Friday, 20 July 2012

Wildwood e-news July'12


Wildwood e-news July '12
 

 

1) Summer fun!
2) Meet Freddy - our new badger
3) Wildwood achieves pine marten breeding
4) Play park badger sett now open

5) Saxon invasion at Wildwood
6) Baby beavers on the Beeb!
7) New conservation courses
8) Rescued baby bat video
9) Items needed - can you help?

1) Summer holiday fun!
Summer holiday fun at Wildwood

At long last the sun is shining and summer is on its way! We have lots in store at Wildwood this summer holiday so come along and join the fun!


Summer Holidays July 21st - September 2nd

FREE talks and feeds around the park every day!

FREE fun trails!

PLUS! face painting and roving animal displays

Saturday 14th Jul - Sunday 5th Aug - Big Butterfly Count!
Pick up a FREE butterfly trail at admissions and see how many you can spot as you make your way around the park. Upload your results when you get home to www.thebigbutterflycount.org to play your part in this nationwide survey to assess the health of our environment.
Free event*. Drop in any time.

Monday 25th Jul - Sunday 12th Aug - Animal Athletes!
Which animals at Wildwood would win gold at the Wildlife Olympics? Who are the best runners, jumpers and swimmers? Pick up a FREE trail and judge the winners as you make your way around the park. Free event*. Drop in any time


Thursday 2nd August – Thunder Moon Night Tour
See our animals under the moonlight on a guided tour to coincide with the full moon. 7.30pm-10pm. £25 per person (min age 10 years). Includes hot meal at 7.30pm


Saturday 18th Aug & Sunday 19th Aug - Saxon re-enactment weekend
Our friends from Regia Anglorum are opening the doors to their Saxon village (burgh) to let you step back in time for a weekend of amazing living history with Saxon crafts, games and a raid on the burgh at 3pm (both days). 10.30am – 4.30pm both days. Drop in any time. £3.50 per person* (under 15yrs free). Please note that Wildwood entry fees or membership also applies.


Tuesday 28th August – Photo Day
Wildlife photography with tuition from our resident photographer. Gift vouchers also available. 10.30am – 4pm. £79 per person, min age 18yrs


Thursday 30th August – Lightning Moon Night Tour
See our animals under the moonlight on a guided tour to coincide with the full moon. 7.30pm-10pm. £25 per person (min age 10 years). Includes hot meal at 7.30pm

Saturday 15th September – Spiders Day!
Discover the secret lives of our eight-legged neighbours in this fun 2-part event. Go on a morning spider hunt through the woodland then spend the afternoon making spider crafts with our Natural Heritage Officer, Steve Kirk. Spider hunt: 11am - 1pm. Spider crafts: 2-4pm. £2 per person, one adult free per family* . Must book.

 

* Please note that Wildwood membership or entry fees apply for these events.

 

2) Meet Freddy - our new badger

Freddy   the   new badger


Say hello to Freddy, our new badger. Freddy, a young male aged around 4 months was brought to Wildwood by the East Kent Badger Group after being found abandoned near Tenterden. Freddy was found as a young cub, suffering from anaemia and infested with ticks and fleas. Wildwood quickly had him treated and he made a full recovery but being so young he couldn't be released back to the wild as he would not be able to look after himself.  

Freddy is now being slowly introduced to the badger enclosure and has been taking regular walks around the park with his keeper, Gary. Gary said "Badgers are territorial so we are introducing him to the enclosure little by little so that Rodni, our female badger, can get used to him and doesn't feel threatened by his arrival". Freddy is now a little bigger than the picture above but is still a very lively young chap. Keep your eyes open for Freddy when you next visit the park!

 

3) Wildwood celebrates pine marten breeding

Baby pine marten at Wildwood

Wildwood is celebrating a unique conservation achievement after successfully breeding a pine marten in captivity. The new arrival, thought to be the only captive pine marten to have been bred in the UK this year, is the second time Wildwood has bred pine martens and is a huge boost to Wildwood's captive breeding programme.

This year's successful birth is a result of extensive research and trials by the Wildwood team into pine marten mating habits and how best to manage mating in captivity. As pine martens are a notoriously difficult species to keep on public display, never mind to breed, the park is justifiably proud of this achievement.

