Want to learn how to make some of your own skin cosmetics and remedies from natural ingredients? It's safer, cheaper and healthier for you than buying shop-made products. You can even start your own beauty line and make some great Christmas presents! Join us on Sunday the 26th November at Wildwood and take away what you make on the day along with a host of new skills.
The debate about whether or not we should reintroduce wolves back into the British countryside is spreading fast!
Long time wolf lover Anneka Svenska appeared on Good Morning Britain today. In the short time allocated, Anneka spoke passionately about why we should be reintroducing wolves as part of a greater rewilding plan, and began to discuss how this can be achieved.
On this Thursday 23rd November our shop will be open from 4pm to 6:30pm for a special one-off event.
We'll have light refreshments to enjoy, our friendly staff available to help with all of your shopping needs AND for every purchase over £5, you will receive a free Winter Tombola ticket to win an instant prize!
* Park closes at 4pm, entry to the park is not required when only visiting the shop.
Festive Willow Wreaths
Interested in making some festive treats this year? On 9th December you can use locally grown colourful willow and dogwood stems to make a re-usable wreath base then decorate it with natural materials, all sourced locally. Take it home to hang on your front door or as a table decoration. Materials provided.
Our raven pair has moved to temporary accommodation opposite the rat barn, whilst their enclosure undergoes refurbishment.
Ike and Bena are settling in well to their new surroundings, continuing to show off their displays of affection and making their presence known with a range of noisy calls to one another.
Wolf Platform and Implant
Work continues to develop rapidly on the new wolf enclosure. Our rangers have been busy building a new viewing platform that stretches ten metres over the wolves' new home. The construction also features a tunnel of windows on the ground floor to help spot our wolves and make you feel really part of the pack.
With plans to birth a new wolf pack for 2018, our female wolf, Nuna, had her implant removed this month so that she can hopefully produce pups next year with our handsome male, Odin. The procedure went smoothly, and wolf keepers will be monitoring any signs of breeding behaviour between the pair. Fingers crossed!
With the highly successful breeding of red squirrels this year, a new female has joined our group of residing ladies near the Nocturnal House. We're hoping for more babies next year!
We also welcomed two brown female Soay ewes to our sheep paddock, and they are proving excellent grazers in our woodland setting. Keepers have yet to choose their names, though Winifred and Vera are proving popular amongst the team! Our male, Rambo, is more than pleased with his new female companions!
Our flying team has expanded with the arrival of gorgeous Long-Eared Owl, Betty. She was born in May and taking well to her Falconers here at Wildwood. We're hoping to have her in our demonstrations next summer, providing this year's enforced national quarantine due to Avian Flu isn't repeated in 2018. She is now settling in along with our other owls Barnaby and Rusty, kestrel Frank and buzzard, Maud. Just look at those big, beautiful eyes!
With the darker and colder evenings setting in, our dormice and hedgehogs are almost in full hibernation mode. Don't forget you can still see our retired dormice in our heated Nocturnal House, though you'll have to wait until spring before our hedgehogs resurface again.
Our bears are also going into torpor and are having whole days when they are not leaving their bedrooms at all - which means that the bears, who had never hibernated until last year, are continuing to find their natural rhythm and are very content animals.
* Please note - until they become active again, our bear bridge viewing platform will be closed.
Charter of the Forest
This November saw the 800 year anniversary of the first Charter of the Forest. Ready for a bit of history?
In 1216, King Henry III took the throne after the death of his father King John and, under the guidance of the famous medieval knight William Marshall, put his seal to the Charter of the Forest in November of 1217.
It was a companion document to the Magna Carta from which it evolved, and re-established for free men rights of access to the royal forest that had been eroded by William the Conqueror and his heirs.
* Under the reign of King John, about a third of the country was royal forest, and the penalties imposed for forest offences were a major source of revenue for the king.
* The charter aimed to address this by reducing the amount of land under royal control.
* The charter also banned capital punishments for forest offences such as poaching and hunting deer.
Genomes 25 Project
To commemorate the Wellcome Trust - Sanger Institute turning 25 next year, the Institute and its collaborators, of which The Wildwood Trust are very proud to be included, are sequencing 25 new genomes. A genome is an organism's complete set of DNA, including all of its genes.
