Thursday, 27 November 2008

Wildwood e-news November 2008
In the November edition of Wildwood's e-newsletter we have:
1.   WILDCAT KITTEN GETS NAME- Competition results
2.   BEAVER MOON NIGHT TOUR- Night guided tour of park
3.   TERRIFIC TREES! - Find out all about our trees
4.   SOAY SHEEP GRAZE WILDWOOD- New arrivals settle in
5.   HOLLY HULLABALOO- Christmas crafts
6.   CHRISTMAS EVENTS - Meet Santa and shop!
7.   DORMICE SLEEP AGAIN IN YORKSHIRE- Wildwood breeding programme success
8.   CHRISTMAS TREES - Lock up your carbon for Christmas
9.   HELP! - Pet carrying cases & decking planks needed
10. PYJAMA PARTY - Fun had at Wildwood over half term
11. WATCH OUT FOR - Wildwood television appearances

1.  WILDCAT KITTEN GETS NAME- Competition results
After two months the competition to find a name for our wildcat kitten has come to an end. We had over 200 suggestions so it has been a very difficult task to choose which of the various names would win.
The competition entries came from far and wide, Wildwood even received one e-mail from Canada showing how much interest there is in the plight of the wildcat.
Ali Bennett and Christine Read, the wildcat keepers were given the unenviable task of choosing the name and in the end after much deliberation have decided that the kitten will now be called Carna.
"It is great that the kitten now has a name" said Ali, "There were so many names to choose from, I was really surprised how many people entered the competition".
Carna is appropriate for a number of reasons: She was the Roman goddess of flesh, which is great for a carnivore like the wildcat. She was also believed to have been the goddess who oversaw the processes of survival and Carna will be playing her part in protecting the survival of the wildcat in the UK.
The winner of the competion asked to remain anonymous but they have received a family ticket for having their suggestion chosen.

Wildcats have been resident in Britain for over 2 million years; sharing the land with the mammoth, cave bear and cave lion long before modern humans had found their way through the forests of Europe. The current population was isolated here some 9000 years ago as the last ice age ended and sea levels rose isolating the British Isles from mainland Europe. Those cats evolved into a unique subspecies; Felis sylvestris grampia; the Scottish wildcat.
These are no domestic tabbies, feral cats or farm cats run wild, they're Britain's last wild feline and infamous amongst experts for being the wildest of all wild animals; an untameable and deadly predator capable of surviving the harshest of winters in the Scottish Highlands. Today, after centuries of persecution, deforestation and competition from introduced species there are less than 400 Scottish wildcats left in the world and extinction could be as little as ten years away.
The Scottish wildcat is a subspecies of the European wildcat and is unique to Britain. One of the largest of the various wildcat species, an average size today is around 50% larger than a domestic cat, though one fossil specimen was 4 feet from nose to tail. Originally a forest dweller, the Scottish wildcat has adapted to hunt over a wide variety of habitats and will include a variety in its 2 to 3 square mile territory, preying mainly on rodents and small mammals but also on birds, insects, reptiles and fish.
They are pure carnivores and eat only meat, consuming almost every part of any kill they make; the coat providing roughage, the bones calcium, and the meat everything else, in fact they rarely need to drink because meat has such a high water content. Wildcats often carry parasitic worms in their gut and will eat long blades of grass to help clear out their system and probably also to obtain certain necessary acids not present in meat.
They live a solitary existence, coming together in pairs to mate for a short period in January/February. 2 or 3 Kittens are born in spring and raised solely by the mother who is exceptional in her defence of them as they grow. Unlike most cats they cannot be tamed, even a hand-reared kitten will naturally develop a complete distrust for human kind, unsurprising after thousands of years of persecution.
Pound for pound the Scottish wildcat is one of the most impressive predators in the world. Intelligent, fearless, resourceful, agile and powerful they have been known to predate considerably larger species and until as recently as the 1950's were believed to be man killers. Equipped as most cats are with excellent day and night motion sensitive vision, a highly tuned sense of balance and touch, good scenting ability and incredible hearing, they also have a very thick, well groomed and heavily striped coat to camouflage them in various terrain and protect them against the fierce Scottish weather.
The First World War saved the cats; gamekeepers were called up, many were never to return and a changed economy led to many gaming estates breaking up. The cats appeared to repopulate Scotland but not all was as it seemed. Naturalist and author Mike Tomkies wrote in the 70's that he believed the wildcat was mating extensively with domestic cats, wiping out the gene pool. Conventional wisdom at the time stated that wildcat/domestic offspring were always sterile, a complete falsehood, and Tomkies was largely ignored.
In the 80's the wildcats were fully protected under law and government figures stated that there were around 5000 across Scotland, but by this time a group of scientists was starting to pick up on the same feelings as Mike Tomkies. Years of research followed until, by the turn of the millennium, it was accepted that Scottish wildcats were breeding into extinction with domestic cats, and that the likely figure of true wildcats left in Scotland was closer to 400.
In the last year consensus has almost been reached and Scottish Natural Heritage have accepted the scientist's figures and appraisal of the situation, recently (March 2006) naming the wildcat as a priority species for conservation in Scotland. With extinction a possibility as soon as this decade the next few years will be key in deciding whether the Scottish wildcat will survive; all wildcat species are endangered for very similar reasons across Europe, Asia and Africa, however none are as close to extinction as the Scottish form which is Britain's rarest mammal and one of the rarest cats in the world.
(Photo credit to Ryan Ladbrook)

