Friday, 1 February 2008

Wildwood e-news February 2008

Wildwood e-news February 2008
In the February edition of Wildwood's e-newsletter we have:

1. HARRIET THE BOAR GIVES BIRTH - Another litter of boarlets
2. THE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT NEEDS YOU! - Desperately seeking sessional
3. FUND RAISING - Volunteers needed
4. DINO WEEK - Air, sea and land dinosaurs
5. CONCERT - Performance by "World Tree" in aid of Wildwood
6. WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING - Events through February
7. GOT ANY SHRUBS? - Donations of plants for areas in Wildwood
8. OPPORTUNITIES AT WILDWOOD - Position for Ranger
1. HARRIET THE BOAR GIVES BIRTH - Another litter of boarlets
As the chinese year of the Pig (Boar) draws to a close (Year of the Rat
begins on 7th February 2008) Harriet, Wildwood's wild boar, has produced a
litter of boarlets.
Proud father, Boris, a magnificent 400 lbs Wild Boar, is something of a
local celebrity after is many TV appearances on 'Richard & Judy', Sir David
Attenborough's 'The Life of Mammals', National News, Blue Peter and many
Wildwood Trust is campaigning to save the wild cousins of Boris the wild
boar from being hunted to extinction. Wildwood Trusty has asked the
Government to legalise the status of this animal and let it take its
rightful place in the British Countryside, helping to restore our natural

Wild boar form an integral part of the historic landscape of Britain and
help woodland flowers, insects, animals and trees regenerate creating
countryside richer in wildlife. We have been lobbying hard to ensure Wild
boar are given a chance to regain their natural place in our woodlands to
help our children enjoy a woodland landscape rich in flowers, butterflies
and birds.
If you make a visit to Wildwood over the next few days, you should be able
to see the piglets taking they first steps.
Our sow, Harriet, prepared to give birth by constructing a nest of branches
into which the babies were be born. The first piglets born choose a teat
near their mother's head so that they had a better chance of attracting her
The piglets are be born with stripes and these help to camouflage them in
the undergrowth. The litter stays in the nest for about 10 days. The young
are suckled for about 12 weeks before they are completely weaned onto food,
which they find while rooting around with their mother.
Wild Boar Facts
The European Wild Boar (Sus scrofa), ancestor of the domesticated pig, is
the largest of the present-day wild hogs - the males or boars sometimes
reaching a height of 40 inches at the shoulder and a weight of 350 pounds. A
male wild boar is armed with a pair of large sharp strong tusks, the upper
canine teeth, which curve outward and upward, reaching a length of ten
inches in old age. The female or sow bears litters of 3 to 12 striped young
in a nest hidden in thick brush.
Some facts concerning the Wild Boar:
* The Wild Boar has a gregarious nature and is mainly woodland-dwelling.
* Wild boar mainly feed on deer truffles, acorns, nuts, tubers, insects,
earthworms and some carrion.
* Vocalisations are very important, and wild boar are constantly
grunting and chirruping to each other, and squeal when alarmed.
* Wild boar are usually not dangerous and do not attack other animals
and people. However, they can be very aggressive, especially females with
young, or injured animals.
* Wild boar are naturally timid and (normally!) run away at the sight of
* Wild boar have a life span of between 15 and 20 years.
The date at which wild boar finally became extinct in Britain is unclear due
to subsequent attempts at re-introduction. In continental Europe, wild boar
were (and still are) widely distributed and attempts were made in the 18th
and 19th centuries to re-introduce animals to Britain from abroad, initially
into private estates for hunting purposes. James 1st released animals
firstly from France and then from Germany into Windsor Park in 1608 and 1611
respectively. His son, Charles 1st (reigned 1625-1649), also released boar
into the New Forest from Germany.
It is thought that the original British wild boar were probably extinct by
the 13th century, and the re-introduced animals became extinct during the
17th century. Between the 17th century and the 1980's, when wild boar
farming began, only a handful of captive wild boar, imported from the
continent as zoo exhibits, were present in Britain. Until very recently, no
free-living wild boar (native or introduced) have been present in Britain
for the last 300 years.

