Friday, 20 May 2016

Lynx Set to Rewild Devon

Lynx are returning to a Devon Woodland… Is this the start of a new wilder Devon?


Wildwood Trust, which operates a visitor centre at Escot, near Ottery St Mary, are inviting people to come and see the lynx as they champion rewilding in Devon. The charity is making the bold claim that rewilding can create an ecological and tourism resurgence in the county, bringing jobs and wildlife in equal abundance.




The animal experts at Wildwood Trust have been working tirelessly to build a natural woodland enclosure which shows off these formerly native animals that once prowled the woodlands of Devon.

The charity is already showing off the nearly extinct British wildcat at the popular Escot tourist attraction and establishing a breeding programme which aims to rescue this formerly native animal of Devon from extinction and return them to rewilded areas.

Wildwood's two lynx are young brothers, born in 2015, and were a gift from the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland. They can be seen on sunny days lounging on their giant fallen tree or in their den. On wet days, look for them in their warmest den at the side of the enclosure.

The two lynx are about to celebrate their first birthday; Theron, the spottier of the two, is Greek for hunter, a word used in Latin languages for the ‘untamed’ & Lorcan comes from the old Irish for ‘little fierce one’ .

Peter Smith, Wildwood’s founder, said: “Devon’s uplands have been destroyed by a century of overgrazing and it is our aim to return the wildwood to its former condition. By changing the rules of agricultural subsidies and returning a top predator like a lynx, our uplands could blossom with wildlife and draw people from around the world to enjoy a rebirth of wildlife.”

“Rewilding has many benefits, with more jobs, and cleaner water and air. Rewilding can have a major impact on reducing flooding downstream to farms and towns. The list of benefits far outweighs the negatives and the real challenge of the rewilding movement is to allow a democratic debate for the majority of the population to reclaim public policy on how our wild lands are managed.”

The lynx is a formerly native large cat but is not dangerous to people,  with no recorded attacks on humans in the wild

The lynx will act as a top predator changing the behaviour of the sheep and deer that have grazed our uplands to their current degraded state. This behaviour change means animals will avoid rocky outcrops and gullies, allowing the wildwood to establish and grow, providing ecological diversity at no cost to the taxpayer.



Rewilding benefits the majority of people and our investment in building a rewilding visitor centre on the Escot Estate aims to demonstrate what can be achieved and help build a movement to champion bringing the wildwood back to the south west.


This work will continue for years to come and visitors to Wildwood Escot can now share in our journey to show just what a rewilded Devon can look like. Visitors can also join our charity as members to forward this cause.  In addition to seeing the lynx, visitors can also enjoy a walk around the magnificent grounds, experiencing our other formerly native wildlife such as red squirrels, wild boar, wildcats and even beavers, which can be seen on our special beaver watch evenings. The park boasts many other features such as an exciting maze, adventure play area and the infamous tree top drop slide.”

To visit the lynx and enjoy an exciting day out for all the family, visit http://www.escot.wildwoodtrust.org   or call 01404 822188. All profits go towards our charitable work.







****************ends*********************
High resolution images and broadcast quality High Definition Video footage of the lynx is available by request or at an interview.

Promotional Video: Interview with Peter Smith on Wildwood Trust’s Objectives(content can be rebroadcast):

To arrange an interview or get further information

CONTACT
Wildwood Escot: +44(0)1404 822188
Wildwood Escot, Estate Office, Ottery St Mary, Devon. EX11 1LU
Registered Charity No. 1093702
FOLLOW US
Follow us on Twitter: @WildwoodEscot


RELATED CONTENT
ABOUT THE Lynx
Lynx (Lynx lynx)
The Eurasian lynx is a solitary cat that haunts the forests of Europe. It is the third largest predator in Europe, after the brown bear and wolf. Lynx are covered with beautiful thick tawny fur with faint spots. Their large paws are also furry and hit the ground with a spreading toe motion that makes them function as natural snowshoes. They are about the size of a collie dog – far bigger than a domestic cat but smaller than the wolves. They have short black-tipped tails and long back legs for jumping. Their ears have long tufts to aid hearing.