2.   BEAVER MOON NIGHT TOUR- Night guided tour of park
Full moons have traditionally been given names and the full moon in November is known as the Beaver moon by North American tribes - This was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. Another interpretation suggests that the name Full Beaver Moon comes from the fact that the beavers are now actively preparing for winter.
It is sometimes also referred to as the Frosty Moon.
Wildwood, Kent's award winning woodland discovery park, offers an opportunity to tour Wildwood by the moonlight of a hunter's moon on Thursday November 13th 2008, (clouds allowing) 7.00pm -9.00pm and experience the woodlands and the animals that live here at a time when the darkness belongs to them.
Night tours, led by Wildwood staff are an excellent way to see our nocturnal wildlife, so you will get the opportunity to see Badgers snuffling, watch Owls wide awake, experience the silent padding of the wolves.
Night tours are open to anyone over the age of 10 years (children must be accompanied by a responsible adult). They are scheduled to last approximately 2 hours and, from April to October, include feeding our family of badgers.
Places MUST be booked in advance by completing and returning a booking form, together with full payment of £15 per person - unfortunately, telephone bookings cannot be accepted. Places will be allocated on receipt of a completed booking form and payment, strictly on a first come, first served basis.
You can download a Booking form from the following links to our website
(Photo credit to Bill Adler)

3.   TERRIFIC TREES! - Find out all about our trees
On Saturday and Sunday November 29th & 30th visitors to Wildwood can find out all about our amazing trees during National Tree Week.
Collect leaves and seeds, make leaf and bark rubbings.
Discover which tree is your birthday tree.
Pick up your own FREE children's tree explorer pack at the shop.
This event is free but access to the event is only permitted if membership or entrance to the park has been paid.
(Photo credit to Steve Woods)

     4.   SOAY SHEEP GRAZE WILDWOOD- New arrivals settle in
Wildwood now has two Soay sheep grazing certain parts of the park.
These sheep are a primitive breed of domestic sheep and are not diluted by interbreeding so are examples of the earliest domestications by man.
The Soay are descended from a population of feral sheep on the 250 acre island of Soay (which means in old norse "Island of Sheep") in the St. Kilda Archipelago about 65 Km from the Western Isles of Scotland.
The two rams, who will shortly be joined by a ewe, will be used in conservation grazing around the park.
They are ideally suited to doing this job as it is smaller and hardier than modern domesticated sheep and they browse on land considered marginal, they thrive on woody plants as well as grass and forbs (herbaceous flowering plants which are not grasses, sedges or rushes). The end result of their grazing will be to create wildflower meadows, these habitats have been under considerable threat with over 95% having disappeared from the British countryside.
These meadows are a haven for wildlife but need to be actively managed which is where the Soay sheep come in.
The two new additions can be seen munching their way through the scrub that has developed in our meadow near the Wildcat enclosure.

