Friday, 27 February 2009

Wildwood e-news February 2009
In the February edition of Wildwood's e-newsletter we have:
1.   CUT YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT - Come to Wildwood by bus
2.   DINO WEEK - February half term events places going fast!
3.   BY THE LIGHT OF A WOLF MOON - Moonlight walk at Wildwood
4.   SO YOU WANT TO BE A ZOO KEEPER - Short course for children
5.   CUTE BOARLETS - Harriet gives birth
6.   AWARD WINNING EDUCATION - Wildwood schools programme
7.   ZOO KEEPER FOR A DAY - See what it is like to be a zoo keeper
8.   HELP YOUR GARDEN BIRDS - Bird weekend at Wildwood
9. COUNTRYFILE BAVARIAN ADVENTURE - See the episodes on our blog

1.  CUT YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT - Come to Wildwood by bus
As part of Wildwood Trust's mission to cut carbon emissions we have thrown open our door to people prepared to ditch the car and travel by bike or bus. The Charity is offering free entry to visitors travelling by Cycle and 50% off the standard entry for anyone using the bus.
A valid ticket for the day of travel will be required and children must be accompanied by an adult. (other terms and conditions noted below)
Peter Smith, Wildwood Trust Chief Executive said:
"It is my firm belief that our grandchildren will inherit a world devastated by climate change, unless we act now. We cannot wait for Governments to change the world for us, so we must do what we can to tackle climate change now.
"I want Wildwood to be a beacon to communities in Kent to start thinking about what they can do to help tackle climate change. If we all act now we can make real difference and help preserve our countryside for our future generations to inherit.
"Our plan not only addresses our fear of climate change but also will address social needs, as we have targeted groups who are often disenfranchised by not owning a car and have been unable to visit our unique wildlife conservation centre."
Wildwood Trust has become the first carbon zero zoo in the UK with a 20Kw wind turbine, photovoltaic, solarthermal, coppiced wood burners etc.
Wildwood uses renewable energy for all its needs, but its largest contribution to carbon emissions are the cars driven by our visitors so Wildwood also has the "Go Carbon Zero" initiative where members can increase their monthly contribution to help purchase land which will be used to lock away carbon.

Background information:
Road Transports impact on Climate Change:
Road transport accounts for a fifth of the UK's entire national carbon emissions, totalling 100m tonnes in 2007.
Road traffic in the UK is on an unrelenting upward trend, and has increased by 26% in the last 10 years. Because politicians are terrified of being labelled "anti-car" by the motoring lobby, little has been done to persuade people to use public transport or travel less often. Indeed, the economics stack up against it: the real cost of motoring fell by 18% between 1988 and 2008, while bus fares increased by 36% and rail fares by 29%. The government now spends £4bn a year on expanding the road network, despite knowing that this will increase traffic further.
In our small way Wildwood Trust wants to reverse this economic madness and make it cheaper in the future for people using public transport to visit its unique woodland discovery park. Wildwood Hopes this example will set a trend for visitor attractions, supermarkets and other places to visit.

Terms and conditions:
Children must be accompanied by an adult & not valid with any other offer or group visits. Not valid on a Family Ticket. If you have a bus pass you must ask the driver for a ticket for travel with the days date on it, which will be free. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer. "Discounted Entry" form must be completed. Tickets issued from one stop above or below Wildwood will be refused entry, unless proof of residency is produced. Not valid on bank holiday weekendsChildren under 18 must be accompanied by an adult & the offer is not valid with any other offer or group visits.

2.   DINO WEEK - February half term events places going fast!
Only £2 per person in addition to payment of membership or entry to the park (one adult per family free)
Monday February 16 - Life Soup
Discover how life on earth started and make your own primordial ooze - 10+ years only.
Tuesday February 17 - Weird & Wonderful Fossils
Learn how fossils are made and make your own to take home.
Wednesday February 18 - Dino-Insects
Not mini-beasts but maxi-beasts – explore some of the giant insects which lived in our prehistoric forests. Make some giant insects as well.
Thursday February 19 - BIG Dinosaurs
Discover the biggest dinos that ever lived and some dino
myths; make your own dinos to take home.
Friday February 20 - Extinction!
Learn how the dinosaurs became extinct, see chemical experiments and make your own volcano - 10+ years only.
Contact Wildwood on 01227 71211 to book a place today or e-mail the booking form below.

