Monday, 1 December 2008

Wildwood e-news December 2008
In the December edition of Wildwood's e-newsletter we have:
1.   BRITAIN'S FIRST CARBON ZERO ZOO - Wind Turbine in place
2.   MEET SANTA - Places going fast!
3.   ECO-WARRIORS VISIT WILDWOOD - Abbey students collect pine cones
4.   LATE NIGHT SHOPPING - Get those unusual Christmas gifts
5.   BEAT THE CREDIT CRUNCH & SAVE THE PLANET- make your Christmas decorations at Wildwood
6.   CHRISTMAS TREES - Lock up your carbon for Christmas
7.   HELP! - Snap boxes and computer bits needed
8.   ADOPT AN ANIMAL - Great christmas present

1.  BRITAIN'S FIRST CARBON ZERO ZOO - Wind Turbine in place
 The park has taken its final step towards becoming The UK’s first carbon zero zoo by erecting a huge wind turbine.
The wind turbine was erected on Wednesday 5th November 2008 at 2.00pm. On hand will be students from Canterbury University visiting Wildwood for a lecture on sustainable energy by local wildlife expert and Wildwood boss, Peter Smith.
The wind turbine will be the final piece in Wildwoods ‘Zero Carbon’ Project which means the popular animal park becomes completely powered by energy from sustainable sources.
Wildwood Trust’s offices, education centre, shop and restaurant are all heated using either wood or pellet stoves.
Hot water is supplied by solar thermal systems, and electricity is supplied by solar electric panels as well as the new 20KW wind turbine.
"It is great to take be able to show all of our visitors how practical and cost effective sustainable energy technologies are" commented Peter Smith Chief Executive of Wildwood Trust "We have saved our charity a fortune in electricity bills and the money we have saved will go on our projects to save rare and endangered wildlife. I am particularly pleased that our future efforts to save wildlife will not contribute to global warming and climate change"

Facts About Wind Power
Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form, such as electricity, using wind turbines. At the end of 2007, worldwide capacity of wind-powered generators was 94.1 gigawatts. Although wind produces about 1% of world-wide electricity use, it accounts for approximately 19% of electricity production in Denmark, 9% in Spain and Portugal, and 6% in Germany and the Republic of Ireland (2007 data). Globally, wind power generation increased more than fivefold between 2000 and 2007.
The principle application of wind power is to generate electricity. Large scale wind farms are connected to electrical grids. Individual turbines can provide electricity to isolated locations. In the case of windmills, wind energy is used directly as mechanical energy for pumping water or grinding grain.
Wind energy is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions when it displaces fossil-fuel-derived electricity. Therefore, it is considered by experts to be more environmentally friendly than many other energy sources. The intermittency of wind seldom creates problems when using wind power to supply a low proportion of total demand. Where wind is to be used for a moderate fraction of demand, additional costs for compensation of intermittency are considered to be modest.

Humans have been using wind power for at least 5,500 years, and architects have used wind-driven natural ventilation in buildings since similarly ancient times. The use of wind to provide mechanical power came somewhat later in antiquity.
The Babylonian emperor Hammurabi planned to use wind power for his ambitious irrigation project in the 17th century BC. An early historical reference to a rudimentary windmill was used to power an organ in the 1st century AD. The first practical windmills were later built in Sistan, Afghanistan, from the 7th century. These were vertical-axle windmills, which had long vertical driveshafts with rectangle shaped blades. Made of six to twelve sails covered in reed matting or cloth material, these windmills were used to grind corn and draw up water, and were used in the gristmilling and  sugarcane industries. Horizontal-axle windmills were later used extensively in Northwestern Europe to grind flour beginning in the 1180s, and many Dutch windmills still exist.
In the United States, the development of the "water-pumping windmill" was the major factor in allowing the farming and ranching of vast areas of North America, which were otherwise devoid of readily accessible water. They contributed to the expansion of rail transport systems throughout the world, by pumping water from wells to supply the needs of the steam locomotives of those early times.
The multi-bladed wind turbine atop a lattice tower made of wood or steel was, for many years, a fixture of the landscape throughout rural America.
The modern wind turbine was developed beginning in the 1980s, although designs are still under development.

