Monday, 25 November 2013

Reindeer bring festive cheer at Wildwood


Reindeer bring festive cheer at Wildwood

Staff at Wildwood, Kent's unique British Wildlife park and conservation charity, are getting into the Christmas spirit with the arrival of two stunning reindeer.

The festive pair, a mother and daughter from the West Midlands Wildlife Park, are the latest additions to Wildwood's extensive collection of native and once-native British Wildlife.

Peter Smith, Wildwood's chief executive said "We are delighted to have reindeer at Wildwood; they are a fine example of a once-native animal that has been lost to the UK.  We hope they will both delight our visitors and inspire them to help us in the fight to save our native wildlife."

The mother is a four year old called Holly, whilst her daughter is yet to be named. Wildwood will be asking their supporters to choose a suitable name for the youngster, although given the yuletide theme, staff suspect that this may be a forgone conclusion!

Reindeer lived in the UK until around 8000 years ago before becoming extinct, most likely due to hunting pressure and climate change. Today the only wild reindeer in the UK are to be found in the Cairngorms, where a herd was re-introduced in the 1950's. Globally, reindeer numbers have dropped nearly 60 percent in the last three decades due to climate change and habitat disturbance caused by humans.

Wildwood hopes that the new arrivals will not only spread some festive cheer with visitors this Christmas but will also act as a reminder of the importance of wildlife conservation.

Reindeer are just one of the huge range of British animals that can be seen at Wildwood, Kent's unique British wildlife park and conservation charity.


Wildwood is an ideal day out for all the family where you can see British Wildlife past and present, set in 40 acres of stunning ancient woodland. 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, like the wolf, beaver, red squirrel, bison, elk, wild boar and many more.


Wildwood is situated close to Canterbury, just off the A291 between Herne Bay and Canterbury. For more information visit our website at or telephone 01227 712111



The reindeer at Wildwood can be photographed or filmed by professional crews by prior arrangement, more stills or broadcast quality video can be provided on request.


Photos attached.


For more information contact Fiona Paterson


Tel:          01227 712 111


Fiona Paterson
Wildwood Trust

Herne Common

Herne Bay


Registered charity no 1093702


Reindeer facts:

Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus)

Head-body length: 120 - 220 cm

Shoulder height: 87 - 140 cm 

Male antler length: 52 - 130 cm

Female antler length: 23 - 50 cm

Weight: 60 – 318kg

  • Once found across Europe reaching as far south as Spain, reindeer are now mainly found in North America, Alaska, Canada, and Northern Europe.
  • Reindeer are the only deer species where both the male and the female possess antlers. Male reindeer shed their antlers at the end of the mating season in early December, whereas the females keep them until the spring. This leads experts to suspect that Santa's flying squad may actually be an all-girl team, but as his reindeer have magical powers, this remains to be proved.
  • Most reindeer can't fly, but they can run at speeds of up to 48mph.
  • Reindeer were built for the snow and cold. When temperatures plummet, they have the ability to lower the temperature in their legs to near freezing levels. This keeps their core body heat even. 
  • Reindeer are highly sociable and can be found in herds of up to half a million animals
  • Most reindeer populations undertake seasonal migrations, with the annual distance travelled by some individuals being at least 5,000 kilometres, the longest of any terrestrial mammal 
  • Reindeer are excellent swimmers, thanks to their buoyant, air filled coat.
  • As reindeer walk, they make a characteristic clicking sound caused by a tendon in the foot slipping over the bone. This allows them to find each other even in a white-out blizzard.


Thursday, 21 November 2013

Wildwood Festive Fun Night & Grand Raffle Prize Draw

Wildwood Festive Fun Night – Saturday 14th December

Wildwood Festive Fun Night

Come along to a night of Festive Fun at Wildwood - all proceeds to towards our Pine Marten Appeal

  • Festive Food
  • Gift Stalls
  • Storytelling
  • Facepainting
  • Santa's Grotto (charges apply)
  • Grand Christmas Raffle Draw

The fun starts at 4pm - Free Entry


Wildwood Grand Christmas Raffle - All proceeds go towards our Pine Marten Appeal

Tickets only £1 each - available from the shop or call 01227 712 111

Prize list

Wildwood Adult/Child keeper for a day experience * Wildwood Photography day * Wildwood 'Meet an animal' experiences: pine marten; snake; owl; polecat * Framed Wildwood animal photo – by Wildwood photographer Dave Butcher * DFDS Seaways Ferry crossing for a car and up to 4 passengers  * A meal for 2 at Michael Caines Restaurant, the Abode, Canterbury (value £50)    Falconry Experience day with Falconry South East * Meal vouchers for any Wildwood restaurant (value £60) * Go-karting session at Buckmore Park (suitable for ages 16+) * A meal for 2 at Smugglers Retreat, Ramsgate (includes a bottle of wine) * Family ticket to Cinderella pantomime at Theatre Royal, Margate (28th Dec) * Family day ticket to Leeds Castle * 2 Odeon cinema tickets  * 4 tickets to Hever Castle * 1 day ticket to Diggerland (+ entry discount for other group members) * 2 hours paintballing at Quex Paintball for 5 people, includes 50 paintballs * Family Swim at Maidstone Leisure * Shellac manicure at Salon Chique * Hot stone massage at Salon Chique * Luxury gift set from Fenwicks  * 15.6v drill from Wickes * Large Hornby Scalextric set  * Soft toys


Tickets only £1 each  - available from the shop or call 01227 712 111

The raffle will be drawn at the Wildwood Festive Fun night on 14th December


The Wildwood Team
Wildwood Trust, Herne Common, Herne Bay, Kent CT6 7LQ
Registered charity no. 1093702