Pine martens are a very difficult animal to breed in captivity due to their territorial nature. In the wild pine martens are solitary and occupy large territories which they defend aggressively against other pine martens of either sex. The mating season is the only time that males and females will come together but being so territorial they will often attack a potential mate in order to defend their territory. Therefore the challenge for Wildwood was to bring our male and female together in a safe environment where mating could take place without the risk of a violent encounter.

In order to do this the Wildwood keeper team developed a special tunnel system in and around the animals' enclosures, nicknamed "the tunnels of love". The tunnels are used to allow the male marten to overlap into the female's territory before mating to allow her to get used to the idea of him encroaching on her territory.

Wildwood's head keeper, Paul Wirdnam said "As pine martens can be aggressive towards one another we have to ensure that the pair can come together to mate without risk of injury. Careful monitoring of the animals and timing is crucial to ensure the pair is likely to mate safely. We have allowed the animals to get close to each other through the fence but without contact so that they can see and smell each other and have allowed the male through the tunnels so that he can patrol through her enclosure.  Only once we are satisfied that they are behaving as a compatible pair will we slowly allow the male to enter the female's enclosure, with close monitoring from our staff. We also provide a safe haven for the female in case the male becomes aggressive."

Thanks to the hard work of the team the pine martens bred safely and the new baby is now being spotted peeking out of its nest box and running around the enclosure.

"Pine martens lived throughout the UK until they were trapped, poisoned and shot by gamekeepers in the 19th and 20th century" " commented Peter Smith, Chief Executive of Wildwood "We a committed to restoring the pine marten to its former homes across the UK and hope that this new baby will one day be part of a larger scheme to reintroduce pine martens to the South east of England"

 

4) New play park badger sett now open!
Badger play sett

Wildwood's adventure play area continues to go from strength to strength with the opening of our exciting new play badger sett. The new attraction is great for climbing over, around and through – just like a badger! The sett features a climbing wall, scramble net, fireman's pole and 3 slides! Some of our longer-serving members will recognise the caterpillar – he's been recycled from our old play park and given a whole new lease of life (does that mean he should really be a butterfly now?). The new play sett is open every day, great fun for all the budding badgers out there.

 

5) Saxons set to invade Wildwood - again!

Saxon re-enactment weekend at Wildwood

Last month saw a Saxon invasion at Wildwood as our friends from Regia Anglorum opened the doors to to Wychurst, their amazing Saxon village (burgh) for a weekend of living history. Wychurst is Regia's permanent site which they have been carefully developing to include a full scale replica an Anglo Saxon Longhall and typical buildings of the era.  Over the weekend visitors travelled back in time to experience how life was lived in an English village circa 1066. with authentic crafts, activities and games. Both days of the weekend climaxed in an epic battle against the marauding Vikings.

If you missed the action last month then don't worry – You can see it all again as Regia Anglorum  are coming back to Wildwood on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th August. The site is open 10.30am – 4.30pm each day, and entry is £3.50 per person (under 15yrs free). Please note that Wildwood membership or entry fees also apply.

 

6) Baby beavers on the Beeb!

Wildwood baby beavers on the BBC

As reported in last month's newsletter, Wildwood is now home to three beautiful beaver kits. The kits were born in May and are doing extremely well, being frequently spotted out swimming in the beaver pond. The new arrivals were recently featured on BBC South East who did a fantastic piece on the new arrivals and the importance of beavers in wetland habitats. If you missed the beavers on the beeb click here to watch the video.

 

7) New conservation courses

Conservation courses at Wildwood

Wildwood is pleased to announce a new range of conservation courses and training for those wishing to develop their conservation skills. Our day courses and workshops are run by our experience conservation team and make use of our captive-bred animals, with informative lectures and practical sessions, often in our ancient woodland. We can also offer tailor-made training workshops for organisations, including on-site training if required.

