On June 18th a total of 22 dormice were released into the wild at two secret woodland locations in Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire. The release was coordinated by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) in partnership with the Wildwood Trust, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, Nottinghamshire Dormouse Group, The Forestry Commission, Lincolnshire Dormouse Group, Natural England, ZSL (Zoological Society of London), Paignton Zoo and the Common Dormouse Captive Breeders Group. Wildwood played a major part in the release providing 16 of the 22 animals.
Wildwood’s conservation keeper Katie Prior and volunteer Lucy Bunyard both went to the Lincolnshire release. Katie said, “having not had much previous experience with dormouse, I am personally thrilled to have been involved in such an important and exciting project. I believe it is of utmost importance that we protect these species as they can be an excellent indicator of the health of forests and hedgerows.”
This year was slightly different in that the released dormice were used to bolster previously reintroduced populations in order to increase genetic diversity and maximise the long term survival of the population. The animals had spent 10 weeks in quarantine – half at the Institute of Zoology in London and the other half at Paignton Zoo. Here, all the animals were health checked and given the go ahead for release.
The animals were ‘soft released’ – this means that they are held in a release cage for over a week before a small opening is made and the dormice are allowed to make their own way out. Food is then provided in the cages for them over the next three months.
Say hello to our new residents
This month saw the addition of some new residents at Wildwood, two beautiful green lizards. The honour of releasing them went to our rangers, Geoff and Simon, who helped build their enclosure. They've settled in brilliantly and can be often seen basking in the sunshine.
Saving South Hoath Wood
Wildwood Trust are delighted to say a huge thank you to everyone that donated so generously to our woodland appeal. Thanks to your amazing support we have already raised over £19,000 to save South Hoath Wood and have been able to pay the next instalment needed by the end of June!
However, one more payment is still required to complete the purchase, so we are still asking for donations from anyone who is yet to donate and wants to help.
Please visit https://wildwoodtrust.org/woodland_appeal to donate online, alternatively you can donate by credit/debit card over the phone, post a cheque made payable to ‘Wildwood Trust’ or make a cash donation when you next visit.
Every little bit really will make a difference towards saving this ancient woodland and the rare wildlife it harbours, so no matter how much you can spare, please donate today.
Birds of Prey Flying Team
In preparation for our Flying Show in the summer holidays, we've been busy training up our flying team of Barnaby the barn owl, Gimli the tawny owl and our long-eared owls, Betty and Rusty. You can catch them in out outdoor arena next to the raven enclosure most days at 2.15pm.
Fallow Deer On The Move
Our fallow deer have moved location as we rotate the animals to allow ground to rest and recover. They're now up next to Caramel the elk. Go say hello!
Wildwood's baby reindeer is doing splendidly and growing fast! Come see the little beauty...