These stealthy cats avoid humans and hunt at night, so they are rarely seen. Lynx became extinct in Britain due to habitat loss and hunting for their fur. They have been absent from Devon for at least 1200 years.

Wildwood's two lynx are young brothers, born in 2015, and were a gift from the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland. They can be seen on sunny days lounging on their giant fallen tree or in their den. On wet days, look for them in their warmest den at the side of the enclosure.

EDITOR'S NOTES

Wildwood Trust was formed in 2002 as a centre of excellence for the conservation of British wildlife, and to promote efforts to rewild Britain. Wildwood Trust took over the running of Escot Park in 2015 with the charitable aim of continuing the Estate’s objectives to promote wildlife education and conservation. As one of the leading British animal conservation charities in the UK, Wildwood Trust is dedicated to saving Britain's most threatened wildlife. Wildwood Trust has taken part in many ground-breaking conservation programmes to date, which include, saving the water vole, using wild horses to help restore precious nature reserves, bringing the extinct European beaver back to Britain and returning the hazel dormouse and red squirrel to areas where they have been made extinct.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

URGENT - Wildwood Woodland Appeal

A letter from our Chief Executive Peter Smith

Help to save a precious Woodland before it is lost forever

Click here to donate now

I am writing to you today so you can be part of our urgent appeal to save a stunning piece of ancient woodland and to help protect the rare and threatened wildlife it harbours for future generations. But the clock is ticking and without your donation today, this natural woodland treasure could be lost to us forever.

"Join me in our urgent appeal to save a wildlife haven"

One of the last pieces of the historic woodland that surrounds Wildwood’s animal park is up for sale. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we have a very short time to raise the funds to buy this woodland and put it into charity ownership to protect it for all time. If we do not act today, these woods could be snapped up by greedy developers and the intricate diversity of their wildlife habitats spoilt by uncaring new owners.

You could help Wildwood to protect a vast array of threatened native animals and plants that live within these woods, which might otherwise be lost.

Perhaps even more importantly, your gift will enable our dedicated staff, each one of them an expert in their field, to inspire young minds to learn about the woodland’s outstanding ecology and our precious natural heritage.

From toddlers to university students, together we will give our next generation of young people the opportunity to learn from, and to care for, some of the UK’s most amazing woodland wildlife.

Why is it so important to buy this woodland?

West Blean Woods is a very important site which can be documented back to medieval times and is a relic of the original ancient wild woods that once covered Britain. It is now part of one of the largest concentration of ancient semi- natural woodland and conifer plantations left in England. The forest complex is of national and international significance and has received the highest conservation designations, including Site of Special Scientific Interest, Special Area of Conservation and National Nature Reserve

The part of West Blean and Thornden woods that we are hoping to save extends for five acres to the North of Wildwood Trust’s Park, and is some of the last of the woodland to remain outside conservation ownership.

Poor management previously has meant that the woods are not in the condition they could be, both to support a broad range of flora and fauna, but also to act as a wildlife corridor joining other nearby woodlands in a mosaic of connected habitat, to allow the ongoing survival of many of our most important woodland species.

 

Enduring ownership by a dedicated conservation charity like Wildwood Trust is the only way to guarantee that the site will have the sympathetic woodland management it needs to support the delicate balance of its native ecosystems and to ensure a sustainable future where wildlife will be able to flourish forever.

What is so special about this site?

The woods contain a diverse mix of trees including arguably our best known and loved native tree, the English oak - mature oak trees have complex ecosystems which are extremely beneficial for a whole range of wildlife, with one tree hosting up to 324 varieties of lichen and 284 species of insect, which in turn provide food for many of our woodland birds, not to mention the many mammals that feed on the acorns below.

As well as supporting a variety of important trees and plants, including carpets of scented English bluebells in spring-time, this woodland provides a sanctuary to many of our most precious and endangered animal species such as the elusive hazel dormice, and the iconic hedgehog, which is thought to have suffered from rapidly declining numbers in this country over recent years. Ten out of the 15 species of bats recorded in Kent are known to live within this woodland, including the large noctule bat, which is in serious decline and roosts within the larger trees here.

