Monday, 28 November 2011

Drop slide opening Wed 30th Nov & Christmas trees on sale 3rd Dec


Drop slide open 12pm - 2pm this Wednesday

Please note that on Wednesday we will be opening the Drop Slide between 12pm-2pm.

Please note our winter opening hours are 10am – 4pm (last admission 3pm).


Christmas trees on sale from Saturday 3rd December

Real Christmas trees at Wildwood

We shall have the following trees on sale at the Wildwood Shop from Saturday 3rd December.

Stock is limited so don't delay….get in early to get your tree!

Norway Spruce

4ft          £11.00
5ft          £13.50
6ft          £21.50

Nordman Fir

3ft          £16.00
4ft          £20.00
5ft          £31.00
6ft          £38.00


Need a larger tree?

We can special order Norway Spruce & Nordman fir trees in sizes from 2ft – 10ft for delivery to Wildwood (please allow approximately 7 days for delivery to Wildwood).

Norway Spruce: 2ft £5.50 / 3ft £8.00 / 4ft £11.00 / 5ft £13.50 / 6ft £21.50 / 7ft £25.00 / 8ft £28.80 / 9ft £36.00 / 10ft £48.00
Nordman Fir: 2ft £10.00 / 3ft £16.00 / 4ft £20.00 / 5ft £31.00 / 6ft £38.00 / 7ft £43.00 / 8ft, 9ft, 10ft - POA

To order a tree please call the shop on 01227 712 111. A deposit of 50% is required for all special order trees.



Fiona Paterson
Wildwood Trust
Tel 01227 712 111

Friday, 25 November 2011

Wildwood e-news Nov '11

Wildwood e-news November '11


1) Welcome Hazel, Wildwood's new brown hare
2) Animal of the month - Brown hare

3) Christmas gifts from Wildwood

4) Christmas events at Wildwood

5) Please, no Christmas trees!

6) Calling all Cubs, Beaver Scouts, Scouts, Brownies & Guides!

7) Wildwood's Education Outreach prgramme

8) Items needed - can you help?


1) Welcome Hazel, Wildwood's new brown hare

Hazel, Wildwood's new hare


Meet Hazel, Wildwood's new hare. Hazel is a female brown hare (Lepus europaeus), aged approximately 7 months old. Hazel arrived at Wildwood last month after being hand-reared from a baby (leveret) by a member of the public. Now that she has been health screened and has settled into her new environment she is on display in the wallaby enclosure.

You will have to look hard to spot Hazel as hares are shy, nocturnal animals and as such Hazel often likes to hide behind the shed at the back of the enclosure.  However, she is regularly sighted on trips around the enclosure in the mornings, and we are hoping that these outings will become more frequent as she grows more accustomed to her new home. Keep your eyes peeled for our newest addition next time you visit the park.

2) Animal of the month - Brown hare

Brown hares boxing


Brown hares are one of two types of hare living in Britain, the mountain hare (Lepus timidus) is a native species, whereas the brown hare (Lepus europaeus) originates from Asia and was most probably introduced to the UK by the Romans for food.

Despite being one of the best known mammals in the UK, the brown hare is frequently mistaken for a rabbit. Brown hares are larger than rabbits, with longer limbs, reddish-brown grizzled fur with a white underside and distinctive long, black tipped ears.

Unlike rabbits, hares live above ground and rest in shallow depressions which they make in the soil, called forms. They are most commonly found in arable areas and prefer cultivated land (wheat, sugar beet, peas) to pasture or woodland although the latter areas are used for resting, particularly in winter. Whilst rabbits usually graze in groups around the margins of fields, brown hares will graze more openly on the young shoots of grasses and herbs as well as agricultural crops.  If disturbed, a hare will lie perfectly still, hoping to escape notice. Should an enemy come too near, it will leap up and run away at speed with its tail held downwards.  Hares are built for speed, and with their long hind legs and sleek body, can reach up to 35 miles an hour!

The best time to see brown hares is in spring at the height of the breeding season when groups of hares run in circles and may box with each other.  Boxing occurs when a female (jill) hare fights off the unwanted attention of a (male) jack.  Breeding usually occurs between February and September and females typically give birth to around three litters each year of between two and four young (leverets). Leverets are born fully furred with their eyes open and are left alone in the day in forms a few metres from their birth place to avoid attracting predators. Once a day for the first four weeks of their lives, the leverets gather at sunset to be fed by the female, but otherwise they receive no parental care.

Brown hare numbers have declined substantially since the beginning of this century, though they are still to be found in many parts of the country. The reasons for their decline stem from changes in modern farming, with farms specialising in small ranges of crops rather than mixed enterprises, a rise in the use of modern farm machinery and pesticides which kill many hares, the increase in fox numbers; the hare's main predator and illegal hare coursing which remains a problem across the UK. Brown hares have little legal protection, partly because they are game animals and can be managed by farmers and landowners, and partly because they are also a minor pest which can damage crops and young tree plantations.  