2. THE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT NEEDS YOU! - Desperately seeking sessional
Wildwood Education Department needs you!
Wildwood's award-winning Education department (BIAZA Best Education Project
2007) has become the victim of its own success.
The department has had a great response to these programmes it has been
running over the last few years both for students and members of the public.
This has given rise to a need for paid sessional tutors to help out during
our busy summer season.
Sessional tutors are involved with all kinds of activities, such as taking
primary schools on guided tours, showing children how to howl like a wolf or
teaching woodland ecology to sixth formers! Sessional tutors need to be
available to work during term time and are paid for days worked.
"We are looking for people who have some spare time even if it is just one
day a week" says Laura Hester, Education Officer for Wildwood "we are not
necessarily looking for people who are experts though a good general
knowledge of British wildlife would be an advantage"
Wildwood is looking to run an Introductory day for interested people,
offering a chance to see what a sessional tutor is expected to do, and are
asking those who would like to take advantage of this opportunity to call
Wildwood before Friday 15th February 2008 and speak to Laura Hester on 01227
712111 or by e-mail
Information for New Sessional Tutors
Wildwood Trust is very grateful to its sessional tutors for the generous
giving of their free time to help us achieve our mission to inspire students
and the general public about British wildlife and its conservation.
What Wildwood Trust offers
Varied and interesting work within a conservation environment The
opportunity to be part of a lively and sociable team An opportunity to learn
new skills and gain valuable work experience The support of the Head of
Education and team

What does a sessional tutor do?
As a sessional tutor, you would lead activities for school groups yourself,
rather than just assisting Wildwood staff. Tutors are paid £60 per day and
are on call for days when there are too many school activities booked for
Wildwood's permanent staff to deal with. We are looking for people who are
as flexible as possible in what they are willing to teach, which age groups
they will work with and what days they are available. However, if you are
only available on Mondays and Tuesdays, or only want to work with primary
school children, we may still be able to find work for you, there will just
be less of it than if you are available any day of the week and will teach
any age. We cannot guarantee work every week or on particular days. Work for
sessional tutors will be almost exclusively during term time.
The majority of our school visitors are primary schools and so you would
spend most of your time with primary school groups. Activities include
guided tours of the park, short meet an animal sessions with particular
species and 45-minute workshops on a variety of topics.
Most school groups are with us between 10am and 2pm, so you would normally
be expected to arrive before 10am in order to set up for the day and should
be able to leave by 2:30pm.
What we are looking for
Don't panic! You don't necessarily have to be a qualified teacher or an
expert on British wildlife. We just want people who are keen to get involved
in wildlife education. Ideally, we are looking for people who have
experience of working with children and who have good general knowledge
about animals.
As a sessional tutor, before running any activity such as a guided tour on
your own, you would have training, including chances to observe Wildwood
staff taking a tour group round and also assisting in taking a tour. Basic
training (to allow you to take a guided tour, a few meet an animal sessions
and perhaps one workshop) would normally be expected to last four weeks, at
the rate of one day per week. If you are able to come in more than once a
week, training will take less time. We have a huge variety of workshops on
offer for schools and we don't expect you to learn all of those at once!
Tutors are not paid for any training days. Your first four weeks are
considered a trial period, during which the education officer will provide a
structured programme of activities to help you learn essential information
Familiarisation with the park and its facilities Health and safety
procedures and emergency guidelines General policies and procedures which
are relevant to your role Orientation activities Hands-on training for
running activities.
For all posts involving working with children, you will need a CRB (Criminal
Records Bureau) check before working with us. This is standard for anyone
working with children. We would also like to see a copy of your CV.

The commitment we ask for
A willingness to learn and keep up-to-date with relevant information and to
adapt to new developments and initiatives A commitment to attend basic
training sessions as part of your induction and development and refresher
training when required A commitment to spend time developing an excellent
knowledge of the park layout and species represented within the animal
collection, including individual animals, to enable you to answer most
questions A commitment to delivering a professional standard of information
service to our visitors

3. FUND RAISING - Volunteers needed
Wildwood relies very heavily on the generosity of its' members, visitors and
givers. Without the funds that these activities generate then Wildwood would
be unable to continue its' important work.
We are currently seeking to create a core of committed and enthusiastic
people to fund raise for Wildwood. This group would plan and execute
fundraising programmes and events.
Do you have some spare some time to help carry out a range of charity
fundraising events that will bring in additional funds to Wildwood?
Would you like to gain experience in the field of charity fundraising?
If so then you may be able to help us. You could be part of Wildwood's
efforts to conserve British wildlife and protect endangered species of
animals and the natural environment for the benefit of future generations so
please call Nick on 01227 712111 to find out more.

4. DINO WEEK - Air, sea and land dinosaurs
February half Term, 2-4pm,
only £1 PER PERSON
(one adult per family free)
must book with Anne please phone 01227 712111

Monday February 18Air and Sea Dinosaurs
Plesiosaurs, Pterosaurs and more! Our dinosaur expert takes you through some
of most amazing dinosaurs; make your own air and sea dinos.
Tuesday February 19Dino-Dragonflies
Not mini-beasts but maxi-beasts – explore some of the giant insects which
lived in our prehistoric forests; make giant dino-dragonflies to decorate
your room.
Wednesday,Thursday & Friday February 20-22
BIG Land Dinosaurs
Discover the biggest dinos that ever lived and some dino myths; make your
own dinos to take home.