West Blean woods is an essential habitat for the heath fritillary, one of Britain’s rarest butterflies

748 different species of birds have been recorded in this area of the Blean woods, including 50 rare and 13 nationally-scarce woodland birds. Of particular note are the RSPB red-listed nightjar, tree pipit and nightingale. Rare reptiles such as the grass snake and slow worm rely on this type of habitat for their survival, as do amphibians including the protected great crested newt which lives in areas where there are ponds.

The site harbours a wide variety of insect life including the rare ladybird coccinella distincta and the globally- threatened stag beetle. The woods are famed for colonies of the iconic red wood ant, which constructs towering and impressively engineered woodland cities from the multitude of woody materials on the forest floor. The Blean complex is thought to shelter 60% of the world population of the extremely rare heath fritillary butterfly. With sympathetic woodland management over a number of years, it may even become possible to reintroduce the secretive pine marten to this area, and in doing so support the return of our native red squirrel.

 

What your donation will achieve

Your gift will do something amazing for wildlife. It will pay for the purchase of this precious woodland habitat. Once we have secured it for posterity, Wildwood Trust is committed to its care and ongoing development as a centre of excellence for scientific study and outdoor learning, led by our outstanding education and conservation teams.

The costs of woodlands across the UK have spiralled out of control in recent years. Mass privatisation, counterproductive tax breaks and subsidies have let loose a wave of speculation, pushing up land prices beyond the ability of charities to protect places like this.


We will need to raise a total of £55,000 to purchase this land, but if we cannot buy it now, costs are very likely to continue to rise over time and we may never be able to do so, leaving it increasingly vulnerable to developers. This is why we are asking for your help right now.

As a charity, Wildwood Trust relies on generous donations and legacies from members of the public. Without the support of yourself and others like you, we would simply not be able to continue our work to protect British wildlife for future generations.

 

How you can help:

£12         will pay for a dormouse nest box to enable this endearing animal to populate the woodland

£25         will enable us to buy 100 square foot of woodland habitat – safe forever.

£75         would provide a set of woodland sampling equipment for students

£150       will pay for the installation of a bat box and ongoing monitoring to help a threatened species

£250       will pay for 1,000 Square foot of woodland Habitat – safe forever

£500       will pay for an expert conservationist to coppice selected trees, allowing more light into the wood and enabling a whole range of connected wildlife to survive into the future.

£1,000    will pay for 4,000 Square foot of woodland Habitat – safe forever

Any amount, no matter how small, will help us towards achieving our target!

Click here to donate now

But I must stress that any amount, no matter how small, is hugely appreciated and will help us towards achieving our target

Why we must act now, without delay

Protecting this site will not only support Kent’s amazing and often threatened wildlife.  Wildwood aims to use the land and all its wonders as a valuable teaching resource; to enable children and young people of all abilities to discover the joy of learning in the outdoors through our award winning education programmes and woodland ecology courses.

Securing these woods is vital to inspire and train the next generation of wildlife conservationists and scientists as future guardians of our precious wild spaces. 

For more on our Appeal to save this precious woodland, click here to visit our website  you can find further details of the rich and diverse wildlife found in this area; wildlife which Wildwood Trust can start to protect tomorrow with your help.

The Blean is an enchanting woodland space, with ancient trees, heathlands and bogs and abundant flora and fauna, providing an intricate tapestry of habitats which support a myriad of fascinating species.

Yet, without your help, this outstanding wildlife heritage could be lost forever. Children of tomorrow might never get the chance to see a cloud of rare woodland butterflies flitting through the sunlight piercing the woodland canopy, to witness a fascinating creature like the hedgehog emerging from its leafy home at dusk, to study the complex engineering and temperature regulation of a towering city of wood ants, or to hear the song of the nightingale - described by poets as one of the most beautiful sounds in nature.

Your gift could mean these amazing creatures and the habitats they rely on for their survival could go on for another thousand years, giving future generations a treasure to be proud of.

I cannot stress enough how important it is that we are able to buy and protect this woodland today whilst we still have the chance. With your help Wildwood can make this happen, and I truly appreciate your support in saving this special site for future generations to enjoy.