Soay Sheep Facts
Ovis aries
The Soay sheep is a small, primitive breed of domestic sheep descended from a population of feral sheep on the 250-acre island of Soay in the St. Kilda Archipelago, about 65 km from the Western Isles of Scotland. Undiluted by interbreeding, they are a genetic archive of the Neolithic origins of domesticated sheep.
Generally dark brown or tan in colour with a white belly, it has existed in isolation on a tiny island west of Scotland for more than a thousand years. Because of this isolation and the difficult environment in which it evolved the Soay is naturally a very hardy animal. With the least amount of human care it will thrive. Unlike more domesticated breeds, it seems to be less troubled by parasites, foot rot and other ailments that so often afflict other sheep.
They are similar to the Mediterranean mouflon and the horned urial sheep of Central Asia but their origins are uncertain, whether they have been deposited upon the island some time during the Bronze Age, or by Vikings in the ninth and tenth centuries. The name of the island, 'Soay', is Old Norse, meaning 'Island of Sheep', suggesting an earlier arrival. They are much smaller than modern domesticated sheep but hardier. They are extraordinarily agile, and tend to take refuge amongst the cliffs when frightened. They do not breed true, but tend to be either blonde or dark brown with buffish white underbelly and rump (known as lachdann in Scottish Gaelic, which is cognate to the Manx loaghtan), or totally black or fawn-coloured, a few have white markings.
The wool is soft and fine, but hairy fibres are usually interspersed among the wool fibres.
The staple length is 5-8cm (2-3 inches), and the Bradford Count is 44-50.   The fleece is shed naturally. Rams develop a thick hairy mane.
The wool is either chocolate or fawn, and animals may be either whole-coloured or show the 'Mouflon' pattern. Chocolate brown and the 'Mouflon' pattern are dominant. Some black animals occur and these are always self-coloured. There may also be white marks on the face, poll and lower legs, and occasionally piebald.

The sheep have short tails and naturally shed their wool, which can be hand plucked (called rooing) in the spring and early summer. Ewes are either two-horned or polled. Rams are two-horned and the horns are strong. They are most commonly brown or tan with a white belly, white rump patch and/or white patch under the chin (referred to as Mouflon or wild pattern). Occasionally white markings on the face and/or body and legs occur. Rarely self-colored (solid colour with no markings) black or tan individuals are seen.
The face and legs are brown or tan, with lighter marks over the eyes and on the muzzle and the lower jaw. The face is 'dished'.
In the early twentieth century, some Soay sheep were translocated to establish exotic flocks, such as the flock of "Park Soay" at Woburn Abbey, established by the Duke of Bedford in 1910, and selected for desirably "primitive" characteristics. A number of Soay sheep were translocated from Soay to the island of Hirta by the Marquess of Bute in the 1930s, after the human population was evacuated. The Hirta population is unmanaged and has been the subject of scientific study since the 1950s. The population make an ideal model subject for scientists researching evolution, population dynamics and demography because the population is unmanaged, closed (no emigration or immigration) and has no significant competitors or predators.
(Photo credit to Marc Denovich)

5.   HOLLY HULLABALOO- Christmas crafts
On Saturday 6th December 1-3pm make christmas crafts from natural and recycled materials. All ages welcome.
£2 per child (one adult per family goes free) Must book with Anne on 01227 712111.
Access to the event is only permitted if membership or entrance to the park has been paid.
(Photo credit to Anna Maria Damasiewicz)

6.   CHRISTMAS EVENTS - Meet Santa and shop!
Meet Father Christmas in his grotto on Saturday & Sunday December 6-7, 13-14 & 20-21
Come between 2 & 4pm
Also Monday-Wednesday December 15-17
Come between 4 & 6pm
£2 per child, must book with the office on 01227 712111

We are also offering late night shopping on Monday-Wednesday December 15-17 between 4 & 6pm,
so you can pick up that special christmas gift!
Please note that to Meet father Christmas on Saturday and Sunday (all dates), visitors must have paid either for membership or entrance to the park
(Photo credit to Roger Kirby)

7.  DORMICE SLEEP AGAIN IN YORKSHIRE- Wildwood breeding programme success
Dormice sleep again in the Yorkshire Dales - with a little help from Wildwood
One of Britain’s best loved, but most elusive mammals - the hazel dormouse - is back in the Yorkshire Dales National Park following a successful re-introduction project.  It is 100 years since the creatures - made famous in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland - were last recorded in the Park.  

In a joint bid by conservation organisations to reverse a drastic population decline, 35 dormice were released into Freeholders’ Wood near Aysgarth in June this year of which 10 had been bred at Wildwood's dormouse captive breeding centre. The breeding enclosures nestle in woodland in the park ensuring that the dormice have as natural an existence as possible prior to re-introduction. Wildwood has been immensely successful in breeding these rare mammals and has supplied many of the reintroduction programmes across the UK.

The latest peek into the nest boxes has revealed astounding success.  Despite the very wet summer, 58 dormice, including well grown youngsters, were found in the 195 boxes.