2.   MEET SANTA - Places going fast!
During the run up to Christmas Santa Claus is visiting Wildwood Kent's award winning discovery park just outside Canterbury.
He will be making time in his busy schedule to meet children in his specially designed grotto just outside the shop. Book now as spaces are going fast.
Visitors can also see our herd of fallow and red deer cousins of Santa's reindeer.
Meet Father Christmas on Saturday & Sunday 6-7, 13-14, & 20-21 December 2-4pm and Monday-Wednesday 15-17 December 4-6pm.
Cost £2 per child, please book on 01227 712111.
Please note that access to Father Christmas on Saturdays and Sundays is only permitted if membership or entrance to the park has been paid, This does not apply to the Week day slots as only the shop will be open and access to the park restricted.

Who is Father Christmas?
Father Christmas is our version of Santa Claus. He is an old jolly man with white hair, a beard and a moustache. He is dressed in a red* suit outlined in white. Father Christmas and his elves make all the toys for Christmas in his home in the North Pole.
*The red coat is "new". Images of Father Christmas prior to about 1880 most pictures showed him with a green coat. The red became the most popular colour after the US introduction by Coca Cola during the 1930's.

How do we know what Father Christmas looks like?
We owe much about what we know about the Father Christmas today to the Americans of the 19th Century. In 1822, Clement Clarke Moore described what he imagined Father Christmas to look like in a poem.
The poem is often referred to as 'The Night Before Christmas', but originally it was titled 'A Visit from St Nicholas'.
He was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his sack.
His eyes how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face, and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump,--a right jolly old elf--
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.

Written by Clement C. Moore in 1822 as a Christmas present to his children.
In 1866, Thomas Nast, a cartoon artist for the Harper's Illustrated Weekly, made a montage entitled, "Santa Claus His Works" and for the first time established 'Santa' as a maker of toys
George P. Webster (Walker) made five of Nast's drawings into coloured pictures (lithographs) to illustrate a poem he wrote in Nast's book Santa Claus and His Works (circa 1869). Santa is portrayed as an overly fat, happy, white bearded elf, wearing a spotted red-brown, skin-tight suit, the base of the jacket trimmed in white fur lined with spots or attachments just below a red sash. The poem identified the North Pole as Santa's home.

History of Father Christmas in England
Father Christmas was originally part of an old English midwinter festival, normally dressed in green, a sign of the returning spring. He was known as 'Sir Christmas', 'Old Father Christmas' or Old Winter'.
In this earliest form, Father Christmas was not the bringer of gifts for small children, nor did he come down the chimney. He simply wandered around from home to home, knocking on doors and feasting with families before moving on to the next house.
The Ghost of Christmas Present in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (1843) is based on Father Christmas. He is described as a large man with a red beard and fur-lined green robe.
Images of Father Christmas (Santa Claus) dressed in red started appearing on Christmas cards in the late Victorian times.

How do children write to Father Christmas?
Children write letters to Father Christmas to tell him what they would like for Christmas. Some children will send their letters by post or e-mail but the more traditional way is to throw the letters into the back of the fireplace. The draught then carries the letters up the chimney to Father Christmas.

What happens on Christmas Eve?
On Christmas eve Father Christmas piles all of the toys onto his sleigh and rides across the sky with his reindeers. The most famous one is Rudolf, the reindeer at the front who leads the way with his red nose.
He enters our houses down the chimney at midnight and places presents for the children in stockings (large socks) or bags by their beds or in front of the family christmas tree.

Who is Santa Claus?
Santa Claus is based on a real person, St. Nicholas.
St. Nicholas, or Sinter Klaas in Dutch, was a very shy man and wanted to give money to poor people without them knowing about it. It is said that one day, he climbed the roof of a house and dropped a purse of money down the chimney. It landed in the stocking which a girl had put to dry by the fire! This may explain the belief that Father Christmas comes down the chimney and places gifts in children's stockings. copyright of
When the Dutch introduced Sinter Klaas to the Americans they called him Santa Claus.

