Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Wildwood Trust Launches Urgent Bear Appeal

Wildwood Trust launches urgent bear appeal:

A Brown bear in its concreate enclosure at Kormisosh, Bulgaria and two browns bears in cramped living conditions c Alertis

A Brown bear in its concreate enclosure at Kormisosh, Bulgaria c Alertis

 

£50,000 needed to save two brown bears from

horrendous conditions.

 

Wildwood Trust desperately need help to raise £50,000 to rescue two brown bears from horrendous living conditions in Bulgaria and bring them to a new home within the ancient woodland at Wildwood. Wildwood are creating the UK’s first brown bear rescue and rehabilitation centre where they will receive the specialist care and enrichment programmes to help them flourish and lead a full and interesting life.

The bears are kept in small, barren concrete pens in an abandoned bear breeding centre called Kormisosh, in Bulgaria. The bears used to be bred for the cruel practice of canned hunting, being released for trophy hunters to shoot. This was stopped by the Government but means the bears at Kormisosh where abandoned and are at present looked after by volunteers who do not have the ability to continue to care for them. The situation is getting desperate with little help for the bears as their pens are falling apart.

Peter Smith, Chief Executive said: ‘Wildwood desperately needs £50,000 to pay for a very large woodland enclosure and transport the bears safely to England. I am asking all our supporters to pledge their support and make a donation, large or small, to give these bears a chance of a decent life.

The leading bear conservation and welfare charity ‘Alertis’ highlighted the plight of these bears. Alertis experts are leading this project and training Wildwood staff to give the bears the best life they can. Once sheltered in our wonderful Kentish woodland we can rehabilitate them so they can lead a rich and happy retirement full of enjoyment instead of sorrow.

Alertis commented: ‘We are looking forward to working with Wildwood to rescue these bears from their terrible life in Kormisosh and give them a new home in the woodland.’ 

The fundraising appeal launches at the beginning of the summer holidays and urges people to give whatever they can.

Peter added: ‘Every penny counts and there are so many ways you can get involved and help out. Over the summer holiday, visitors to Wildwood will be able to take part in our special fundraising games and activities taking place in the park. If you are able to give up some of your spare time we are desperately in need of volunteers to help us run the fundraising activities. You can also help by holding your own fundraising event to raise money for the bear appeal – do a sponsored challenge, hold a bake sale or host a fun evening in and don’t forget to spread the word! The more people that know about the bear appeal, and the plight of the Kormisosh bears, the better.’

The simplest way to support the appeal is with your mobile, text BEAR21 plus an amount between £1 and £10 (e.g. BEAR21 £5) to 70700. If you would like to give more than £5, you can you can also make a donation online by visiting https://mydonate.bt.com/events/bears, alternatively you can donate by phone 01227 712 111. £5 could help to buy bedding for the crates when transporting the bears to Wildwood, £50 could help towards the health checks and vet’s fees and £500 could help towards building their large woodland enclosure. 

Supporters of the appeal will be able to follow progress of the bear appeal on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Please use the hashtag #savethebrownbears.

If you are interested in volunteering (over 18s only) or if you are interested in running a fundraising event please contact the Wildwood fundraising team on 01227 712 111. For further information about the appeal, opening times and admission prices, please visit www.wildwoodtrust.org.

*Donations will be deducted from your mobile phone account and cost £5 plus your standard network text message rate. Wildwood Trust will receive 100% of your donation. Always get the bill payers permission.

RELATED CONTENT

Wildwood bear rescue appeal video:

http://youtu.be/wzJUqafcbMs

Rehabilitated bears playing at the Alertis centre in the Netherlands – what Wildwood Trust are trying to create:

http://youtu.be/04HpE__5V8I

Save the bears in Kormisosh.  This harrowing footage is of the bears Wildwood Trust are trying to rescue in partnership with the bear rescue charity Alertis:

http://youtu.be/uvZaTW5domo

We have a wide range of content available to be used by the media. Please get in touch with us using the contact details below.