Sir Martin Doughty, Chair of Natural England said: “Dormice numbers have dropped dramatically due to a decline in their ancient woodland habitat. The rich mix of coppiced hazel trees, honeysuckle and bramble in Freeholders’ Wood makes it an ideal habitat for a healthy dormouse population.

“So much more can be achieved through working together and sharing our knowledge and experience. Each organisation had an essential role in this successful re-introduction”.

Dr Tim Thom, Senior Wildlife Conservation Officer from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority said: “The reintroduction has exceeded all our expectations.  The hard work put in by all of the people involved in the partnership has been rewarded by the large numbers of young dormice found in the boxes.  The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority is proud to have helped to reverse the decline of this charismatic mammal and is also working with neighbouring landowners to increase the amount of woodland available to our newest arrivals so that they can spread throughout the area.”

‘We are delighted that the first nest box check has gone so well and that the dormice have been reproducing’, said Laura Hurt, Conservation Officer at the People’s Trust for Endangered Species. ‘This is the third reintroduction that we have done in Yorkshire and this one has all the signs of success. It is very exciting.’
Staff from the People’s Trust for Endangered Species and Paignton Zoo placed the dormice in mesh cages attached to hazel trees within the wood.  The dormice were fed by staff and volunteers from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.  After ten days, openings were made in the mesh to allow the dormice to explore.
Freeholders’ Wood is a protected Site of Special Scientific Interest and Local Nature Reserve which is being carefully managed by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority to give the dormice the best possible new start.  

Dormice numbers have dramatically declined in most parts of the UK, mainly due to the loss and deterioration of their ancient woodland habitat. The dormouse Biodiversity Action Plan aims to return them to areas of the country where they have been lost.  

Common or hazel dormouse (Muscardinus avellanarius)

Lifespanup to 5 years

Size80-85mm (head and body), 56-68mm (tail) and 15-30g

Identificationorange/brown fur on the upper-parts and yellow/white fur underneath with a white throat.  The only British mammal of this size with a thick, bushy tail.

Habitatdeciduous and coppiced woodland, scrub and hedgerows.

Dietseeds, flowers, fruit and insects.  Before hibernation nuts are an important food source.

Behaviourdormice spend the day sleeping in nests made from grass, moss, leaves and shredded honeysuckle bark.  The nests are typically about 15cm in diameter and woven to entirely surround the animal.  Little is known about their social organisation, but it is thought that they sometimes live in pairs. Dormice are nocturnal and hibernate from October to April.  If food is short or weather prevents them foraging they are able to save energy by lowering their body temperature and becoming torpid . They can spend up to three quarters of their lives asleep.  They are good climbers, and spend most of their time in the tree canopy.

Breedingthey normally rear one or two litters a year, typically of four young.  The young remain with their mother for 6-8 weeks before becoming independent.

Conservation statusa British native, the dormouse has become extinct in up to 7 English counties (about half its former range) in the past 100 years. It is absent from the north, except for small populations in Cumbria and Northumberland, and although dormice are still widespread from Kent to Devon, their distribution is patchy.  Even in good habitats, numbers are low.  The main reason for its increasing rarity is habitat loss due to the decline in hazel coppicing.  Where woodland has become fragmented, populations become isolated and can't move to new habitat.  Even gaps in woodland of as little as 100m can prevent the species spreading out.

The reintroduction Freeholders’ Wood is managed as a traditional coppice woodland by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority. The dormice released here were bred in captivity by the Common Dormouse Captive Breeders Group and given a full bill of health before release by Paignton and London Zoos.

Staff from the People’s Trust for Endangered Species and Paignton Zoo then placed the dormice in mesh cages attached to hazel trees within the wood.  They were fed in the cages by staff and volunteers from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.  After ten days, openings were made in the mesh to allow them to explore while still being provided with food if they needed it.  Extra feeding stopped in mid September leaving the dormice wild and free to roam through the woodland.

To see if the reintroduction had been successful 195 nestboxes were checked in late September.  Despite the very wet summer 58 dormice were found in the boxes with large numbers of well grown youngsters.  

The Dormouse Species Recovery Project is funded and monitored by Natural England and the People’s Trust for Endangered Species.