What are the different names of Father Christmas/ Santa Claus?
Father Christmas is called different names around the world. The most popular name now-a-days is Santa Claus.
Austria: Christkind ("Christ child")
Belgium: Sinterklaas
Canada: Santa Claus; Père Noël ("Father Christmas")
Denmark: Julemanden
Estonia: Jõuluvana
Finland: Joulupukki
France: Père Noël ("Father Christmas");
Germany: Weihnachtsmann ("Christmas Man"); Christkind in southern Germany
Hungary: Mikulás ("Nicholas"); Jézuska or Kis Jézus ("child Jesus")
Italy: Babbo Natale ("Father Christmas"); La Befana
Netherlands & Flanders: Sinterklaas
Norway: Julenissen
Poland: Swiety Mikolaj
Portugal: Pai Natal ("Father Christmas")
Russia: Ded Moroz, "Grandfather Frost
Spain: Papa Noel
Sweden: Jultomten
Switzerland: Christkind
United Kingdom: Father Christmas; Santa Claus
United States: Santa Claus

3.   ECO-WARRIORS VISIT WILDWOOD - Abbey students collect pine cones
Student members of Abbey School "Eco Warriors" group came to the park on Wednesday 5th November 2008 to help collect acorns, sweet chestnuts, pine cones and twigs for Wildwood Trust.
The event is run as a competition with teams competing against each other as to who can collect the most.
The trip has become an annual event for the school and a real benefit for the park as everything collected is used for the animals .
Head of house Mrs Helen Page and several other teachers from Abbey School accompanied the group and they successfully collected huge amounts of twigs and cones. Unfortunately this year has been a very poor year for acorns and sweet chestnuts in the park.

4.   LATE NIGHT SHOPPING - Get those unusual christmas gifts
The shop at Wildwood will be open after the park is closed between 4 & 6pm on Monday to Wednesday 15-17th of December to give visitors the chance to do some of their christmas shopping in our shop.
Father Christmas will also be in residence and the restaurant will also be open.

5.   BEAT THE CREDIT CRUNCH & SAVE THE PLANET- make your Christmas decorations at Wildwood
Beat the credit crunch and save the planet - make your Christmas decorations at Wildwood.
Make this years Christmas decorations from recycled materials to decorate your home at Wildwood's annual "Holly Hullabaloo".
This event will be running on Saturday December 6th between 2 & 4pm and children of all ages can use recycled materials like last years christmas cards, ribbon, wrapping paper etc. to make a selection of decorations.
Places must be booked on this popular event so please call Anne, cost* is £2 per child with one adult going free.
*Please note that that access to this event is only permitted if the membership or entrance to the park has been paid.

Facts About Christmas Decorations:
Twelfth Night is when all Christmas Decorations should be removed so as not to bring bad luck upon the home. If decorations are not removed on twelfth night, they should stay up all year.

Why is it bad luck to leave the decorations up after Twelfth Night?

