Friday, 28 October 2011

Water Vole Release

Recently we have just introduced another batch of Water Voles out onto our Nature Reserve. After another successful year of breeding, plus additions from Wildwood in Kent, we re-paired up our voles ready for next season and released the spare voles into the wild before it was too late in the season.

After the initial releases two years ago, the patient few have been spotting the voles out on the reserve while we have been open to the public. We are hoping with the new influx sightings will be more common, and next year we can look at further releases slightly further afield.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

BWC Photo Competition

Just a reminder that this years British Wildlife Centre Photographic Competition closing date is on the 18th of November, 2011. This means that this half term week is the last open period we have before the close for you to come and get some "Award Winning" photos!

All the details on the competition and ways to enter are found above under the Photo Competition tab.

Good Luck to all who enter!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011


As some of you may already know, we are part of the breeding programme monitored by Paignton Zoo for Common Dormice. Many of ours have just started to go into hibernation, so we took the chance to check on them all and see what we have. It was another successful season with our pair producing 2 litters!

Keep an eye on the blog over the Winter for some exciting news on dormice and new exhibits.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Christmas Cards

I know it's only October, but we are only open until the end of October so we have to push it now... This year we have decided to do a couple of exclusive Christmas Cards featuring our animals in the snow.

Of course, it made sense to use the very popular "Fox in Snow" which did so well in Countryfile. As well as the fox, we have made the squirrel above into a card.

These cards are A5 and priced at £1.50p each, or £10 for a pack of ten (5 fox and 5 squirrel.) They are available now, and will stay on sale after October when you can still pop in during office hours to pick up a pack if interested.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Goodbye to Laura, Hello Tom

Unfortunately we have to say good bye to keeper Laura, pictured above on her favourite day here when the firemen arrived!

Laura has decided to leave us to go travelling for a year. Her plans are to go to Australia to train to do some ranch work, while spending all the money she earns on seeing the "sights" downunder. While that way she hopes to take in a bit of New Zealand as well.

Laura has been a valued member of my keeping team for over three years now, and will be surely missed. We wish her all the best in her new adventure.

Of course, this means we have had to hire a new keeper....

Above is Tom. His first day was today, and already he is making new friends with our very friendly Flo. Tom has come straight from University where he has completed a degree in Ecology and Biodiversity, after studying Countryside management at Plumpton College. During his studies he did a lot of volunteer work within habitat conservation, and has some good experience in particular with handling and surveying of small mammals. Something I hope to utilise over the coming months with our ever expanding release programmes on to the nature reserve.

Tom is here for a year to gain some valuable experience, before going out to gain work in the field of habitat management and conservation. Vital work to help encourage the growth of our British species. Of course, this coincides with when Laura will return... We hope that maybe she will re-apply for a position when it becomes open.

Meanwhile, our new female otter... Grace, has settled in extremely well. She now uses her observation holt, and has often been seen cuddled up with Stirling, pictured below. Over the weekend she has started to come out even with people around to watch, and has even been approaching us for food, although not quite yet hand feeding.

Stirling seems very happy with his new mate, and we are all very hopeful for a litter of otter cubs over the next year.