CONTACT

Wildwood Trust: +44(0)1227 712 111

Fiona Paterson: fiona@wildwoodtrust.org    

Warren Ashfield: warren@wildwoodtrust.org

Peter Smith: peter@wildwoodtrust.org

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

Registered Charity No 1093702

FOLLOW US

Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thewildwoodtrust

Follow us on Twitter: @WildwoodTrust

Watch us on YouTube: thewildwoodtrust

EDITOR'S NOTES

  • Wildwood Trust opened in 1999 as a centre of excellence for the conservation of British wildlife, and was established as a registered charity in 2002. Wildwood is Kent’s best British wildlife park. Home to over 200 native animals, past and present and set in 40 acres of beautiful ancient woodland, see wolves, bison, deer, owls, foxes, red squirrels, wild boar, lynx, wild horses, badgers and beavers plus many more. 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 have taken part  in many ground-breaking conservation programmes to date, which include, saving the water vole, using wild horses to help restore Kent’s most precious nature reserves, bringing the extinct European beaver back to Britain and returning the hazel dormouse & red squirrel to areas where they have been made extinct.    

 

  • Wildwood Trust operates a membership scheme which gives unlimited visits from just £3.50 per month. A family membership is just £7.00 per month for 2 adults and up to 6 directly related children.

 

 

 


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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Summer Fun at Wildwood!


 

 

Summer Fun at Wildwood!

Keep the whole family entertained this summer for just £7.00 a month.*

There will be plenty to keep the whole family entertained this summer at Kent's best British wildlife park, all at just £7.00 a month.* Wildwood, located just outside Canterbury in Kent, is home to over 200 of Britain's rarest and endangered species. Some of which can no longer be seen in the wild, such as wolves, lynx, European bison, beaver and Kent's only Eurasian elk (or moose as they are more commonly known and referred to as in North America). 

There will be free animal talks and feeds taking place daily around the park, plus watch our free bird flight displays every day at 2pm (weather permitting) or pop into one of our fun craft workshops. The children will love the amazing adventure play area featuring the tallest drop slide in Kent whilst the adults can relax and enjoy a bite to eat from the Beaver Lodge Café. Plus there will be a host of special games and activities taking place around the park, as part of a new and exciting campaign Wildwood are launching at the beginning of the summer holiday.

For prices, opening times and a full list of activities taking place in the park over the summer holidays please visit www.wildwoodtrust.org and don't forget to check out our Facebook and Twitter pages for all the latest news.

*Terms & conditions apply: Family Membership is £7.00 a month, for a maximum of 2 adults and up to 6 directly related children. Minimum membership term of 12 months. Please check the website for up-to-date prices.

********************ends********************* 

 

Images attached.

 

CONTACT

Wildwood Trust: +44(0)1227 712 111

Fiona Paterson: fiona@wildwoodtrust.org

Warren Ashfield: warren@wildwoodtrust.org

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

www.wildwoodtrust.org

 

FOLLOW US

Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thewildwoodtrust

Follow us on Twitter: @WildwoodTrust

Watch us on YouTube: thewildwoodtrust

 

EDITOR'S NOTES

Wildwood Trust opened in 1999 as a centre of excellence for the conservation of British wildlife, and was established as a registered charity in 2002. Wildwood is Kent's best British wildlife park. Home to over 200 native animals, past and present and set in 40 acres of beautiful ancient woodland, see wolves, bison, deer, owls, foxes, red squirrels, wild boar, lynx, wild horses, badgers and beavers plus many more. 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 have taken part  in many ground-breaking conservation programmes to date, which include, saving the water vole, using wild horses to help restore Kent's most precious nature reserves, bringing the extinct European beaver back to Britain and returning the hazel dormouse & red squirrel to areas where they have been made extinct.

 

Wildwood Trust operates a membership scheme which gives unlimited visits from just £3.50 per month. A family membership is just £7.00 per month for 2 adults and up to 6 directly related children. Minimum membership term of 12 months and membership terms and conditions apply.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Wildwood Summer e-news


 

Wildwood summer e-news

Summer holiday fun at Wildwood

Summer Holidays! Sat 30th August – 2nd September

We've got loads going on at Wildwood this summer holiday so come on down to the park for lots of fun and surprises!