Long ago it was thought that leaving the decorations up would cause a disaster. People believed that tree-spirits lived in the greenery (holy, ivy etc) they decorated their houses with. The greenery was brought into the house to provide a safe haven for the tree-spirits during the harsh midwinter days. Once this period was over it was necessary to return the greenery back outside to release the tree-spirits into the countryside once again. Failure to do this would mean that vegetation would not be able to start growing again (spring would not return), leading to an agricultural disaster.
It was also thought that, if you left the greenery in the house, the tree-spirits would cause mischief in the house until they were released.
Today people still feel uneasy about leaving the Christmas decorations up after Twelfth Night. Despite decorations now being made of foil or paper, and even though the tree-spirits are long forgotten, the superstition still survives.
Did you know?
Until the 19th century, people would keep decorations of holly, ivy, box, yew, lauren and mistletoe up until February 2nd, Candlemas Day, the end of the Christmas season, 40 days after the birth of Jesus.
In the reign of Victoria decorations came down on Twelfth Night and generally were burnt.
When is Twelfth Night? 12th night
Twelfth Night is the evening of the 5th January. "The evening of the fifth of January, preceding Twelfth Day, the eve of the Epiphany, formerly the last day of the Christmas festivities and observed as a time of merrymaking". Oxford English Dictionary
Why is Twelfth Night on the 5th January and not the 6th (Twelfth Day)?
It is only with our modern understanding of astronomy and time keeping that we start a new day in the middle of the night. To our ancient ancestors, the end of day was when the sun went down. The oncoming night was the beginning of the next day. Nights were actually part of the holiday i.e. the next day.
Christmas, started at sunset on December 24. They considered this to be Christmas Evening (or Christmas Eve). Christmas would then continue until nightfall on the 25th which started St. Stephen’s Day, the first of the Twelve days of Christmas.
To our ancient ancestors, the Twelfth night after Christmas would have been the evening before January 6, Epiphany, the twelfth and final day of the Christmas season. 
The actual date for Twelfth Night has caused much confusion for years and still does today. This is because our modern understanding of the words 'eve' and 'night' mean something different to what our ancient ancestors considered them to be.
For us today the night or evening follows the day
From Christmas to Epiphany
The period between Christmas and Epiphany (January 6th) was traditionally the time to celebrate. It was a time of feasting and a time when the rich were supposed to share what they had with the poor (Boxing Day).
A Time for parties and to play tricks
In England, people used to have parties on Twelfth Night and it was traditional to play practical jokes. These included tricks such as hiding live birds in an empty pie case, so that they flew away when your startled guests cut open the crusts (as in the nursery rhyme "Sing A Song of Sixpence" goes, "…the pie was opened and the birds began to sing".
Twelfth Night Cake
In England, the Twelfth Night cake was a rich and dense fruitcake which traditionally contained a bean. If you got the bean then you were King or Queen of the Bean and everyone had to do what you told them to do. visit for more information
There were also other items in the cake:
  • If you got a clove you were a villain.
  • If you got a twig you were a fool.
  • If you got a rag you were a tarty girl.
Twelfth Night Plays
Twelfth Night itself was a traditional day for plays or "Mummings," and it is thought that Shakespeare's play took its name from the fact that it was first performed as part of Twelfth Night celebrations about 1601.
The Yule Log
The Yule Log, lit on Christmas day, remained burning until Twelfth Night in order to bring good fortune to the house for the coming year. Its charred remains were kept, both to kindle the next year's Yule log, as well as to protect the house from fire and lightning.
Traditional Foods
Traditional Twelfth Night foods served in England include anything spicy or hot, like ginger snaps and spiced ale.

January 6 is Twelfth Day

Twelfth Day is the last day of Christmas season. In the Church of England, the Christmas season begins at Evening Prayer on Christmas Eve.
Twelfth Day, as its name tells us, is the sixth of January - just twelve days after Christmas Day.
This day is the feast of Epiphany. The term epiphany means "to show" or "to make known" or "to reveal." In Western churches, it remembers the coming of the wise men bringing gifts to visit the Christ child, who by so doing "reveal" Jesus to the world as Lord and King. In some eastern churches, Epiphany commemorates Jesus’ baptism, with the visit of the Magi linked to Christmas.
The Season of Epiphany
For many Protestant church traditions, the season of Epiphany extends from January 6th until Ash Wednesday, which begins the season of Lent leading to Easter. In some western traditions, the last Sunday of Epiphany is celebrated as Transfiguration Sunday.
The Roman Catholic tradition observes Epiphany as a single day.
What are the colours of Epiphany?
The colours of Epiphany are usually the colours of Christmas, white and gold, the colours of celebration, newness, and hope that mark the most sacred days of the church year.
The traditional liturgical colour after Epiphany is green - the colour of growth.
(Photo credit to Anna Maria Damasiewicz)

6.   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)
7.  HELP! - Snap boxes and computer bits needed

Wildwood is seeking some help in obtaining the following items:
1. Snap shut plastic boxes (like sandwich boxes etc). These are used for housing our adderlings and as they grow we need larger boxes for them to live in.
2. Computer bits - Have you got large colour monitors or flat screens? We need them for the office and we are also looking for Athlon XP or above processors.
If you can help please call the office on 01227 712111.
(Photo credit to Sanja Gjenero)

8.   ADOPT AN ANIMAL - Great christmas present
At a bit of a loss as to what to buy your nearest and dearest for Christmas? Then Wildwood has the answer - buy an adoption of their favourite animal. They will get a pack full of details about their animal including exclusive pictures taken of the animal of their choice, a plaque will be displayed commemorating their adoption as well as a handsome certificate and a free ticket to come along to the park.
Every animal at the park can be adopted and prices range from £25 to support a dormouse, helping with our breeding and re-introduction schemes to £500 where you can support a conservation project for water voles our most endangered mammal.
If you would like more details then give the office a call.

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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