Wednesday, 10 November 2010

The bison are here...
Wildwood is proud to announce the arrival of our newest animals; 3 European bison.
The European bison is the largest terrestrial mammal ever to live in Britain and were native throughout Europe before being made extinct in the wild in the 1920’s.
Wildwood’s head keeper, Paul Wirdnam, who has several years experience of looking after bison said “it’s fantastic to have these magnificent creatures at Wildwood. Many people don’t realise that animals of this size used to live in the UK, but now they have the chance to see them for themselves.”
Bison are the largest animals ever to be kept at Wildwood and at up to 2m tall and weighing up to 1000kg; their arrival has posed some challenges for the keeper and ranger teams.
Keeper Paul said “Despite their large size, bison are very agile and can be quite wilful animals, so we have had to specially design their enclosure to give them plenty of space and a natural habitat whilst allowing safe access for staff and a good viewing area for visitors”.
The specially designed paddock and log-cabin style enclosure has been built by the Wildwood ranger team and volunteers to allow visitors to see these amazing creatures in a natural setting.
Bison are just one of the huge range of British animals that can be seen at Wildwood; the ideal day out for all the family where you can come 'nose to nose' with British Wildlife

Monday, 1 November 2010

Wildwood e-news November 2010
1.  NEW! - Bison at Wildwood
2.  Wildwood on BBC Country Tracks - this Sunday
3.  Free Wednesday wellie walk
4.  Wildwood Christmas Gifts
5.  Christmas trees
6.  Wildwood water voles win photo award
7.  Winter opening hours
8.  Play park re-development
9.  Items needed – can you help?
10.Jobs at Wildwood - Restaurant manager
1. NEW – Bison at Wildwood
Feeding baby dormice film

Be the first to see Wildwood’s European bison, our newest animals. The 3 bison arrived this week and have quickly settled into their new home.
The European Bison, or Wisent, is the largest terrestrial animal in Europe and once roamed from southern Britain as far as Russia but became extinct in the wild in 1927 when the last wild bison was shot and killed.
At up to 2m tall and almost 3m in length, the bison are Wildwood’s largest animals. Despite their large size and usual slow movements, bison are surprisingly agile and can jump over a 3m stream from a standing position! An adult male can eat an astonishing 32kg of food every day!
Being so large, the Bison are easy to spot in their enclosure, so be sure to come up and visit soon to get a good look at this magnificent animal.

2. Wildwood on BBC’s Country Tracks – Sunday at 11.00am
Feeding baby dormice film

Wildwood will be on TV again this weekend, when Country Tracks comes to Kent. Don’t forget to tune into Country Tracks on BBC1 at 11.00am on Sunday to see the Wildwood beavers and an interview with keeper Simon Nash.

3. FREE Wellie walk – every Wednesday

Brighten up your autumn days with our new wellie walk every Wednesday during term time. Meet outside the restaurant at 1.30pm for a 1-hour guided walk around the park. Every week there will be a different activity such as gathering autumn leaves, bug hunts and meet an animal sessions.
The wellie walk is a free event (membership or entry fees to the park must be paid).
(Love the boots? They are available in the Wildwood shop!)

4. Wildwood Christmas Gifts

Stuck for that perfect gift idea? Wildwood adoptions and photo days make the perfect present:

Animal adoptions
An animal adoption is a great gift for any animal lover as well as helping to support Wildwood’s conservation work. Choose from animal adoption bags for kids or postal adoption packs for adults. Prices start from just £25 with over 20 animals to choose from.
Visit or call Pat or Sharon on 01227 712111 to give someone their favourite animal this Christmas.

Photo Days  
A unique experience for novice and more experienced photographers alike. Enjoy exclusive access around the park to take close-up photos of our animals, with our resident photographer Dave Butcher on hand to give help and advice on how to get those special shots. A range of different animals will be photographed across the day, with animal feeds for the more elusive animals to help you get close up shots. Days run from 10:30am - 12:30pm and 1:30pm - 4pm with an hour for lunch (make use of our restaurant or bring a packed lunch). Max 10 persons per day.