Free talks and feeds:
Every day around the park during the holidays - check the What's On board on arrival.

Owl flight displays: Free displays every day at 2pm (weather permitting). Watch our buzzard and owl in flight training in a spectacular daily display.

Fun Summer Trail: Our most exciting summer trail yet! – Entries cost £1 and all completed entries win a free prize. Plus all entries submitted before 10 August will go into our prize draw to win a family ticket to the Sooty Show, Theatre Royal, Margate worth £38. All proceeds go towards our new charity appeal (details to be announced). Click here for more info on the Sooty Show!

Craft sessions: We will be holding fun, impromptu craft sessions during the holidays – check the What's On board on arrival!

 

 

Summer events at Wildwood:

To book any event please call the Wildwood office on 01227 712 111
*Please note that Wildwood membership or entry fees apply to attend events.


Beautiful Butterflies:
Tuesday 29 - Thursday 31 July

Make beautiful giant butterflies to take home to celebrate the annual Big Butterfly Count (19th July - 10th August). Plus, pick up a free butterfly trail to count the butterflies you see as you make your way around the park.

11.30am - 12.30pm & 2.30pm - 3.30pm each day. £2 per child* Drop in any time (no need to book). Held in the Outdoor Classroom.

 

Snake Craft Event: Wednesday 6 August

Find out all about slithering snakes! Meet one of our biggest snakes, make snake crafts to take home and watch our adders being fed.

2.30pm - 3.30pm. £2 per person*. Drop in any time (no need to book). Adder feed is subject to weather conditions.


Teddy Bears Picnic: Sunday 10 August 

Bring your favourite teddy for a grand day out at our fun-filled teddy bears' picnic. Enjoy stories, games and a bear-hunt, followed by a teddy bear cupcake and a drink. Everyone (young and old) must bring a teddy for a teddy-tastic time!

2.30pm - 4pm. £3 per person*. Must book.

 

Mini farmers' market: Wednesday 13 & Thursday 14 August 

Ready your taste buds to sample a variety of Kentish fare from local suppliers with lots of opportunities to buy tasty treats for home or as gifts. Bring a bag and stock up!

10am - 5pm each day. Free* event.  Drop in anytime (no need to book).


Teddy Bears Picnic: Sunday 17 August

Bring your favourite teddy for a grand day out at our fun-filled teddy bears' picnic. Enjoy stories, games and a bear-hunt, followed by a teddy bear cupcake and a drink. Everyone (young and old) must bring a teddy for a teddy-tastic time!

2.30pm - 4pm. £3 per person*. Must book.


Wildwood Bioblitz!  Thursday 21 August

Bring the family and join our annual challenge to record as many plants and animals as we can at Wildwood in just one day. Help us find and identify as many birds, animals, trees, plants, flowers and insect as possible -let's see if we can beat our record of 123 species!

10am - 5pm. Free* event. Drop in anytime.


Photo Day: Tuesday 26 August

A day of Wildlife photography with expert tuition from our resident photographer. Gift vouchers also available.

10am - 4.30pm. £79 per person. Min age 18yrs. Must book.

Stunning Spiders: Sunday 7 September

Celebrate the best time of year to see spiders! Go on a spider hunt to discover the different spiders lurking around Wildwood and make stunning spider crafts to take home.

2pm - 4pm. £3 per person*. Must book.


Toddler Club re-starts after summer! Monday 8 September

Toddler club is back after the summer break! Come along for games, crafts and meet some of our animals too.

Free* Toddler club for pre-school children and parents. 10.30am - 12pm every Monday and Thursday during school term time. No need to book, drop in any time.

 

To book any event please call the Wildwood office on 01227 712 111
*Please note that Wildwood membership or entry fees apply to attend events.

 

 

Say hello to Doris & Sixpence - our new otters!

Two new otters at Wildwood

For those of you have not seen them yet, don't forget to visit our two new Eurasian otters this summer! 

The delightful pair; a male called Sixpence and a female called Doris, settled in extremely quickly and visitors can see them in their purpose-built enclosure.

Their new life at Wildwood is truly a happy ending for them after they were both found orphaned and in desperate need of rescue to ensure their survival.