Please donate now to help us to save this precious woodland

Yours sincerely

Peter Smith

Chief Executive


Click here to donate now 

or call our office on 01227 712 111 9am to 5pm to make a donation by credit card

Thank you - your support is truly appreciated


Unsubscribe
from all Wildwood Trust email communications

Help to save a precious Woodland before it is lost forever

A letter from our Chief Executive Peter Smith

Help to save a precious Woodland before it is lost forever
Click here to donate now
I am writing to you today so you can be part of our urgent appeal to save a stunning piece of ancient woodland and to help protect the rare and threatened wildlife it harbours for future generations. But the clock is ticking and without your donation today, this natural woodland treasure could be lost to us forever.

"Join me in our urgent appeal to save a wildlife haven"

One of the last pieces of the historic woodland that surrounds Wildwood’s animal park is up for sale. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we have a very short time to raise the funds to buy this woodland and put it into charity ownership to protect it for all time. If we do not act today, these woods could be snapped up by greedy developers and the intricate diversity of their wildlife habitats spoilt by uncaring new owners.

You could help Wildwood to protect a vast array of threatened native animals and plants that live within these woods, which might otherwise be lost.

Perhaps even more importantly, your gift will enable our dedicated staff, each one of them an expert in their field, to inspire young minds to learn about the woodland’s outstanding ecology and our precious natural heritage.

From toddlers to university students, together we will give our next generation of young people the opportunity to learn from, and to care for, some of the UK’s most amazing woodland wildlife.

Why is it so important to buy this woodland?

West Blean Woods is a very important site which can be documented back to medieval times and is a relic of the original ancient wild woods that once covered Britain. It is now part of one of the largest concentration of ancient semi- natural woodland and conifer plantations left in England. The forest complex is of national and international significance and has received the highest conservation designations, including Site of Special Scientific Interest, Special Area of Conservation and National Nature Reserve.

The part of West Blean and Thornden woods that we are hoping to save extends for five acres to the North of Wildwood Trust’s Park, and is some of the last of the woodland to remain outside conservation ownership.

Poor management previously has meant that the woods are not in the condition they could be, both to support a broad range of flora and fauna, but also to act as a wildlife corridor joining other nearby woodlands in a mosaic of connected habitat, to allow the ongoing survival of many of our most important woodland species.

Enduring ownership by a dedicated conservation charity like Wildwood Trust is the only way to guarantee that the site will have the sympathetic woodland management it needs to support the delicate balance of its native ecosystems and to ensure a sustainable future where wildlife will be able to flourish forever.

What is so special about this site?

The woods contain a diverse mix of trees including arguably our best known and loved native tree, the English oak - mature oak trees have complex ecosystems which are extremely beneficial for a whole range of wildlife, with one tree hosting up to 324 varieties of lichen and 284 species of insect, which in turn provide food for many of our woodland birds, not to mention the many mammals that feed on the acorns below.

As well as supporting a variety of important trees and plants, including carpets of scented English bluebells in spring-time, this woodland provides a sanctuary to many of our most precious and endangered animal species such as the elusive hazel dormice, and the iconic hedgehog, which is thought to have suffered from rapidly declining numbers in this country over recent years. Ten out of the 15 species of bats recorded in Kent are known to live within this woodland, including the large noctule bat, which is in serious decline and roosts within the larger trees here.

West Blean woods is an essential habitat for the heath fritillary, one of Britain’s rarest butterflies
748 different species of birds have been recorded in this area of the Blean woods, including 50 rare and 13 nationally-scarce woodland birds. Of particular note are the RSPB red-listed nightjar, tree pipit and nightingale. Rare reptiles such as the grass snake and slow worm rely on this type of habitat for their survival, as do amphibians including the protected great crested newt which lives in areas where there are ponds.

The site harbours a wide variety of insect life including the rare ladybird coccinella distincta and the globally- threatened stag beetle. The woods are famed for colonies of the iconic red wood ant, which constructs towering and impressively engineered woodland cities from the multitude of woody materials on the forest floor. The Blean complex is thought to shelter 60% of the world population of the extremely rare heath fritillary butterfly. With sympathetic woodland management over a number of years, it may even become possible to reintroduce the secretive pine marten to this area, and in doing so support the return of our native red squirrel.