For more information on any aspect of our conservation courses please contact the conservation team: conservation@wildwoodtrust.org or call 01227 711 471

Forthcoming Conservation Courses:

Saturday 21st July - Mammal Society Dormouse Ecology & Conservation
This one day course is recognised as the definitive course on dormouse ecology and monitoring. Ideal for those with a general interest and those working towards their Dormouse Handling Licence. 
The course includes a visit to check nest boxes, information on relevant legislation and often the opportunity to handle dormice under supervision with guidance on best practice. Please note, this course involves field work which requires participants to have a reasonable level of fitness.

£95 per person / £120 organisations. Please book directly with the Mammal Society on 02380 237 874 or www.mammal.org.uk

Saturday 28th July - Dormouse Handling and Surveying Workshop
A half-day course for consultants and those in training for their dormouse handling licence. Places are limited to allow each participant time to handle a number of captive dormice under supervision.

11am - 3.15pm  £40 per person.  Please book with Tara Lines on 01227 711 471 or email conservation@wildwoodtrust.org

 

Saturday 18th August - Mammal Society Dormouse Ecology & Conservation
This one day course is recognised as the definitive course on dormouse ecology and monitoring. Ideal for those with a general interest and those working towards their Dormouse Handling Licence. 
The course includes a visit to check nest boxes, information on relevant legislation and often the opportunity to handle dormice under supervision with guidance on best practice. Please note, this course involves field work which requires participants to have a reasonable level of fitness. 

£95 per person / £120 organisations. Please book directly with the Mammal Society on 02380 237 874 or www.mammal.org.uk


Sunday 26th August - Introduction to the Ecology and Identification of Bumblebees
Course tutor: Dr Nikki Gammans
The morning will begin with an introduction to the conservation and ecology of bumblebees, their decline and how we can help with reference to gardening. Attention will also be given to the reintroduction project. We will then go through identification, view specimens and walk to a local wild flower meadow.

10am - 4pm. £25 per person (includes Wildwood entry fee). Please book with Tara Lines on 01227 711 471 or email conservation@wildwoodtrust.org

 

Saturday 8th September - Dormouse Handling and Surveying Workshop
A half-day course for consultants and those in training for their dormouse handling licence. Places are limited to allow each participant time to handle a number of captive dormice under supervision.

11am - 3.15pm  £40 per person. Please book with Tara Lines on 01227 711 471 or email conservation@wildwoodtrust.org


Saturday 22nd September - Mammal Society Dormouse Ecology & Conservation
This one day course is recognised as the definitive course on dormouse ecology and monitoring. Ideal for those with a general interest and those working towards their Dormouse Handling Licence. 
The course includes a visit to check nest boxes, information on relevant legislation and often the opportunity to handle dormice under supervision with guidance on best practice. Please note, this course involves field work which requires participants to have a reasonable level of fitness.  

£95 per person / £120 organisations. Please book directly with the Mammal Society on 02380 237 874 or www.mammal.org.uk


Sunday 23rd September - Introduction to Reptile Ecology & Surveying
Course tutor: Mike Phillips
This introduction to native British Reptiles will cover the identification of Kent's lizards and snakes as well  as their basic ecology. We will look at the habitat requirements of these remarkable animals andy why appropriate management of conservation sites is so important. This will be followed by a site visit to a known reptile site to try and observe some animals in the flesh.

10am - 4pm  £30 per person
Please book with Tara Lines on 01227 711 471 or email 
conservation@wildwoodtrust.org

 

Sunday 30th September - Harvest Mouse Ecology and Surveying
Course tutor: Steve Kirk / Suzanne Kynaston
This course will inform you about the key factors affecting the status and distribution of harvest mice in this country.  You will have the opportunity to examine a variety of harvest mouse nests and gain practical surveying experience in the field. Bring lunch, warm clothes and a walking stick. Held at: RSPB, Boulderwall farm, Dungeness Road, Romney Marsh, Kent  TN29 9PN

10am - 4pm  £30 per person Please book with Tara Lines on 01227 711 471 or email conservation@wildwoodtrust.org

To book, or for more information on our conservation services, please contact our team: Tel: 01227 711 471 email: conservation@wildwoodtrust.org

 

8) New video - feeding a baby bat & bat conservation

Baby bat being fed at Wildwood & bat conservation

Watch Hazel Ryan, Wildwood's Senior Conservation Officer, as she cares for a rescued baby pipistrel bat in the Wildwood Conservation office. This video looks at the work of the Wildwood conservation team along alongside The Kent Bat Group to rehabilitate rescued and orphaned bats in our bat flight centre. Together, Wildwood and Kent Bat group work to nurse rescued bats back to health and teach them to fly prior to release to give them the very best chance of survival.