They were originally taken in by New Forest Wildlife Park who are leading experts in the rescue, rehabilitation and re-release of Eurasian otters. The New Forest team worked tirelessly to treat and rehabilitate the pair for release back to the wild but sadly this wasn't to be. They discovered that Sixpence couldn't cope on his own in the wild and Doris's fur wasn't sufficiently waterproofed, leaving her at risk from hypothermia. As neither animal could be released back to the wild, Wildwood stepped in to give them a permanent home.

Jon May, Wildwood's park manager said "We were only too delighted to offer Doris and Sixpence a home at Wildwood. Otters are an iconic British animal that has faced the very real threat of extinction in recent times and we hope they will both delight and inspire our visitors about the story of British wildlife."

As a conservation charity which is dedicated to educating people about British wildlife, otters are a particularly important species for Wildwood. After nearly being wiped out across the UK in the 1960's their numbers started to slowly recover until they were found in every English county with the exception of Kent. Today otters have started to return to the county but their numbers remain very low and experts believe that it will take many more years before their population fully recovers in Kent.

Wildwood hopes that Doris and Sixpence will help to educate visitors about the continuing importance of ensuring that otters can truly call Kent home once more.

Look out for free talks and feeds at the otter enclosure (next to the ravens) throughout the summer holidays.

 

 

Wildwood beavers go to Beaver Water World

Beavers to Beaver Water World

Wildwood is delighted to have donated a pair of beavers to Beaver Water World near Westerham, Kent.

The beavers; a male and a female which were raised at Wildwood, will hopefully breed at their new home, increasing the number of captive beavers in the UK. This is of particular importance to Wildwood as we campaign to return wild-living beavers to the Britain, as a strong captive population will one day be vital to making our dream a reality.

As a conservation charity, Wildwood wants Britain to teem with wildlife once more and one of our charitable objectives is to promote the return of once-native species to our shores. Chief amongst these is the beaver which is one of the most important now-extinct species that should be returned to the UK thanks to the benefits they bring to the ecosystem.

Beavers are currently classed as a "non-native" species after being absent from the UK for so long. This leaves them with no legal protection and open to persecution.  Wildwood believes that this classification is wrong and that beavers should be legally allowed to live wild in the UK.

Wildwood recently campaigned to save the "free beavers of the Tay" near Perth, Scotland. The campaign was a huge success and the Government was forced to abandon its plans to kill over 100 wild-living beavers. Wildwood Trust's members rallied to the cause, joining hundreds of others in urging the Scottish Environment Minister to save the beavers. The Scottish Government reversed its decision to carry out the trapping and instead will now review the position in 2015, when an official reintroduction study is due to end. Wildwood continues the fight to return beavers to our shores we hope that before long before the Government will decide to allow beavers to live wild and free again legally across the UK.

Peter Smith, Wildwood's Trust Chief Executive said:

"Beavers are crucial in helping restore the British countryside and are a vital, natural tool for improving the health of our riverbanks and wetlands. Beavers are marvellous habitat managers and their presence has benefits for animals and humans alike. Beavers create wetlands which act as giant sponges, helping to retain and purify water, prevent pollution, and reduce flooding which could help reduce water bills."

We would like to thank all of our members who helped us in the fight to save the free beavers, it is because of your efforts that these amazing creatures remain wild and free. We hope that this is just the beginning of the story to bring the beaver back to Britain.

Beaver Water World is open every day from 10am, in Tatsfield. Nr. Westerham.  For more info visit their website: www.beaverwaterworld.com

 

 

Your chance to visit the Free Beavers of the Tay

Visit the beavers at the Bamff Estate

Great news for anyone visiting Scotland this year!  Our friends and co-campaigners in the fight to return beavers to the UK at the Bamff Estate, Scotland, are now offering camping and beaver walks to see the "free beavers of the Tay".

Beavers were first introduced to a large enclosure on the stunning Bamff Estate in 2002. The beavers were imported along with those that were released to the Ham Fen nature reserve in Kent. Wildwood played a vital role in bringing the beavers to the UK by quarantining the animals at the park before their release. Wildwood is encouraging people to visit the wild beavers of Scotland both to educate the public about their importance in the ecosystem and to promote responsible wildlife tourism, which in turn will increase the chances of beavers being allowed to live once again in the UK.