What your donation will achieve

Your gift will do something amazing for wildlife. It will pay for the purchase of this precious woodland habitat. Once we have secured it for posterity, Wildwood Trust is committed to its care and ongoing development as a centre of excellence for scientific study and outdoor learning, led by our outstanding education and conservation teams.
The costs of woodlands across the UK have spiralled out of control in recent years. Mass privatisation, counterproductive tax breaks and subsidies have let loose a wave of speculation, pushing up land prices beyond the ability of charities to protect places like this.

We will need to raise a total of £55,000 to purchase this land, but if we cannot buy it now, costs are very likely to continue to rise over time and we may never be able to do so, leaving it increasingly vulnerable to developers. This is why we are asking for your help right now.
As a charity, Wildwood Trust relies on generous donations and legacies from members of the public. Without the support of yourself and others like you, we would simply not be able to continue our work to protect British wildlife for future generations.

How you can help:
£12         will pay for a dormouse nest box to enable this endearing animal to populate the woodland
£25         will enable us to buy 100 square foot of woodland habitat – safe forever.
£75         would provide a set of woodland sampling equipment for students
£150       will pay for the installation of a bat box and ongoing monitoring to help a threatened species
£250       will pay for 1,000 Square foot of woodland Habitat – safe forever

£500       will pay for an expert conservationist to coppice selected trees, allowing more light into the wood and enabling a whole range of connected wildlife to survive into the future.
£1,000    will pay for 4,000 Square foot of woodland Habitat – safe forever
Any amount, no matter how small, will help us towards achieving our target!

Click here to donate now

But I must stress that any amount, no matter how small, is hugely appreciated and will help us towards achieving our target

Why we must act now, without delay
Protecting this site will not only support Kent’s amazing and often threatened wildlife.  Wildwood aims to use the land and all its wonders as a valuable teaching resource; to enable children and young people of all abilities to discover the joy of learning in the outdoors through our award winning education programmes and woodland ecology courses.
Securing these woods is vital to inspire and train the next generation of wildlife conservationists and scientists as future guardians of our precious wild spaces. 

For more on our Appeal to save this precious woodland, click here to visit our website  you can find further details of the rich and diverse wildlife found in this area; wildlife which Wildwood Trust can start to protect tomorrow with your help.

The Blean is an enchanting woodland space, with ancient trees, heathlands and bogs and abundant flora and fauna, providing an intricate tapestry of habitats which support a myriad of fascinating species.

Yet, without your help, this outstanding wildlife heritage could be lost forever. Children of tomorrow might never get the chance to see a cloud of rare woodland butterflies flitting through the sunlight piercing the woodland canopy, to witness a fascinating creature like the hedgehog emerging from its leafy home at dusk, to study the complex engineering and temperature regulation of a towering city of wood ants, or to hear the song of the nightingale - described by poets as one of the most beautiful sounds in nature.
Your gift could mean these amazing creatures and the habitats they rely on for their survival could go on for another thousand years, giving future generations a treasure to be proud of.
I cannot stress enough how important it is that we are able to buy and protect this woodland today whilst we still have the chance. With your help Wildwood can make this happen, and I truly appreciate your support in saving this special site for future generations to enjoy.
Please donate now to help us to save this precious woodland
Yours sincerely

Peter Smith
Chief Executive

Click here to donate now 

or call our office on 01227 712 111 9am to 5pm to make a donation by credit card
Thank you - your support is truly appreciated

Monday, 25 April 2016

Support the Wildwood Woodland Appeal


URGENT Wildwood Woodland Appeal
Help to save a precious Woodland before it is lost forever
Click here to donate now
One of the last pieces of the historic woodland that surrounds Wildwood’s animal park is up for sale. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we have a very short time to raise the funds to buy this woodland and put it into charity ownership to protect it for all time.
You can be part of an exciting project to save a stunning piece of ancient woodland and to help protect the rare and threatened wildlife it harbours for future generations. But the clock is ticking and without your donation today, this natural woodland treasure could be lost to us forever.
If we do not act today, these woods could be snapped up by greedy developers and the intricate diversity of their wildlife habitats spoilt by uncaring new owners.
For more on our Appeal to save this precious woodland, click here to visit our website
How you can help:
£12         will pay for a dormouse nest box to enable this endearing animal to populate the woodland
£25         will enable us to buy 100 square foot of woodland habitat – safe forever.
£75         would provide a set of woodland sampling equipment for students
£150       will pay for the installation of a bat box and ongoing monitoring to help a threatened species
£250       will pay for 1,000 Square foot of woodland Habitat – safe forever