 

9) Items needed - can you help?

As a conservation charity we love to recycle and can make use of lots of things that might otherwise go into landfill. We urgently need the following items for use around the park, if you can help please contact the office on 01227 712 111.

  • Old towels (any size) - For use in our vet rooms and for animal enrichment.
  • Large plastic storage boxes with lids - For use in our new conservation building.
  • Old sheepskin slippers or boots - for use by our educational workshops (sheepskin preferred, faux fur OK).
  • Flatscreen TFT computer monitors - for use in the Wildwood office.
  • Glass fishtanks / vivariums (min 2ft long, lids not required) - for use in our conservation centre.

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,

Kent

CT6 7LQ

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Job vacancies at Wildwood

Wildwood e-news - Jobs Special
 

 

We have vacancies at Wildwood. For full details of our vacancies and how to apply please click here to visit our jobs page

 

Job Title:          Temporary cafĂ© assistants
Salary:                 Meets minimum wage
Hours:                  Flexible
Term:                   Temporary holiday cover


The Beaver Lodge Cafe is set amongst the ancient woodland of the Wildwood Park on Herne Common and, with a very busy Summer ahead of us, we need your help! If you are fantastic with customers and are willing to multi task behind the scenes too, please send your CV and a covering letter telling us why you'll be a valuable addition to our summer team.

To apply, please send your CV and covering letter to cafe@wildwoodtrust.org



Job Title:         Ranger/Senior Ranger
Function:             Building and maintenance work around Wildwood
Hours:                 Full time
Salary:                Ranger: up to £16,458 / Senior Ranger up to £19,485 (+9% pension & other benefits)

We are looking for a skilled builder with extensive multi-trade experience to join our Ranger Team dedicated to enhancing and maintaining the Wildwood British Wildlife Park.

The main focus of this post is to carry out regular maintenance of the park buildings and grounds, including the playground, paths, car park and toilets.  Specific exhibit maintenance tasks will also be carried out, working closely with the keeper team.

Examples of typical tasks:

  • Fixing broken toilets
  • Putting up fencing
  • Animal enclosure construction and maintenance
  • Laying a concrete pond
  • Brush cutting and landscaping
  • Safety barrier construction
  • Litter picking and disposal
  • Working with Wildwood volunteers

Projects are likely to include:

  • Pathway construction
  • Waste minimisation
  • Groundwork's and building
  • Rainwater collection & distribution system

 

The ideal candidate will be a good all-rounder who can turn their hand to many tasks such as to carpentry, building, fencing, groundwork and landscaping. They will also be able to manage their time effectively and adhere to safe working practices. 

To apply for this post, please click here to visit our jobs page and download the full job description.  
Please send you CV and covering letter to 
info@wildwoodtrust.org or by post to: Wildwood Trust, Herne Common, Herne Bay, Kent, CT6 7LQ

Please note that we do not acknowledge applications, if you would like yours to be acknowledged, please apply by post and included a stamped, self-addressed postcard.

The closing date is 1st August 2012 Interviews will be held at Wildwood by arrangement within 2 weeks of the closing date.

 

Job Title:            Seasonal Park Assistants
Function:                Keep our animal park clean, assist visitor car parking and queries
Salary:                   up to £6.08 p/h depending on age
Term:                     Temporary holiday cover

We are looking for competent and efficient people to help our visitors have and enjoyable day out during the summer holidays. Primary duties will include assisting with car parking, emptying bins, litter picking & dealing with enquiries.

This exciting opportunity will ideally suit someone with a confident optimistic approach, who likes working with people and can deal with customers' queries in a confident manner.

To apply please send you C.V. to info@wildwoodtrust.org

 

For full details of our vacancies and how to apply please click here to visit our jobs page

 

Wildwood Trust
Herne Common
Herne Bay
Kent
CT6 7LQ

Tel: 01227 712 111
www.wildwoodtrust.org