Over the years, the beavers at Bamff have thrived; they have bred and have built dozens of dams. They have also created multiple pools out of a deep ditch and expanded a small lochan (meaning small loch). As a result of their activity there has been a great burgeoning of biodiversity throughout the low ground of Bamff, with numbers of otters, water voles, waterfowl and plants all increasing in the area.

Every year the Bamff Estate welcomes visitors to see, photograph and film the beavers and their habitat.  Visitors can stay in the charming holiday cottage or the new semi-wild camping area behind the castle.

A visit to Bamff and their Tayside walks is the perfect chance to see beavers living wild again both on the Bamff Estate and along the Tay after a 400 year absence. Participants will also be able to see their impact on the local ecosystem and how this "keystone species" has helped other wildlife to thrive such as otters, kingfishers, red squirrels, water voles, mergansers and cormorants.

For more information about the Bamff Estate, or to book a stay visit: www.bamff.co.uk

 

 

Wildwood releases rare hazel dormice to the wild

Wildwood dormouse release

Wildwood is celebrating after successfully introducing another group of captive-bred hazel dormice to an area of Nottinghamshire woodland as part of a continuing project to help protect the species from extinction.

Working alongside other conservation organisations including the People's Trust for Endangered Species (PTES), Zoological Society of London (ZSL), Paignton Zoo, Natural England and Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust; Wildwood was on hand to assist in the release of 40 animals to a secret location.

This recent release is the latest in the scheme which was established in 1992 and aims to increase dormice numbers in areas of the UK where the species is in decline.  It is hoped that this latest release group will eventually link up with another population released last year in a nearby area.

Once widespread throughout much of England, hazel dormouse numbers have steadily declined over the past 100 years. Thanks to the continued threats of habitat loss and unsympathetic woodland management the species has become extinct across half of its former range.

Each year Wildwood supplies captive-bred dormice for the release programme and as studbook holder for the species, selects and pairs up the animals for release; thus ensuring the strongest genetic mix for future generations.

To boost the animals' chances of success, the woodland is carefully managed by Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust to ensure it can provide suitable food and shelter, whilst the animals are introduced via a "soft-release" system. Initially they are housed in cages with adequate food and water before the cage door is opened after a few days. The cage is topped up with supplies allowing the dormice to come and go at will without having to fend for themselves immediately after release. This supports the dormice as they become integrated into the area and gives them the best possible start in their new woodland home.

Hazel Ryan, Wildwood's Head of Conservation said "It's wonderful to be involved once again in this amazing project. We hope that with continued releases and careful habitat management we can help to expand their range and bring hazel dormice back to areas where they once thrived."

 

Wildwood releases rescued bats to our woodland

Conservation courses at Wildwood

The Wildwood bat flight centre has once again proved a success as the Wildwood conservation team celebrates the release of two rescued common pipistrelle bats to our woodland.

The bats, both found orphaned as babies, were rescued and brought to Wildwood for rehabilitation with the hope that they could be returned to the wild.

In our specially designed bat flight centre, built in partnership with Kent Bat Group, the bats learned to fly and echolocate so that they could catch their own food. After careful monitoring, our Conservation team examined their droppings under a microscope and saw that they contained fly antennae. This confirmed that they were feeding themselves and were able to go back to the wild.

As the bats were rescued at a young age it was decided that the best site for release would be Wildwood's own woodland as we have plenty of roosting sites and an abundance of insects for them to feed on. The park also has numerous bat boxes across the site where bats can shelter (look out for them on your next visit).

Hazel Ryan, Wildwood's chief conservation officer said "We are delighted to have released these bats back to the wild. Thanks to the bat flight centre we were able to bring them back to full health and give them a second chance in our woodland".