£500       will pay for an expert conservationist to coppice selected trees, allowing more light into the wood and enabling a whole range of connected wildlife to survive into the future.
£1,000    will pay for 4,000 Square foot of woodland Habitat – safe forever
Any amount, no matter how small, will help us towards achieving our target!
Click here to donate now

Why we must act now, without delay
Protecting this site will not only support Kent’s amazing and often threatened wildlife.  Wildwood aims to use the land and all its wonders as a valuable teaching resource; to enable children and young people of all abilities to discover the joy of learning in the outdoors through our award winning education programmes and woodland ecology courses.
Securing these woods is vital to inspire and train the next generation of wildlife conservationists and scientists as future guardians of our precious wild spaces.
For more on our Appeal to save this precious woodland, click here to visit our website
Please donate now to help us to save this precious woodland

Click here to donate now

or call 01227 712 111

Thank you - your support is truly appreciated

Monday, 4 April 2016

Wildcats Set to Rewild Devon

      April 2016   www.escot.wildwoodtrust.org  01404 822188

website address

 

 

Wildcats have returned to a Devon Woodland this week….

Wildwood Trust which now runs the 'Wildwood Escot' animal park near Ottery St Mary are inviting people to come and see our wildcat as they champion rewilding in Devon. The charity is making the bold claim that rewilding can create an ecological and tourist resurgence in the County bringing jobs and wildlife in equal abundance.
 
The animal experts at Wildwood Trust have been working tirelessly to build a natural woodland enclosure which shows off these formally native animals that once prowled the woodlands of Devon.
 
 
Often mislabelled as ‘Scottish Wildcats’ these British wildcats roamed the whole of Britain until they were persecuted and driven to extinction by hunting and overgrazing. The poor British Wildcat now clings to a tiny few areas of Scotland but they will soon be extinct unless we stop the insane polices of subsiding upland grazing and giving tax breaks to hunting estates that graze the land bare.
 
The rare and valuable Wildcat, called Staffin, is one of the few remaining true wildcats, in genetic tests he scored as one of the purist British wildcats left in the world. He is soon to be joined by a female and their offspring will be part of a national breeding programme which aims to rescue this formally native animal of Devon from extinction.
 
Peter Smith, Wildwood’s founder, said;
“Devon’s uplands have been destroyed by a century of overgrazing and it is our aim to return the Wildwood to its former condition. By changing the rules of agricultural subsidies and returning animals like wildcats our uplands could blossom with wildlife and draw people from around the world to enjoy a rebirth of wildlife”
 
Rewilding has many benefits, with more jobs, cleaner water and air. Rewilding can have a major impact on helping reduce flooding downstream to farms and towns. The list of benefits far out way the negatives and the real challenge of the rewilding movement is to allow a democratic debate for the majority of the population to reclaim public policy on how our wild lands are managed."
If we can restore our uplands to a former state they can support the wildcat and form a safe home to protect them for many generations to come.
 
 
Rewilding is a benefit to the vast majority of people and our investment in building a rewilding visitor centre in the Escot Estate aims to demonstrate what can be achieved and help build a movement to champion bringing the wildwood back to the south west.
 
This work will continue for years to come and visitors to Wildwood Escot can now share in our journey to show just what a rewilded Devon can look like and to join our charity as a member to forward this cause. Visitors can also enjoy a walk around the magnificent House and Garden’s experiencing our other formally native wildlife such as red Squirrels, wild boar or even beavers on our special beaver watch evenings. The estate boasts many feature such as an exciting maze and adventure play area with the frightening tree top drop slide.
 
To visit the wildcats and enjoy an exciting day out for all the family visit http://www.escot.wildwoodtrust.org or call 01404 822188. All profits go towards our charitable work.
 
