Thursday, 8 September 2011

Wildwood e-news September '11

Wildwood e-news September '11

1) New Events Schedule out now!

2) Join the campaign to stop the badger cull

3) Educational trips at Wildwood

4) Animal of the Month - Fallow Deer

5) Birthday Parties at Wildwood

6) Donate to Wildwood via GiveACar

7) Job Vacancy - Education officer

8) Items needed - can you help?

1) New Events Schedule out now!

Events at Wildwood


The Wildwood Events schedule is out now, for full listings of our events from September to December please click here.


To book any event call 01227 712 111 – please note that Wildwood entry fees or membership must be paid in order to attend any event.



Sunday 18th September - Spider Day 
Discover the secret lives of our tiny eight-legged neighbours. Go on a spider hunt through the woods in the morning and then spend the afternoon making spider crafts with our Natural Heritage Officer, Steve Kirk.
Spider hunt session: 11am-1pm, craft session: 2-4pm. £2 per person, one adult free per family. Must book.


Saturday 24th September - Wetland Mammal Survey training day -  FREE EVENT

Wildwood and Kent Mammal Group are carrying out surveys for wetland mammals in East Kent. This training day will look at the ecology of a range of wetland animals from water vole, water shrew to otter, mink and harvest mice and cover the standard survey techniques for these species. If you would like to attend this course and help out with the surveys in 2011 please contact Jon Bramley on 01227 750092 or


Tuesday 27th September - Photography Day
Wildlife photography with exclusive access around the park and tuition from our resident photographer.
10.30am - 4pm. £75 per person. Must book. 


Monday 3rd October - Change of opening hours 
For the shorter autumn days, our opening hours will change to 10am-5.30pm. Please note last admission will be at 4.30pm.

Sunday 9th October - Fungus Foray no1 - FREE EVENT
Wildwood has some interesting and unusual autumn fungi so take a walk in the woods with our Natural Heritage Officer, Steve Kirk to find, identify and learn all about woodland fungi. Please note this event is not suitable for young children or children in pushchairs.
1.30pm - 3.30pm. Free event. Must book. 

Tuesday 11th October - Harvest Moon Night Tour
See our animals under the moonlight on a guided night tour to coincide with the full moon.
6.30pm - 9pm (hot meal at 6.30pm). £20 per person. Min age 10yrs.  Must book. 

Saturday 15th October - Bushcraft Experience Day
Could you survive a day in the wild wood? How would you find water, food and shelter? Join our one-day bushcraft experience and get back to nature whilst learning basic bushcraft techniques wiht Natural Heritage Officer, Steve Kirk. Please note this event is subject to weather conditions.
10am - 4pm. £35 per person. Min age 12yrs. Must book.

Sunday 16th October - Fungus Foray no2 - FREE EVENT
Wildwood has some interesting and unusual autumn fungi so take a walk in the woods with our Natural Heritage Officer, Steve Kirk to find, identify and learn all about woodland fungi. Please note this event is not suitable for young children or children in pushchairs.
1.30pm - 3.30pm. Free event. Must book. 

October Half Term: 22nd Oct - 30th Oct  FREE animal talks and feeds every day!

Monday 24th October & Tuesday 25th October - Story Telling and Shadow Puppets
Shadow puppets have been used to bring stories to life for thousands of years. Join our Natural Heritage Officer, Steve Kirk to discover wonderful animal stories, some told with shadow puppets, and make your own to take home.
2-4pm. £2 per person, one adult free per family. Must book.

Tuesday 25th October - Photography Day
Wildlife photography with exclusive access around the park and tuition from our resident photographer.
10.30am - 4pm. £75 per person. Must book.

Wednesday 26th October & Thursday 27th October & Friday 28th October -
Hallowe'en Crafts
It's that time again for our annual pumpkin orange and spider black creepy craft event. Make your own suitably spooky decorations to take home themed around pumpkins, bats, rats, spiders and cats.
One session per day 2-3pm. £2 per person, one adult free per family. Must book. 

Saturday 29th October -
Small Mammal Trapping course
Learn to survey our smallest mammals using live traps. Includes handling and identification.
9.30pm - 4.15pm. Cost £30 per person (Book together with Nov 19 Kent Mammal ID course for £50) . Please book with Hazel Ryan. 

Sunday 30th October -
Change of opening hours 
For the shorter autumn days, our opening hours will change to 10am-4pm. Please note last admission will be at 3pm.


2) Join the campaign to stop the badger cull

Peter Smith and badger

Last month Wildwood joined the campaign to stop government plans that would allow the shooting of thousands of badgers in a bid to control bovine TB.


Click here to watch our video of Wildwood's Chief Executive, Peter Smith, on why the govermnent is wrong press ahead with the badger cull.


