Wildwood Newsletter - August 2019
New Red Squirrel babies at Wildwood will support reintroduction project
Wildwood Trust has helped repopulate The Island of Anglesey with red squirrels over the last 15 years. Now as the native reds move to recolonise the mainland, Wildwood is providing more red squirrels to support their expansion and ensure their spread throughout the U.K.
This month has seen the birth of three red squirrel babies at Wildwood, some of which will be released into the wild in Wales as soon as they have grown into adulthood.
Reversing 100 years of extinction is one of the main charitable goals of Wildwood Trust and the new babies are great news for the future.
These new babies, born 3 weeks ago and now venturing out of their nest boxes are Wildwood's first brood this year. When old enough the squirrels will be transported to two sites in Wales to live wild and free, helping the developing wild population to safeguard and expand the species. After recent efforts to reintroduce pine martens by the Vincent Wildlife Trust, it is now hoped the red squirrel can out compete invasive grey squirrels from North America to once again become part of lives, eventually being restored across Southern Britain.
Red squirrels went extinct in Kent in the 1960's, but many can still remember them from their childhood when Kent once teemed with these beautiful acrobats of the trees! Visitors to Wildwood are in luck this week with regular sightings of our red squirrels in their large new walk-though enclosure.
Baby Green Lizards
Say hello to our five baby green lizards just born at the park. They're all healthy, tiny and voracious! They are currently not on show to the public while they are growing, but we'll let you know how they are progressing.
Beaver Enclosure Upgrade
Over the coming months, our ranger team will be upgrading the beaver enclosure and the area around it. Plans are to introduce a new walkway surrounding a wetland habitat and we can't wait to get started. The area will be closed while work is being undertaken, but it will be well worth the wait!
Fallow Deer Fawns
Wildwood has recently taken delivery of two adorable fallow deer fawns who will be joining our fallow deer herd. They are currently settling in behind the scenes, but should be viewable in September. Keep an eye out for them!
How To Medicate A Bear
Our Scruff was a little under the weather last week. He's generally a very healthy bear and it's the first time he's been ill for three years, since he first started going into winter torpor.
We had to give him some antibiotics for a few days and did so by adding them to a delicious fruit yoghurt. To retrieve the bowl before he wrecked it, we distracted him with some peanuts.
Suffice to say, the bowl is safe and he's got his appetite back, already starting to fill up for this year's winter torpor!
Red Squirrel Walkthrough
Our new Red Squirrel Walkthrough is huge and will eventually contain a number of other species in addition to the red squirrels. Our first residents are these young female mandarin ducks. See if you can spot them on your next visit.
Horses On The Move
Three herds of Wildwood's Konik horses have been successfully rounded up, given a health check and moved to pastures new to carry on their conservation grazing. The eleven ponies have settled in to their new surroundings at various locations in the UK and we're excited to see them continue their fantastic conservation grazing work.
Return Of The Red-Billed Chough
Our pair of red-billed chough have successfully reared three youngsters which are now honing their aerial acrobatic skills in the large aviary opposite the otter enclosure. Wildwood is working in collaboration with Kent Wildlife Trust and other conservation partners to return the chough to Kent after an absence of 160 years. We will keep you updated as the project develops!