 

Wild Cat (Felis silvestris)

Wildcats are native to the UK but now exist only in the highlands of Scotland. They are not closely related to the domestic cat and are much bigger and bulkier with a large bushy tail. As the name suggests they are wild and cannot easily be tamed even from a kitten. They are able to interbreed with the domestic cat, which weakens their genetics.
Wildcats hunt on small animals in the moorlands and woodlands of Scotland. The wildcats at Wildwood can be seen lounging in their specially designed hammocks and climbing amongst the branches in their enclosure. Look closely as their fur gives them fantastic camouflage.
 
 
 

 
 

 
 
UNLIMITED FREE ENTRY when you become a member
Click here to become a member

 

 

            

Wildwood Escot, Escot Park, Ottery St Mary, Devon, EX11 1LU |

Wildwood Trust Registered Charity No. 1093702


Tel: 01404 822188 | Email: escot@wildwoodtrust.org

 


Unsubscribe
from all Wildwood Trust email communications

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Wildcats Set to Rewild Devon

Wildcats have returned to a Devon Woodland this week….



Wildwood Trust which operates a visitor centre at Escot near Ottery St Mary are inviting people to come and see our wildcat as they champion rewilding in Devon. The charity is making the bold claim that rewilding can create an ecological and tourist resurgence in the County bringing jobs and wildlife in equal abundance.

The animal experts at Wildwood Trust have been working tirelessly to build a natural woodland enclosure which shows off these formally native animals that once prowled the woodlands of Devon.
Often mislabelled as ‘Scottish Wildcats’ these British wildcats roamed the whole of Britain until they were persecuted and driven to extinction by hunting and overgrazing. The poor British Wildcat now clings to a tiny few areas of Scotland but they will soon be extinct unless we stop the insane polices of subsiding upland grazing and giving tax breaks to hunting estates that graze the land bare.

The rare and valuable Wildcat, called Staffin, is one of the few remaining true wildcats, in genetic tests he scored as one of the purist British wildcats left in the world. He is soon to be joined by a female and their offspring will be part of a national breeding programme which aims to rescue this formally native animal of Devon from extinction.



Peter Smith, Wildwood’s founder, said; “Devon’s uplands have been destroyed by a century of overgrazing and it is our aim to return the Wildwood to its former condition. By changing the rules of agricultural subsidies and returning animals like wildcats our uplands could blossom with wildlife and draw people from around the world to enjoy a rebirth of wildlife”

“Rewilding has many benefits, with more jobs, cleaner water and air. Rewilding can have a major impact on helping reduce flooding downstream to farms and towns. The list of benefits far out way the negatives and the real challenge of the rewilding movement is to allow a democratic debate for the majority of the population to reclaim public policy on how our wild lands are managed.
If we can restore our uplands to a former state they can support the wildcat and form a safe home to protect them for many generations to come.


Rewilding is a benefit of the majority of people and our investment in building a rewilding visitor centre in the Escot Estate aims to demonstrate what can be achieved and help build a movement to champion bringing the wildwood back to the south west.



This work will continue for years to come and visitors to Wildwood Escot can now share in our journey to show just what a rewilded Devon can look like and to join our charity as a member to forward this cause.  Visitors can also enjoy a walk around the magnificent House and Garden’s experiencing our other formally native wildlife such as red Squirrels, wild boar or even beavers on our special beaver watch evenings. The estate boasts many feature such as an exciting maze and adventure play area with the frightening tree top drop slide.



To visit the wildcats and enjoy an exciting day out for all the family visit http://www.escot.wildwoodtrust.org   or call 01404 822188. All profits go towards our charitable work.

Wild Cat (Felis silvestris)

Wildcats are native to the UK but now exist only in the highlands of Scotland. They are not closely related to the domestic cat and are much bigger and bulkier with a large bushy tail. As the name suggests they are wild and cannot easily be tamed even from a kitten. They are able to interbreed with the domestic cat, which weakens their genetics.

Wildcats hunt on small animals in the moorlands and woodlands of Scotland. The wildcats at Wildwood can be seen lounging in their specially designed hammocks and climbing amongst the branches in their enclosure. Look closely as their fur gives them fantastic camouflage.



Follow us on Twitter: @WildwoodEscot

Countact

Wildwood Escot: +44(0)1404 822188
Wildwood Escot, Estate Office, Ottery St Mary, Devon. EX11 1LU
Registered Charity No. 1093702