Wildwood believes that the government needs to listen to the scientists who warn that a cull of badgers will do little to halt the spread of bovine TB, and instead there needs to be a long term strategy put in place to eradicate bTB. Rather than blaming badgers, the government and the farming industry need to work together on evidence-based solutions such as vaccination trials, improving cattle welfare and better farming practices in order to tackle the problem of bovine TB.


If you agree that the government needs to re-think the plan to cull thousands of badgers click here to sign the 38degrees petition.




3) Bring your class to Wildwood for a unique learning experience!

School trips at Wildwood


It's "Back to School" time which means our award-winning educational team are back in action with a host of fun and innovative educational workshops and activities for students of all ages.


At Wildwood students get the opportunity to get out into the woods to experience first-hand the plants and animals to be found in their local environment. Wildwood's wide array of trees, plants and animals are here for you to study and our experienced tutors will ensure you get the most from your day.


From KS1 to A-level and postgraduate, we have options in all ranges; from variety of life, to adaptation, animal homes and habitats, food chains, forensic science and practical woodland ecology . Our qualified, experienced tutors and fantastic educational resources make these curriculum-linked programmes come alive.


Teachers and group organisers are always welcome to visit the park in advance for a FREE pre-visit inspection, either independently or to meet the education team and discuss plans for their day.


Book your educational trip now for these great benefits:


  • Curriculum based activities for all ages and abilities
  • Prices start from as little as £2 per person
  • Group activities from only £15
  • Free teacher pre-visit inspections
  • Free teacher places when you book an educational activity
  • £20 off coach hire with Kent Top Travel
  • Wildwood can design a day or activity especially for your school

To book an educational visit e-mail or visit our for more information.



4) Animal of the Month - Fallow Deer


Fallow deer


Fallow deer were introduced to the UK in the 11th century by the Normans, who were apparently not impressed with the native British deer (red deer and roe deer) and considered fallow deer to be much prettier with sweeter tasting venison. A highly prized ornamental species, fallow deer were protected in Royal Hunting "Forests" for royal sport and later, semi-domesticated herds were introduced into the parks of stately homes and estates. It is from these herds and escapees from parks that we get the free-living populations in Britain today.


Fallow deer are recognisable by their distinctive white rump patch, surrounded by black horseshoe-shaped lines. They also have a relatively long tail with a dark stripe running along it. Fallow deer fur is usually chestnut brown with white spots in summer and grey-brown without spots in winter, although there are colour variations; pale and black fallow exist. Male fallow deer have palmate antlers (with a large flat part at the top, like the palm of a hand), which they shed every year between April and June. Fallow deer usually live in small herds of fewer than 10 animals but in large areas with ample food they may congregate in herds of up to 100 animals. They are most at home in open woodland with plenty of sunny glades and will graze on grass and other plants as well as browsing on leaves and bark from trees. They will also eat acorns, sweet chestnuts, herbs and berries. Fallow deer can be active at any time of day or night, although dawn and dusk are the most common times. They tend to stay in the cover of the trees during the day and feed in more open areas at night. A large part of their time is spent 'lying up', meaning that they lie down to chew the cud in between feeding.


The rut, or mating season, takes place in September-October. Males battle for groups of females, using their antlers as weapons. They will also display by barking, thrashing their antlers on bushes and strutting in front of females. Single fawns are born in June-July (twins are extremely rare) and spend their first few days lying hidden in the undergrowth until their legs are strong enough for them to follow their mother. Outside the mating season, males often live in separate groups from the females. Fallow deer have no natural predators, as bears, lynx and wolves are now extinct in Britain. This means they can reach very high local densities and their numbers need to be controlled, however, deer are protected by the Deer Act (1991). This regulates close seasons and what methods and weapons may be used to hunt deer.


We have a herd of fallow deer at Wildwood. Most of them look very similar to one another but there are one or two who are easier to recognise. Bernie is a mature male, or buck, who can be recognised for most of the year by his large antlers. Even when he sheds these in the spring, he is still obvious by his size and the pedicles (attachment points for the antlers) on his head. The does (females) all look very similar apart from one, a mature female called Bimbo who is much whiter than all the others. Her colouring is known as menil; paler than usual all year round but not albino because she has some colour.



Did you know? Fallow deer…

  • males are called bucks, females are called does and youngsters are called fawns.
  • can be found on every continent, except for Antarctica.
  • are the only deer found in Britain with palmate antlers.
  • were first brought to Britain by the Romans, before being successfully introduced by the Normans.
  • sometimes bounce along with their front and hind feet touching - this is called pronking.