8.   CHRISTMAS TREES - Lock up your carbon for Christmas
Every year hundreds of thousands of Christmas Trees are purchased to decorate front rooms all over the UK. This year residents of Kent can purchase a tree from Wildwood.
As a charity Wildwood is always seeking to support its groundbreaking breeding, conservation and research programmes and this year purchasing a christmas tree from the park will not only help these projects but buyers can also do their bit in affecting climate change by making a contribution to the reduction of carbon in the atmosphere.
The christmas trees have been bought from British growers in Kent and Sussex - not from abroad, Wildwood has sourced top quality trees as locally as possible so reducing the carbon emissions on delivery.
Profits from the sales of the trees will be used to purchase nature reserves to ensure areas of Kent will be protected and flora and fauna allowed to flourish and safeguarding our natural heritage for our children and grandchildren as well as supporting the other work of Wildwood
Wildwood is also offering a free child ticket to visit the park.
"The trees are exceptional value proving that going green does not have to be expensive" says Peter Smith Chief Executive of Wildwood "Buying a tree will really let people do their bit to save the planet, save our endangered British species, and protect the Kent countryside".
Trees can be purchased from the park 7 days a week from Monday 24th November up to Christmas Eve. Prices have been kept the same as last year ranging from £18 - £50, with a selection of sizes and both standard (Norway Spruce - Picea abies) and nondrop (Nordmann Fir - Abies nordmanniana) varieties.
Purchasers can reserve trees from the 17th November by phoning 01227 712111, visiting the park or via the order form on the website.

Christmas Tree Facts
The decorated Christmas tree can be traced back to the ancient Romans who during their winter festival decorated trees with small pieces of metal during Saturnalia, a winter festival in honor of Saturnus, the god of agriculture.
An evergreen, the Paradise tree, was decorated with apples as a symbol of the feast of Adam and Eve held on December 24th during the middle ages.
Christmas trees were sold in Alsace in 1531. Alsace was at that time a part of Germany. Today it is part of France. The trees were sold at local markets and set up in homes undecorated.
In the Ammerschweier in Alsace there was an ordinance that stated no person "shall have for Christmas more than one bush of more than eight shoe lengths."
Sixteenth century folklore credited Martin Luther as being the first to decorate an indoor tree. After a walk through a forest of evergreens with shining stars overhead, Luther tried to describe the experience to his family and showed them by bringing a tree into their home and decorating it with candles. Some historians state that the first evidence of a lighted tree appeared more than a century after Martin Luther's death in 1546.
The oldest record of a decorated Christmas tree came from a 1605 diary found in Strasbourg, France (Germany in 1605). The tree was decorated with paper roses, apples and candies.
In Austria & Germany during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the tops of evergreens were cut and hung upside down in a living room corner. They were decorated with apples, nuts and strips of red paper.
The first record of Christmas trees in America was for children in the German Moravian Church's settlement in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Christmas 1747. Actual trees were not decorated, but wooden pyramids covered with evergreen branches were decorated with candles.
The custom of the Christmas tree was introduced in the United States during the War of Independence by Hessian troops. An early account tells of a Christmas tree set up by American soldiers at Fort Dearborn, Illinois, the site of Chicago, in 1804. Most other early accounts in the United States were among the German settlers in eastern Pennsylvania.
In 1834, Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, was credited with bringing the first Christmas tree to Windsor Castle for the Royal Family. Some historians state that in actuality Queen Charlotte, Victoria's grandmother, recalled that a Christmas tree was in the Queen's lodge at Windsor on Christmas Day in 1800.
Norway Spruce (Picea abies)
The Norway spruce continues to be a popular choice in the UK and is the traditional species for the British Christmas tree. It is the species you will find erected in Trafalgar Square and 10 Downing Street each year. It has the triangular shape, dark green needles, gently drooping branches and a distinctive 'pine' fragrance. It's dense bushy shape is excellent for decorating. It is relatively quick growing which explains it's apparently cheap price compared to other species. It's one slight drawback is that needle retention is not it's strongest point. It does need to be keep well watered and away from direct heat sources to maintain it's quality throughout the Christmas period. If used outdoors there is no problem.
Nordmann Fir (Abies nordmanniana)
The Nordmann Fir has gained popularity in recent years due to it's good needle retention qualities and ability to look good throughout the festivities. Often described as being non-drop, this is not strictly true, but it will retain it's needles better than Norway Spruce. It has soft, deep green foliage, smooth grey bark and a good triangular shape. It tends to be slightly more open and less dense than Norway. The needles when crushed give a very aromatic citrus smell. More expensive than other species due to it's slow growth and work needed to maintain a good shape.
(Photo credit to Just-Us-3)