For more information on bats, their legal protection or what to do if you should find an injured or abandoned bat please contact Kent Bat Group: www.kentbatgroup.org.uk

 

Conservation Courses at Wildwood

Conservation courses at Wildwood

Saturday 26 July - A Natural History of Kent's Mammals
In partnership with Kent Wildlife Trust*

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. £26 per person.
Please book with Kent Wildlife Trust on 01622 622 012 or at 
www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk

Saturday 2 August - Dormouse Handling & Surveying Workshop

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.

11.00am – 3.30pm. £40 per person. 
Please book with Tara Lines on 01227 711 471 or email 
courses@wildwoodtrust.org

Saturday 16 August - Dormouse Ecology & Conservation
In partnership with the Mammal Society

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. £84 Concessions / £99 Mammal Society Members / £129 Non Mammal Society Members
Please book with the Mammal Society on 02380 237 874 or at 
www.mammal.org.uk

 

Sunday 31 August - Seashore Foraging

A chance to experience the ancient hunter-gatherer pursuit of coastal foraging. Learn to identify edible seaweeds, shellfish and shore plants and the best ways to prepare them.  Discover some exciting recipes and sample the fruits of the sea and shore. Own transport required for offsite visit.

10.00am – 4.00pm. £40 per person. 
Please book with Tara Lines on 01227 711 471 or email 
courses@wildwoodtrust.org

 

For more conservation courses at Wildwood, visit our website: www.wildwoodtrust.org/conservationcourses.html

 

 

Thank you to the Gallagher Group

Gallagher Group donation

Wildwood is extremely grateful to the Gallagher Group for their kind donation of almost 3 tonnes of large stones for improvements to our Aviary.

As a charity Wildwood needs to save our precious funds for our conservation work and so this amazing donation has helped us to re-vamp the enclosure and give our birds and visitors a much more pleasant environment for minimal cost.

This type of recycling is not only good for Wildwood and our conservation work; it's also great for the environment as we can use lots of items that might otherwise go to landfill.

We use donations of timber, cabling and other building materials throughout the park. Next time you visit remember that many of the enclosures and their furnishing have been created out of other people's rubbish!

If you have any unwanted building materials that you think Wildwood could use around the park please don't hesitate to contact us at info@wildwoodtrust.org

 

Items needed - can you help?

As a conservation charity, Wildwood loves to recycle so that we can save our precious funds for our conservation work. We urgently need the following items for use around the park - can you help?

  • Building materials
  • Microscopes- must be low power/binocular (not high power ones for looking at microscope slides)
  • Hand held drawing boards (for wildlife art courses)
  • Glass or plastic animal tanks
  • Electric heat mats (reptile type) for baby/sick animals.
  • Secateurs and loppers

If you can help with any of thse items please call the Wildwood office on 01227 712 111 - thank you!

 

The Wildwood team

Wildood Trust
Herne Common
Herne Bay
Kent
CT6 7LQ
Registered charity no. 1093702

Monday, 7 July 2014

Wildwood reintroduces rare hazel dormice to the wild


 

 

Wildwood releases rare hazel dormice to the wild.

 

The Wildwood team is celebrating after successfully introducing captive-bred hazel dormice to an area of Nottinghamshire woodland as part of a continuing project to help protect the species from extinction.

 

Working alongside other conservation organisations including the People's Trust for Endangered Species (PTES), Zoological Society of London (ZSL), Paignton Zoo, Natural England and Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust; Wildwood was on hand to assist in the release of 40 animals to a secret location.

 

This recent release is the latest in the scheme which was established in 1992 and aims to increase dormice numbers in areas of the UK where the species is in decline.  It is hoped that this latest release group will eventually link up with another population released last year in a nearby area.

 

Once widespread throughout much of England, hazel dormouse numbers have steadily declined over the past 100years. Thanks to the continued threats of habitat loss and unsympathetic woodland management the species has become extinct across half of its former range.

 

Each year Wildwood supplies captive-bred dormice for the release programme and as studbook holder for the species selects and pairs up the animals for release, thus ensuring the strongest genetic mix for future generations.

