Merry Christmas and a warm welcome to the December edition of the Wildwood newsletter. 
If you wish to know more about any of our stories or Wildwood in general, then please feel free to email us at info@wildwoodtrust.org
Thank you for your continued support. We'll see you again soon!

Return of the sand lizard
Four Sand Lizards have recently arrived at Wildwood from Chester Zoo. They are currently housed off show in our Conservation building.
The four individuals are being used for educational purposes; informing our visitors about the endangered species and their conservation, and improving our keepers' experience/knowledge of the animal. It is hoped to breed from these individuals in time, and all offspring will be moved into outdoor enclosures at Wildwood.
Our keepers have named our three males Tom, Dick and Harry, and our female, Sandy. See the video of our sand lizards at this link.
 
 
Not that common, cranes

This month has seen the arrival of two common cranes to the park.  Although only young, we hope they’ll be a successful breeding pair in the future and raise chicks.

Our new cranes are currently in isolation within our stork and crane paddock – look closely and you’ll be able to see them!

 

 

Kristmas Kenny
Our handsome male reindeer, Kenny, is settling into his new paddock next to the Christmas Grotto. Although he has access to his indoor stable, Kenny seems to prefer roaming his outside pen where he can see everything that’s going on.
You’ll have the opportunity to see him whether you’re stopping at the Christmas Grotto or visiting the park. It won’t be long before he takes to the sky and helps pull Santa’s sleigh!
 
 
Wildcat breeding
As part of the Scottish Wildcat breeding programme, Wildwood has been given the go ahead to breed our wildcat pair by officials at The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland.
Carna, our female, had her implant removed in November, and keepers will begin work on the off-show birthing pen. If all goes to plan, RJ and Carna should produce kittens from April next year!

 

 

Last chance for adoption for Christmas
Left your present shopping a little late this year? Not sure what to get for that person who's impossible to buy for?
You still have the option of gifting someone a Wildwood adoption for one of our animals. Up until 4pm on Friday, you can phone us on 01227 712111 to order and then collect from our shop between 10am - 4pm on Saturday.
* You must order by phone, online orders will not be received until after Christmas. Choice of animals is subject to availability.
 
 
Amazon wishlist

We have a passionate team of people at Wildwood working hard, no matter how cold and wet it gets - our rangers who maintain the park, the keepers who look after our animals and their enclosures, the education team who teach children about nature, our conservation & research team plus our army of volunteers who donate their precious time to help out.

As a charity, we run the park and our conservation projects on a very tight budget and are asking for your help. We have set up an Amazon wishlist for tools, protective clothing and research equipment that would make our job of preserving British wildlife that much easier.

If you would like to donate an item, please click on the button to see what we need. Each item will really help the charity for many years to come. View the wishlist here.

 

 

Wolf enclosure
Anyone visiting the park in recent weeks may have noticed the construction of a new viewing area at the extended wolf enclosure. 
The area consists of a window ridden walkway which runs out 30ft into the enclosure putting you right amongst the action. Above this is the viewing platform to get a birds eye view of the wolves.
It's all hand-built by our talented team of rangers and is almost complete. We'll let you know as soon as the wolves move in!
 
 
Genome sequencing
 
To commemorate the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute turning 25 in 2018, the Institute and its collaborators are sequencing 25 new genomes of species in the UK.
The final five species have now been chosen by thousands of school children and members of the public around the globe, who participated in the 25 Genomes Project online vote. The final five are:
* Common Starfish
* Fen Raft Spider
* Lesser Spotted Catshark
* Asian Hornet
* Eurasian Otter
Wildwood Trust is one of the formal partners in this project and we eagerly await the results, particularly those of the Red Squirrel and Eurasian Otter which could prove invaluable for our preservation efforts!

 

 

Help us to help the harvest mouse
Wildwood Trust is working in collaboration with the Kent Mammal Group on a project to find out the current distribution of the Harvest Mouse across the county of Kent. The species is thought to be declining, but without an up-to-date survey of their distribution it is difficult to know its true conservation status.
If you are interested in helping us reach our goal of surveying the whole of Kent for Harvest Mice you can attend our FREE “Harvest Mouse Ecology and Surveying” course at Wildwood on Saturday 20th January, that will give you all the background and field skills required to go out and survey your local area for Harvest Mice.
Help us help the Harvest Mouse! Check the website.
 
 
Picture of the month