Saturday, 6 April 2019

Red Squirrels back out!

Guess who's back, back again, red squirrels are back... tell a friend!

A reminder to you all that with Easter holidays upon us, we are now open every day for the next two weeks and the bank holiday on the 22nd. This is a great time of year to visit, with the animals beginning to get a little more active as the weather warms up and the days get longer.

The big news for this Easter?.. Our red squirrels have full access to their walk through enclosure once again!

For the past 6 months we have had our main display squirrels temporarily shut in to their holding pens in the walk through enclosure. Originally this was for a little maintenance and management reasons within, but while they were all caught up we thought we should take the opportunity to re-design the boundary fencing strengthening it against the elements, and making it a more long term solution.

Now with the new fencing, we have opened up the release pens within the walk through and allowed the squirrels back out in to their full enclosure. They have taken to it as if they had never been away, and already are exploring and looking to build their own dreys. This morning squirrel talk we even had a few come over for some food, so it will not take long for them to remember the routine of talks.

The squirrels no doubt will be the big draw for the next two weeks, but we have a lot of other exciting things happening this time of year. Our adders have been out for a couple of weeks now, emerging from brumation, and will be thinking of dancing soon. A bit of warmer weather will hopefully kick start this beautiful ritual off.

Our wild herons on the nests have got chicks, always one of the first youngsters to be seen each year. Good views from our wetland boardwalk of the parents bringing fish back to the nests, or a little tip... our second car park offers a good view of the nests from a different angle.

After our introduction of the three young badger cubs to the main sett over the winter, they have all settled down and are beginning to get a little more active in the afternoon. Stanley, our new male, and Toby have developed a bit of a bromance, and are regularly out in the afternoons. Honey, our older female, is beginning to venture out too for the talks and another few weeks will see them all a bit more reliable as usual for that time of year... and maybe even the other two youngsters may begin to pick up the routine. 

Our nocturnal house has been a bit more alive too recently, but a little less predictable with the weather still being a bit up and down. You may be lucky to see our dormice, bats and hedgehog in there... but a few more weeks are likely needed to make these sightings more frequent. If you want to guarantee a hedgehog sighting though, don't forget our hedgehog talk in "The Dell" at 1pm each day we are open this Easter holiday.

Of course, our otter cubs are still as fun as ever, and growing fast! Out a lot of the day now, they are regularly seen playing after the talks.

So, come and see us this Easter.

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