3.   BY THE LIGHT OF A WOLF MOON - Moonlight walk at Wildwood
Full moons have traditionally been given names and Februarys full moon is known as the wolf moon by the Native American Indian tribes in the United States. The name comes from hungry wolf packs that would howl outside the villages of Native Americans.
Wildwood, Kent's award winning woodland discovery park, offers an opportunity to tour Wildwood by the moonlight of a wolf moon on Monday February 09th, (clouds allowing) 6.30pm -09.00pm 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 (and if you are very lucky them howling).
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 February to December. The tour includes a meal in our restaurant before venturing out into the park with a Wildwood staff member.
Places MUST be booked in advance by completing and returning a booking form, together with full payment of £20 per person - unfortunately, though you can reserve a place by telephone, a booking form is still required. 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 Dayjay)

4.   SO YOU WANT TO BE A ZOO KEEPER - Short course for children
February 21-22
A short course for children on life as a zoo keeper – plan an enclosure, make your animal’s life more exciting, use tools, prepare an animal feed, learn basic health and safety, distribute a feed and meet an animal.
Sessions 10am-12noon for 7-10yrs and 1:30-3:30pm for 10yrs+, 5 children only per session, £50 per child.
For more info contact Anne on 01227 712111 or
N.B. This is just a taster for children, not a full zoo keeper for a day experience.

5.   CUTE BOARLETS - Harriet gives birth
Wildwood has had the parks first young of 2009.
Harriet, Wildwood's wild boar, has produced a litter of two boarlets last Friday (23rd January 2009)
Proud father, Boris, a magnificent 400 lbs Wild Boar, is something of a local celebrity after his many TV appearances on 'Richard & Judy', Sir David Attenborough's 'The Life of Mammals', National News, Blue Peter and many more.
Wildwood Trust is campaigning to save the wild cousins of Boris the wild boar from being hunted to extinction. Wildwood Trust 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 woodlands.
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.
Last year saw some success for the lobbying on the status of wild boar in the UK with DEFRA publishing its "wild boar action plan" which set down clear guidelines as to the control of wild boar in the countryside. 
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 attention.
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 people.
* 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.

6.   AWARD WINNING EDUCATION - Wildwood schools programme
Last year Wildwoods education department provided exciting, inspiring and fun education to over 12,000 pupils from across Kent and beyond.

Our tutors dealt with students from, primary, secondary, FE colleges, Universities and special schools many used our extensive range of programmes linking in with the national curriculum but some used programmes especially adapted for them by our team here.

Wildwood is always seeking to encourage schools who have not used us for this type of trip and if you are a parent or teacher who might be interested in getting your school to come along the following downloads give details of the types of courses we run as well as the costs. If a school books before the end of February then you can save on the peak prices. We also offer a free pre-visit inspection.

To get more information, to discuss a possible visit or to arrange for a free pre-visit inspection, please contact either Anne Riddell ( or Laura Hester ( We’re here to help you get the most out of your day.
Downloads as follows
Booking Form:
Booking Prices:
Pre-school Activities

Primary Activities

Secondary Activities
FE Colleges
Gold Card  Membership

7.  ZOO KEEPER FOR A DAY - See what it is like to be a zoo keeper
One day only in each month
See what it is like to be a zoo keeper at Britain’s best British Wildlife park.
Only one lucky person per month will be able to book this unique experience (available Tues-Thurs most weeks). Cost £195. Includes refreshments, T-shirt & mounted colour photo.
For more info contact Anne on 01227 712111 or
Please note no animal handling is allowed. All participants must be reasonably fit and over 18 years old.

8.   HELP YOUR GARDEN BIRDS - Bird weekend at Wildwood
Saturday & Sunday
February 14-15 2-3pm
Make a bird cone feeder, special bird talks and a bird trail to collect from the shop. This is a free event but membership or entry to the park must be paid.
(Photo credit Keith Marshall)

9. COUNTRYFILE BAVARIAN ADVENTURE - See the episodes on our blog
If you missed seeing the coverage of Wildwood's road trip to Bavaria to pick up beaver, then please use the link below to access the blog of the trip and you can also view the episodes there as well.

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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