Brown hares are widespread on low ground throughout England, Wales and Scotland. Although they have been more recently introduced to Northern Ireland, they have not spread far.  In Kent hares are most commonly found on the Isle of Grain, the Isle of Sheppey, on the dip slopes of the North Downs south of Sittingbourne, and on Romney Marsh. There are occasional sightings across the remainder of rural Kent excepting the High and Low Weald where they are rare.

Did you know?

  • Hares cannot contract myxomatosis. The disease is confined to rabbits.
  • The expressions "mad as a march hare" and "hare brained" come from the odd-looking behaviour exhibited by hares during their spring mating season.
  • Long ago, people believed hares laid eggs in the spring fields  (which is one reason why we have Easter eggs today). They saw nests of eggs in the grass and hares running away, so they assumed hares had laid them, not realising they were laid by ground-nesting birds like lapwings and skylarks.
  • Our pagan ancestors worshipped a moon goddess called Eostre who had the head of a hare, and it was believed hares gazed at the moon without blinking to see their home in the night sky. This is most probably due to the fact that hare young (leverets) are born with their eyes fully open.



3) Christmas gifts from Wildwood

Christmas gifts at Wildwood

With Christmas on the way why not treat someone to an exciting gift from Wildwood?

Animal adoptions
An animal adoption is a great gift for any animal lover as well as helping to support Wildwood's conservation work. 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.

Wildwood Gift Shop
Looking for an unusual gift? The Wildwood gift shop has lots of unique gifts for all ages. From cuddly toys of your favourite British wildlife to eco-friendly gifts, hampers and stylish home accessories, there's something for everyone and all proceeds go towards the upkeep of the park and our work to save British wildlife.

Wildwood Gift Vouchers
Stuck for a great gift idea? Wildwood gift vouchers can be spent on any goods or services from Wildwood. They can be redeemed against park entry, gift shop, night tours, photo days, adoptions and many more! To buy Wildwood Gift vouchers ask in the Wildwood shop or call 01227 712 111.


!!  Important info: last posting dates  !!

To guarantee (postal) delivery in time for Christmas, all applications for Memberships, Adoptions, Gift Vouchers or Photo Days will have to be received before 14th December. 

All applications received after this date will be dealt with in the usual manner but we cannot guarantee that your gift will arrive in the post before Christmas.



4) Christmas events at Wildwood


We have lots going on this festive season:


Meet Santa at Wildwood

Father Christmas will be coming to Wildwood with his sleigh and a big sackful of toys. Children of all ages are welcome, so long as they've been good! Every child will get a special present from Father Christmas.

  • Saturday 3rd & Sunday 4th December
  • Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th December
  • Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th December

Sessions run from 1pm-3pm each day, you can drop in any time or book in advance on 01227 712 111. Price: £6 per child. Optional photographs will be available for an extra charge.


Wildwood Panto Trail: December 17 - December 31

Join in our annual panto trail around the park and you could win a family ticket to Cinderella at the new Marlowe Theatre! Simply collect your free trail from the shop on arrival and hand in your completed trail for a super free gift and to be entered into our prize draw. Please don't forget to bring a pen or pencil to complete your trail.


Win tickets to Cinderella at the Marlowe Theatre

This year's fabulous panto trail prize is a family ticket to see Cinderella at the new Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury.

This Cinderella is a truly magical show which combines the classic fairytale with all the traditional ingredients you've come to expect from our pantomimes; stunning sets and costumes, brilliant singing and dancing, side-splitting comedy, truly amazing illusions, lots of audience participation and, of course, a very happy ending!

The fantastic star cast includes: top television star JOHN PARTRIDGE, the brilliant STEPHEN MULHERN (Britain's Got More Talent, Magic Numbers)  and the hilarious SUE DEVANEY (Dinner Ladies, Coronation Street). Once again, Kent's biggest festive treat will be written and directed by PAUL HENDY and produced by the same team who brought you the smash-hit shows, Robin Hood and Peter Pan.
This festive fun-filled extravaganza is guaranteed to delight the whole family.

Visit the Wildwood Shop for calendars & discounted Christmas decorations
Our new calendar is out now and is selling fast! Priced at £4.99 it features beautiful illustrations of Wildwood's animals with facts and information. Now available in the Wildwood Shop.

Look out for some great Christmas bargains in the Wildwood shop - up to 50% off selected Christmas decorations

Christmas Trees
Christmas trees will be on sale at the Wildwood Shop from 3rd December. You can pre-order (recommended for larger trees), or drop in to pick your own tree.