5. CONCERT - Performance by "World Tree" in aid of Wildwood
If you are interested in gnostic folk music then this concert with World
Tree may prove of interest not only will this be an evening of traditional,
ancient and modern composition using a range of instruments but it will also
support the work of Wildwood as World tree are performing in aid of our
The concert will be taking place on Saturday 9th February 2008 at the
Canterbury Steiner School doors open at 7.00pm
Advance tickets can be purchased at £5 by calling 01843 221622, e-mail, or on line at
Tickets can be purchased at the door for £6.
Download poster
See and hear "World Tree" at

6. WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING - Events through February
Small Mammal Trapping Course.
Saturday February 9 9.30am-4pm
Learn to survey our smallest mammals including live trapping, handling and
Cost £25 (or, if booked with Kent Mammal Identification Course, £40 for
Must book with Hazel 01227 712111.
Dinosaur Trail.
Saturday to Sunday February 16-24Free event all February half term, collect
a dinosaur trail sheet from the shop and find out more about dinosaurs
whilst walking around the park.
Snow Moon Night Tour
Wednesday February 20 7-9pmNight guided tour of park; Over 10 years only.
Cost £15.
Book with Anne on 01227 712111.
Bird Box Weekend!
Saturday and Sunday February 23-24 2-4pmMake blue tit or robin nest boxes to
take home & make your gardens more welcoming to nesting birds for National
Nest Box Weekend.
£5 per nest box while stocks last.
7. GOT ANY SHRUBS? - Donations of plants for areas in Wildwood
As the Gents toilet block nears completion there is a large area that needs
landscaping (plus a number of other areas around the park) we are looking
for donations of British native plants and shrubs.
If you have any spare please get in contact with Chris Towner, Wildwood's
Head Ranger on 01227 712111.

8. OPPORTUNITIES AT WILDWOOD - Position for Ranger
Job Title: Ranger, Trainee Ranger & Senior Ranger
Function: To maintain Wildwood's animal park.
Responsible for: Trainees & Volunteers
Senior Ranger £15,154 to £18,095 (+ 9% pension & other benefits)
Ranger £12,322 to £14,713 (+9% pension & other benefits)
Trainee Ranger £10,948 to £12,692 (+9% pension & other benefits)
Wildwood Trust is a charity dedicated to the conservation of British
Wildlife and running the unique Wildwood Discovery Park.
These exciting new positions will suit practical people with a love of the
outdoors and animals. We are looking for people who can put their hand to
carpentry, building , fencing and landscaping.
You will also need to be good with people, getting the best out of our teams
of volunteers and helpers to:
• Keep Wildwood's grounds & facilities in excellent running order,
ensuring a pleasant and enjoyable experience for our visitors, members and
• Build and maintain our natural woodland animal enclosures
For a recruitment pack contact Wildwood Trust, Herne Common Herne Bay, Kent,
CT6 7LQ. Registered Charity No 1093702
Tel: 01227 712111 e-mail:
The closing date is 20th February 2008. Interviews will be held by
arrangement within 2 weeks of that date.
For more information on Wildwood Trust visit or
telephone us for an informal chat.

Martyn Nicholls
Press Officer
Wildwood Trust
Tel: 01227 712111
Wildwood Trust
Herne Common
Herne Bay
Registered Charity No 1093702
Wildwood Trust is Kent's unique 'Woodland Discovery Park', a visitor
attraction with a difference.
Wildwood is not only the best place to bring the family for a day out, but
it is also a bold and innovative new charity, backed by the UK's leading
wildlife conservationists. As a new charity Wildwood needs everyone's
support in its mission to save our native and once native wildlife from
Wildwood Trust's vision is to bring back our true 'wildwood', a unique new
way of restoring Britain's land to its natural state. This involves
releasing large wild herbivores and developing conservation grazing systems
to restore natural ecological processes to help Britain team with wildlife
The Wildwood 'Woodland Discovery Park' is an ideal day out for all the
family where you can come 'nose to nose' with British Wildlife. 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
Set in a sublime 38 acres of Ancient Woodland, Wildwood offers visitors a
truly unique experience. Come Nose to Nose with our secretive badgers,
experience what it is like to be hunted by a real live pack of wolves, watch
a charging wild boar or track down a beaver in his lodge.
Wildwood Trust runs a highly successful programme of Conservation Projects
- we are the UK's leading experts in rescuing and re-establishing colonies
of Britain's most threatened mammal, the water vole. Wildwood Trust has
pioneered the use of ancient wild horses to restore nature reserve. Wildwood
Trust has been at the forefront of efforts to re-establish the European
Beaver back in Britain where they belong. European Beaver have been proven
to help manage water ways to bring back a huge range of plants, insects and