 

To ensure the dormice are successful, the woodland is carefully managed by Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust to ensure can provide suitable food and shelter, whilst the animals are introduced via a "soft-release" system. Initially they are housed in cages with adequate food and water before the cage door is opened after a few days. The cage is topped up with supplies allowing the dormice to come and go at will without having to fend for themselves immediately after release. This supports the dormice as they become integrated into the area and gives them the best possible start in their new woodland home.

 

Hazel Ryan, Wildwood's Head of Conservation said "It's wonderful to be involved once again in this amazing project. We hope that with continued releases and careful habitat management we can help to expand their range and bring hazel dormice back to areas where they once thrived."

 

**************end***************

 

Images attached

Wildwood's CEO, Peter Smith is available for interview, and Wildwood's dormice and breeding facilities can be filmed by professional crews. We can supply more high quality images on request.

 

Fiona Paterson
Wildwood Trust
Tel 01227 712 111
www.wildwoodtrust.org

 

Information on the Hazel Dormouse

The hazel or common dormouse (Muscardinus avellanarius) is the only native species of dormouse found in Britain. Dormice are a predominantly woodland species, particularly associated with broad-leaved coppice. Dormice are a 'flagship species'; by managing habitat for dormice, a range of other species will benefit. They are also important as 'bio-indicators' as they are particularly sensitive to habitat and population fragmentation. Their presence should indicate that the area can sustain populations of other sensitive species.

Over the last 100 years the hazel dormouse has declined in both numbers and distribution and is thought to have become extinct in about half its former distributional range. Once widespread over most of England and Wales, dormice have disappeared from many northern areas and are now mainly found in the southern counties, especially Kent, Sussex, Devon and Somerset. The total adult population is now thought to number about 45,000, distributed among a variety of widely fragmented sites. Even in optimal habitats, population densities are less than 10 adults per hectare. Although dormice are widely distributed in Wales, individual populations are small, scattered and isolated from each other.

Hazel dormice have often been lost in the past as a result of inappropriate woodland management. They are an arboreal species and rarely descend to ground level apart from during hibernation. Factors associated with their decline include:

  • Loss and fragmentation of ancient woodland, leaving isolated, non-viable populations, where even short distances form barriers to dispersal.
  • Clearance of hedgerows, especially after the Second World War, dramatically reduced the number of habitat corridors that were used by dormice to travel between adjacent areas.
  • A decline in traditional woodland management has led to a lack of coppicing areas or inappropriate coppice which can greatly reduce species numbers. Coppiced areas should create a patchwork mosaic of different ages throughout the wood, with an adequate diversity of woody plant species, predominantly hazel coppice. Coppice in irregular patches is essential, to allow some shrubs to be flowering or fruiting whilst others are maturing. This is essential between April and November, when dormice are awake after hibernation.
  • Damage to the scrub layer and coppice re-growth by large mammals such as deer and livestock, reduces the supply of particular foods necessary to dormice, as well suppressing natural regeneration.
  • Climate change has had numerous effects on dormice, due to their specialised feeding requirements. During warm winters dormice awake from hibernation more often, wasting energy as their body temperature warms, causing an increase in metabolic rate. It is also thought that warmer autumns lead to fruit ripening at an earlier stage, sending dormice into hibernation earlier as their food reserves dwindle. Wetter summers prevent dormice from foraging.
  • Grey squirrels, an introduced species, consume autumn nuts at an earlier stage, leaving none for the dormice.

About Wildwood
Situated between Canterbury and Herne Bay, Kent; Wildwood is a unique wildlife park and conservation charity where you can see British wildlife past and present, all set in 40 acres of stunning ancient woodland. Wildwood offers its members and visitors a truly inspirational way to learn about the natural history of Britain by actually seeing the wildlife that once lived here, like the wolf, beaver, red squirrel, bison, elk, wild boar and many more. Our conservation projects include working to save red squirrels, hazel dormice, water voles as well as breeding pine martens, Scottish wildcats and beaver. Wildwood also actively promotes conservation grazing projects by donating herds of wild horses to act as natural habitat managers on nature reserves to improve biodiversity.

 

Monday, 16 June 2014

Job vacancies at Wildwood

   

Job vacancies at Wildwood

Job vacancies at Wildwood

Seasonal Retail / Cafe Assistants

Wildwood is looking forward to a busy Summer season and require reliable, responsible people to help serve our customers in our shop and café.