Cost: £75 per person, which includes entry to the park. To book call 01227 712 111 Gift vouchers available.

5. Christmas trees at Wildwood – On Sale 9th December

Wildwood will have Christmas trees for sale again this year. Don't forget to get your real tree from the Wildwood Shop from 9th December.

6. Water voles star in British Wildlife Photography Awards
Feeding baby dormice film

Wildwood’s pioneering work to save the water vole has been featured in a winning entry in the British Wildlife Photography Awards 2010.

The 2020VISION Special Award for conservation photography has been won by Terry Whittaker for his photographs documenting Wildwood’s water vole conservation work. The award is part of the British Wildlife Photography Awards and is their most ambitious conservation initiative to date with twenty of the UK’s top nature photographers submitting portfolios of photographs that illustrate topical UK conservation stories or themes.

Terry’s collection, titled “Water Vole re-introduction scheme”, showcases the behind-the-scenes work of Wildwood’s conservation experts. 

As part of the mandatory mitigation process for new development projects in Kent, all water voles living in habitats that are due to be destroyed or disturbed are re-homed at Wildwood. These are then bred and their offspring are released into habitats in Kent and south east England, or back to their original site at a later date. Hazel Ryan, Wildwood’s Senior Conservation Officer, said “It’s a very real possibility that the water vole could face extinction in the south east without our help. Although the day-to-day work involved in conservation is generally not the most glamorous, the photos are beautiful and it’s wonderful that our project is associated with such a prestigious award”

You can find more information on the awards at

7. New winter opening hours

As the nights draw in our opening hours have been adjusted. The park is now open from 10am to 4pm; last admission is at 3pm.

8. Play park re-development
Please note that our adventure play zone is now closed until Easter 2011 for major re-development work. The under-5’s play area is unaffected. Keep an eye on our website for news of our fantastic new-look play zone.

9. Wanted – can you help?
Laptops – We need laptops less than 5 years old for our staff to use around the park and when out and about.
Televisions – We need flat screen TVs to display information and videos about the park and our conservation work.
Ferrero Rocher boxes – A yummy Christmas favourite, but we like to fill the empty boxes with educational exhibits to show to children.

10. Jobs at Wildwood - Restaurant Manager
Job Title:                   Restaurant Manager
Function:                   Run the Beaver Lodge Restaurant at Wildwood
Salary:                      £15,730 to £21,800 (+ 9% pension & other benefits)
Responsible for:         Restaurant assistants, Seasonal and casual staff

We are looking for a hands-on Restaurant Manager to run the Beaver Lodge restaurant, an attractive log cabin style building situated at the heart of the Wildwood woodland discovery park.

We cater for lots of families looking for hearty food, served in a timely and courteous fashion. It consists of an 80 seat restaurant with additional seating on a veranda and picnic tables, attractively scattered around woodland and overlooking the adventure playground.

Wildwood is a charity dedicated to wildlife conservation and attracts 100,000 visitors a year and has a membership of 47,000 individuals.
The post holder will be hard working and hands on, who can demonstrate practical expertise in cooking and serving food in a busy environment, specifically:

•    Leading from the front – showing dedication to serve good food to our visitors in a timely fashion
•    Planning, ordering, stock control and menu preparation
•    Supervision of staff and timetabling
•    Championing cleanliness and adherence to visitor expectations

Applications should be sent to Wildwood Trust, Herne Common, Herne Bay, Kent, CT6 7LQ or email to

The closing date for applications is 30th November 2010
Interviews will be held at Wildwood offices at Wealden Forest Park, Herne Common by arrangement in week following the closing date.

Job Descriptions can be downloaded from these links:

Fiona Paterson
Wildwood Trust
Tel 01227 712 111