5) Please, no Christmas trees!


As some of our long-standing members will know, a few years ago we put out an appeal for Christmas trees for use in our wolf enclosure.... we were wrong!


Please don't bring us your old Christmas trees as the wolves don't like them and we have to pay to dispose of trees that are left with us.


Your local council will have a designated day when they will collect trees along with your refuse collection.


Sorry we got it wrong, but if the wolves don't like it, we don't argue!



6) Calling all Cubs, Beaver Scouts, Scouts, Brownies & Guides!

Cub, Scout & Brownies at Wildwood

Did you know that Wildwood is a fantastic place to learn all about animals and work towards lots of different animal and environmental badges?

At Wildwood you can find out lots of great stuff to help you achieve the following badges:

  • Beaver Scouts – Animal Friend activity badge
  • Beaver Scouts – Animal Carer activity Badge
  • Cubs/Scouts – Naturalist activity Badge
  • Brownies – Environment badge
  • Brownies – Friend to animals badge
  • Brownies – Wildlife Explorer badge

Plus! Great rates for Groups

Wildwood has excellent group rates for your Cub, Scout, Brownie or Guide group. Visit the park between now and the end of March and the group rate is only £2 per person (min group size 10), and we can provide lots of fun activities for your group (pictured). To find out more about group visits call the Education team on 01227 712 111 or email


7) Wildwood education services - Outreach

Wildwood Outreach programme

Did you know Wildwood's Outreach service offers a wide range of curriculum-based workshops run by experienced tutors direct to classroom.

Click here to visit our website for full details of our workshops and prices. For more information or t o book any of our workshops please contact Suzanne on 01227 712111 or email

Examples of our Primary School workshops:

  • Nocturnal Animals
    Find out all about animals that come at night, focusing on their sensory adaptations. Involves games and roleplay and the possibility of meeting one of our nocturnal animals.
    Topic: adaptation - Curriculum links: KS1, Sc2 1b,c, 2g, 5a
  • Let's Talk Wolf
    Discover how wolves talk to each other. How do we talk to each other without words? A workshop that explores feelings, moods, &  communication using role play/acting to deliver the message in a non threatening environment. Meet Wilhemina/Wilf our wolf puppets. Suitable for all Key Stages with adaptation. 
    Topics: SEAL Programme, PSHE, Senses - Curriculum links: KS1 Sc2 1b, 2a,g  PSHE 4a,d  KS2 PSHE 2e, 3e, 4a,c

Examples of our Secondary School workshops:

  • Adaptation and Dentition: Skulls, Teeth, Skins & Horns
    Hands-on team event to test your understanding of mammal adaptation. Handle and examine a range of animal skulls for adaptation and dentition studies – including carnivore, herbivore, omnivore and rodent skulls – plus deer antlers and sheep/goat horns.
    Topics: Environment & feeding relationships, Dentition - Curriculum links: KS3 Sc2 5c
  • Conservation: Presentation on conservation projects at Wildwood
    Powerpoint presentation detailing the conservation work carried out at Wildwood, including captive breeding of dormice and water voles. Aimed at A' Level students, but can be adapted for younger students if required.
    Topics: Conservation, Ecosystems, Biodiversity

To book any of our workshops please contact Suzanne on 01227 712111 or email


8) Items needed - can you help?


With our new conservation building ready for occupation and our new range of educational activities we urgently need the following items for use at the park:


Craft items

If you have any of the following items that you would like to donate for us to recycle and use to educate children please let us know:

  • Leather  - we need leather items (clean chamois leathers, old leather clothes or leather type fabrics) to educate children about Stone Age arts and crafts.
  • Fun Fur - We need fun fur (or items made from fun fur) to help children dress up as animals.
  • Bed sheets - We need old white bedsheets or duvet covers that we can dye to use in craft activities.
  • Ribbon & Trims - We need coloured ribbons & trims for use in craft actitivies.
  • Shiny fabrics - We need shiny fabrics for craft activities and for children to use to dress up as animals.


Office equipment:

Our new conservation building is now ready for occupation, but we urgently need the following items to make it into a fully functioning work environment:

  • Office chairs - We need good quality office chairs for use in our new conservation building
  • Large plastic storage boxes with lids - For use in our new conservation building

Building materials:

Our ranger team urgently require bricks and blocks for use in our new otter enclosure:

  • Clean bricks and blocks - For use in our new otter enclosure, they can be new or second-hand but they must be clean. We can collect bricks and blocks.


If you can help with any of the above items please contact the office on 01227 712 111. Anything you can help with will be gratefully received.



Many thanks,

Fiona Paterson


Wildwood Trust

Herne Common,

Herne Bay,