Adopt a fallow deer at Wildwood

Fallow deer are just one of the animal you can adopt at Wildwood. Animal adoptions make wonderful gifts and help to support our conservation work to save Britain's most threatened wildlife. If you would like to adopt a fallow deer, or any other animal, call Pat or Sharon in the Wildwood office on 01227 712 111 or visit for more information.



5) Birthday parties at Wildwood

Birthday party at Wildwood 

Celebrate your child's special day with a Wildwood birthday party and give them a day to remember! A Wildwood party is the perfect way to celebrate with VIP treatment, your chance to meet an animal and a fantastic birthday meal in our restaurant, the birthday group can then run off some steam in the play area or around the park.

Wildwood Birthday Parties include:

  • All day admission to Wildwood
  • A birthday meal in the Beaver Lodge restaurant
  • A meet an animal session at an animal enclosure
  • Free colouring sheet for every child
  • A cuddly toy gift from our shop for the birthday child
  • Free entry for 2 adults accompanying the party group

Birthday parties cost £10 per child (£7 for members) and are for a minimum of 10 children. To remember your day, you can also choose to include birthday party bags from the Wildwood gift shop at a cost to suit you. 

For more information visit our or call Claire in the office on 01227 712 111.


6) Donate your old car to Wildwood!

Education officer required at Wildwood

Wildwood has teamed up with Giveacar, a fantastic website that raises money for charity by scrapping or selling unwanted cars, vans and motorbikes. The service is completely free and is the ideal way to get rid of old vehicles quickly whilst raising money for charity. GiveACar will take any vehicle, regardless of make or age and every vehicle will raise much needed funds for Wildwood.


  • Free collection of unwanted vehicles
  • Turn your unwanted vehicle into a donation for Wildwood
  • Quick and easy service to use – no hassle!


If you have an unwanted vehicle that you wish to donate and raise funds for Wildwood, visit and select Wildwood as your chosen charity for free collection of your vehicle.



7) Education Officer vacancy at Wildwood

Education officer required at Wildwood

Job Title:               Education Officer
Responsible to:    Head of Education
Post:                     Permanent, full-time
Salary:                 £17,000-18,500 pa

Job overview
Wildwood is looking for an experienced Education Officer to join our award-winning team. As No. 2 in the education department, you will be working with children, students and the public, communicating Wildwood's wildlife conservation message to the widest possible audience in innovative and inspirational ways. This is definitely a job for someone who wants to work with children and the public, not for someone who wishes to work specifically with animals, and the majority of teaching and presenting takes place out in the woods, whatever the weather or season. It is not a classroom-based teaching position.

The post involves teaching, planning, administration, presenting, staff training, management and resource development for both formal and informal education markets. You report directly to the Head of Education. Your main focus will be to assist in the smooth running of our busy schools'  programme. This includes preschools, primary and secondary schools, special schools,  A-level/IB ecology and conservation students, FE and HE students, overseas schools and adult education at all levels. Working closely with the Head of Education, your main responsibilities in these areas will include:

  • Teaching visiting school/college/university groups at Wildwood (e.g. guided tours, interactive workshops, animal encounter sessions, lectures, ecology and conservation courses, etc)
  • Assisting with outreach visits when required
  • Researching, developing and delivering new educational programmes
  • Designing and preparing educational resources (this includes crafts and preparing animal artefacts – skulls, skeletons, etc)
  • Liaising with teachers/lecturers in person and via phone/email
  • Administering the education booking system
  • Assisting in the management of the education diary
  • Maintaining departmental records of school visits
  • Designing/updating education literature
  • Maintaining education department webpages
  • Processing school evaluation forms
  • Making all this fun!

How to apply

Please visit to download and read the full job specification and complete the application form. 

Completed applications should be returned to Claire Hardy, Wildwood Trust, Herne Common, Herne Bay, Kent CT6 7LQ (email by 5pm on Friday, September 23, 2011. 

Applications will not normally be acknowledged. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for interview in late September.

You should give two referees to whom we can turn for a confidential reference, one of whom should be your current or most recent employer.  References will only be taken up for those candidates chosen for interview or, with regard to current employer, on offer of contract.

Interviews and selection tests will be held at Wildwood during the week beginning Monday, October 17, 2011

8) Items needed - can you help?

We love to recycle and we can make use of many items that would otherwise go to landfill. At the moment we need the following items:

  • Laptops (less than 5 years old) - for use by our conservation and keeper teams when visiting other sites and around Wildwood.
  • Flat-Panel TVs - To enhance our educational facilities.
  • Large plastic storage boxes with lids - for use in our new conservation building to store equipment safely out of the way of small creatures such as dormice and water voles should they get loose.

If you can help at all please contact the office on 01227 712 111, many thanks.



Fiona Paterson
Wildwood Trust
Tel 01227 712 111



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