We are looking for outgoing personalities who are great with people and able to work unsupervised or as part of a team. Shop or café experience would be preferable but not essential. You will also need a good head for heights to be able to man Wildwood's amazing 27ft tall Drop Slide!


Duties will include (some Shop, some Café, some both):

  • Serving customers
  • Till use
  • Kitchen work
  • Housekeeping
  • Litter picking
  • Promoting Wildwood's membership scheme to visitors
  • Making and serving great cappuccinos, as well as other food and drink
  • Manning Wildwood's 27ft tall Drop Slide

Part time hours are available and vary according to business needs.

Zero hour contract

National minimum wage

Applicants will be required to start as soon as possible.


Please click here to visit our jobs page for full details and how to apply.

 

Wildwood Ranger

Wildwood is looking for a practical, hands-on ranger to work around our wildlife park and ancient woodland. The main focus of this post is to carry out regular maintenance of the park buildings and grounds, including the playground, paths, car park and toilets.  Specific exhibit maintenance tasks will also be carried out, working closely with the keeper team.

Duties will include:

  • Fixing broken toilets
  • Animal enclosure construction and maintenance
  • Brush cutting and landscaping
  • Fencing & safety barrier construction
  • Pathway construction & repair
  • Waste minimisation & litter picking around the park
  • Groundworks and building
  • Rainwater collection & distribution system
  • Ensuring that the toilets, play equipment and safety barriers are in excellent working  order
  • Carrying out landscaping and gardening to ensure our woodland looks in good condition for our visitors
  • Ensuring that the park is free from safety hazards for visitors or staff
  • Erecting and replacing signage
  • Managing visitor parking
  • Assisting visitors in the park as required

Person specification

Wildwood needs a 'hands on' person with practical experience of forestry, carpentry, brick laying, plumbing, ground work and metal work. You must be able to carry out these tasks independently.

Your role demands excellent people skills so you can enthuse young helpers to get the best out of their time helping us at Wildwood. The ability to plan and oversee their work to ensure quality and safety will also be necessary.

Skills and experience:

  • Knowledge of and a love of British Wildlife.
  • Recognised qualifications in one or more of the following:
  • Forestry
  • Carpentry
  • Plumbing
  • Electricity
  • Building

Closing date: 29th June

Please click here to visit our jobs page for full details and how to apply.

 

 

Animal Keeper

Wildwood requires an experienced animal keeper to look after our unique collection of British wildlife and assist in our conservation projects. This will encompass food preparation, feeding and cleaning.

You will be responsible for the welfare and wellbeing of our animals, able to monitor health issues and to improve their enclosures through behavioural enrichment. You will take instruction from the Senior Keepers working to priorities to achieve the best animal welfare within the resources we have.

 

Duties will include:

  • Looking after Wildwood's animal collection
  • Exhibit design and maintenance
  • Ensuring that Wildwood meets and exceeds zoo legislation
  • Ensuring that Wildwood meets and exceeds customer expectations
  • Communicating with other departments at the park
  • Maintaining time sheets and other records
  • Cost control including sourcing donations of animal feeds
  • Customer care & public animal talks
  • Conservation Projects

Person specification:

The post-holder will be mature in outlook, confident, hard-working and practical. Common sense and the ability to concentrate and prioritise on the essentials of a task will be key elements of your personality. You will need to be prepared to work through peak times in what is a seasonal business.

A good level of experience and competence of working with captive animals and their husbandry, specifically large carnivores is essential.



You must be able to demonstrate recent practical experience in at least one of the following areas:

  • Experience of captive breeding and animal care
  • Experience of practical building work and construction
  • Experience in giving public talks & demonstrations
  • Experience of conservation reintroduction projects
  • Experience of health and safety systems
  • Familiarity with working in a zoological collection

Closing date: 29th June

Please click here to visit our jobs page for full details and how to apply. 

Wildwood Trust
Herne Common
Herne Bay
Kent
CT6 7LQ

www.wildwoodtrust.org

Tel: 01227 712 111

Registered charity no 1093702