9.   HELP!- Pet carrying cases & decking planks needed
The keepers at Wildwood are asking for help from the Wildwood Friends.
Firstly they are looking for pet carrying cases, as these are needed to transport animals if you have a pet carrier (preferably the metal type) you no longer use then we can make use of it.
Secondly the water birds enclosure is, over the winter, having a bit of a makeover. The keepers are creating decked areas so are looking for any decking planks that people might have no use for.
If you can help than please call the office on 01277 712111
(Photo credit to Casey Christie / The Californian)

10. PYJAMA PARTY - Fun had at Wildwood
Pyjama parties at Wildwood
During half term Wildwood has been running events to keep the children amused.
One of the most popular the week has been the "Pyjama Party", which was run on Tuesday and Wednesday, children got to meet some of Wildwoods animals who are preparing to hibernate.
The kids met a bat (a pipistrelle) and a dormouse who are both putting on weight and beginning to get sleepy so that they can hibernate the whole winter through.
The rest of the afternoon had everyone making of peanut cone and popcorn string bird feeders as well as decorating hedgehog buns, party games and hibernation crafts.
Some of the youngsters were even brave enough to wear their Pyjamas along to wildwood and they received a small prize.
"These events are very popular in fact we are fully booked" commented Anne Riddell Head of Education at Wildwood "it is great to see youngsters learning and enjoying themselves at the same time"

Hibernation facts
Sometimes it is simply not possible for a mammal to find enough food to keep its body temperature constant. Some mammals that live through cold periods when food is hard to find, especially very small mammals, have the ability to let their body temperature drop.
Small bats have big problems keeping warm in cool climates. They are small, and their wings give them a large area of skin over which they lose heat. Many, therefore, simply allow their body temperature to drop when they are resting, and then flap vigorously to warm themselves up through muscle activity before they take off again.
Many other mammals become torpid during cold periods and allow their body temperature to drop. The extreme case of this is hibernation. During hibernation a mammal can let its body temperature drop to match the surroundings, although more commonly it is kept at a few degrees above freezing. The animal's heart rate and breathing rate falls dramatically during hibernation. Bats' hearts normally beat 400 times per minute, but during hibernation they can drop to 11-25 beats per minute. This torpid state saves them 99.3 per cent of their energy.
There is, however, a problem with hibernation. The animal is completely inactive, but the body is still alive and still producing waste products, some of which are poisonous if allowed to build up. This means that even a mammal in deep hibernation has to arouse itself at least every couple of weeks to excrete waste products. These short periods of normal activity may also allow the animal to drink or even catch up on some sleep, which the brain is unable to do when it is not at normal body temperature. Starting up the body's metabolism again is very costly, and so hibernating mammals store a lot of special 'brown fat', which is used for heat production. 85 per cent of a bat's fat loss over winter is due to this stopping and starting of the metabolism.
The largest and most dramatic hibernators, however, are bears. They can survive six months without eating, drinking, urinating or defecating - but during hibernation their body temperature does not drop more than a few degrees despite slowing their breathing and heart rates. Maintaining the body temperature without feeding is enormously expensive for the animals, and so bears put on large fat reserves. Female bears even give birth and nurse their cubs during this winter period, which is an amazing feat of endurance
(Picture of youngsters with Anne making pine cone feeders at Pyjama Party Event 29th October 2008)

11. WATCH OUT FOR - Wildwood Television appearances
Wildwood has been featuring in both local and national television over the past few months so for those of you who have missed us before here are a few dates for your your diaries:
BBC1, from 3rd November 2008, weekdays at 9:15 - Animal 24-7 with Tom Heap. A series that follows those who are dedicated to keeping creatures from harm. Wildwood will be featured at some point in the series with the Beavers from their collection in Bavaria to their release at Ham Fen. Also next year you can see the tale of the red squirrels from Wildwood to their release on Anglesey.
BBC1, Wednesday 5th November 2008 at 19:30 - Inside Out with Kaddy Lee Preston. This local magazine programme visited Wildwood and seeing "Lets Talk Wolf" one of the popular education programmes and meeting the wolves too!
BBC1, Wednesday 19th November 2008 at 20:30 - Wild About Your Garden with Nick Knowles, Ellie Harrison and Chris Beardshaw. This is a new wildlife and gardening series which in this episode features Wildwoods water voles and Hazel Ryan.
Wildwood will also be featuring every month over the next 12 months in BBC1's Countryfile on Sundays at 11:00. So keep your eye out!
Finally Wildwood was used by Bill Oddie for a one off programme for the BBC called "10 Frights and Delights" this is due to be aired in December the exact date is still to be confirmed.
(Photo credit to Sem Rox)

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 extinction.
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 again.
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 here.
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 animals.

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