.00pm  £30

Tutor: Dr. Nikki Gammans

 
 
 
 

 

Small Mammal Survey Skills

In partnership with Kent 

Mammal Group (KMG)*

 

Sat 24th Sept

Learn how to survey for our smallest mammals using live, humane traps. Includes handling, sexing and identification, trap designs and mechanisms and principles of baiting and setting traps, surveying methods and legislation.

 

9.30am - 4.30pm 

 

£30 per person (Book together with Kent Mammal Id course held on 8.10.16 for £50).

*If a survey is carried out for KMG, the course fee may be refunded.

 

 
 

 

Kent Mammal

Identification

In partnership with Kent 

Mammal Group (KMG)*

 

        Sat 8th October

Learn how to identify our larger mammals from their tracks, signs and sightings. Includes a tour of the park to see some of the animals in the flesh and a close up examination of skins, skulls and antlers. Please note that this course does not include mice, voles or shrews which are covered in the small mammal survey skills course.

 

9.45am - 4.15pm

 

£30 per person (Book together with Kent Mammal Id course held on 8.10.16 for £50).

*If a survey is carried out for KMG, the course fee may be refunded.

 

 

  Harvest Mouse Ecology

       and Surveying

       In partnership with Kent 

       Mammal Group (KMG)

 

Sunday 1st October at Capstone Country Park and Sunday 9th October at Oare Gunpowder Works, Faversham

 

 

This course is for anyone wishing to participate in the Kent Mammal Group Harvest Mouse Survey. It will inform you about the key factors affecting the status and distribution of harvest mice in this country. You will have the opportunity to examine a variety of harvest mouse nests and gain the practical surveying experience in the field needed for the survey.

 

10.00am - 4.00pm

Free for survey volunteers

Tutor: Steve Kirk

 
 
 
 
 

Important Information

 

-Minimum age for all courses is 18yrs unless specified. All under 16’s must be accompanied by a paying adult.

 - All courses are held at Wildwood Trust and include Wildwood entry fees unless otherwise specified. Please check listing.

- All courses are booked directly with Wildwood unless otherwise stated, please check listing for details.

- All courses must be paid for at the time of booking and are nonrefundable unless cancelled by Wildwood.

- Lunch is not provided unless stated. Participants are welcome to bring their own packed lunch or purchase lunch in the Wildwood Cafe.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

We also deliver tailor-made courses for environmental organisations and consultancies, including practical handling experience and on-site training. For further information, please visit: www.watervole.wildwoodtrust.org

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

To book a course please call: 01227 711 471 or email: courses@wildwoodtrust.org

 

Booking is essential for all courses

 

For more information, please visit:

www.wildwoodtrust.org/conservation

 

DONATE TO WILDWOOD TRUST

 

Wildwood Trust, Herne Common, Herne Bay, Kent, CT6 7LQ

Registered Charity No. 1093702.

 

Don't miss out! Add conservation@wildwoodtrust.org to your address book or contact list.

 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 

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