From the blackberry to the robin, bush cricket to brown trout, the 25 species to be chosen all reside in the UK and represent the richness of species in this country. Twenty species have already been decided, and the remaining five will be voted for by the public and school children as part of 'I'm a Scientist, Get Me Out of Here'.
* Image Credit: Sanger Institute, Genome Research Limited
Operation Dormice Baby Rescue enters full swing this week!
Baby dormice from across Kent's woodlands are being rescued as 'Operation Dormice Baby Rescue' enters full swing this week.
These precious little babies, perhaps Britain's most endangered species are being scoured for by dedicated volunteers and urgently rushed back to Wildwood Trust's Dormouse Rescue Centre.
The Wildwood Trust conservation team are mounting a round the clock effort to welcome the dormice babies some as little as 6 days old and ensure their survival this winter.
A similar story has unfolded for many years as dormice sometimes have a second litter in late summer but if the weather becomes cold and wet the chances of survival for the late babies are very small. This is perhaps one of the many wildlife calamities that could pan out as global warming effects the wildlife of Britain.
But from this tragedy comes a ray of hope, Wildwood Trust's conservationists provide the warmth, sustenance and specialist care to keep these babies alive throughout the winter. These animals then enter our conservation breeding centre and their offspring form part of our efforts to reintroduce them to woodlands across the UK where they have gone extinct.
The Wildwood dormouse rescue centre is the biggest of its kind in the UK and the Canterbury based charity are very proud of their efforts in rescuing and breeding dormice for release.
"We work tirelessly to protect these animals and are proud that we play such a major role to reintroduce the Hazel Dormouse back to areas where they have become extinct. Wildwood is not only one of the leading dormouse breeders in the UK but is also an important centre for research into the behaviour and captive husbandry of the species."
"The hazel dormouse is now classed as extremely vulnerable to extinction but through projects such as this, Wildwood hopes to tip the balance back in favour of the dormouse." Three litters have already been rescued and more are on their way as volunteers across Kent are checking for babies that are under weight.https://youtu.be/nORNOLCAOfc
Usually dormice only have one litter of young per year. We think that many dormice have had a second litter this year because we have had a warm autumn and there is more fruit and nuts available on the trees. Second litters often don't survive especially if the you are underweight. It is thought that young dormice need to be a minimum of 15g at this time of year to be heavy enough to survive winter hibernation. These are only 6.5-7g each. Also if we have a cold snap the mother may go into hibernation leaving them to fend for themselves and they would not survive as they are not weaned.
Dormice are just one of the many endangered and nationally extinct animals that can be seen by visitors to Kent's unique conservation wildlife park. 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, bear, beaver, red squirrel, wild boar and many more. To visit us go to www.wildwoodtrust.org or telephone 01227 712111.
Pictured in the Photographs is Wildwood Trust Senior Conservation Officer Hazel Ryan and Jill Tardivel, Volunteer with the PTES and the National Dormouse Monitoring Programme who rescued the babies from a Canterbury Woodland in the photographs and video.
We are also expecting 3 young dormice to arrive from Folly Wildlife Rescue in a few days. They have been hand rearing them for us as they were orphaned.
The Common Dormouse Captive Breeders Group, of which Wildwood is an active member, have a licence to take a certain number of dormice from the wild each year to help with the national reintroduction programme, either as new bloodlines for breeding stock or as additional animals for reintroducing into new sites.
In June 2018 dormice will be released into a secret location in a county where they previously became extinct.
High resolution photographs and full HD video in 25fps and 50fps are available from the Trust or we can arrange filming and interviews.
Wildwood Trust opened in 1999 as a centre of excellence for the conservation of British wildlife, and was established as a registered charity in 2002. Wildwood is Kent's best British wildlife park. Home to over 200 native animals, past and present and set in 40 acres of beautiful ancient woodland where visitors can see bears, wolves, bison, deer, owls, foxes, red squirrels, wild boar, lynx, wild horses, badgers and beavers plus many more. As one of the leading British animal conservation charities in the UK, Wildwood Trust is dedicated to saving Britain's most threatened wildlife. Wildwood Trust have taken part in many ground-breaking conservation programmes to date, which include, saving the water vole, using wild horses to help restore Kent's most precious nature reserves, bringing the extinct European beaver back to Britain and returning the hazel dormouse & red squirrel to areas where they have been made extinct.
Wildwood Trust Herne Common Herne Bay Kent CT6 7LQ