It's been a strange old month and we have kind of felt like we were in limbo... some good news that we can open from the 12th of April and so start edging back to normal, but still for this month working with less staff and no-one else around.
We are nearly there though!.. In a week and a half we can open up again to the public, Monday the 12th of April and for the rest of that week, pre booked online. Then after that every weekend, bank holiday and school holiday as before, and for the time being still all has to be pre booked online.
We can also start with our photographic days and tours too, and our diary is already filling up with hardly a free space before the Summer... I think people are eager to get out.
So what is new? Well, some really exciting things but unfortunately things that won't be able to be seen, unless you are really lucky, for a few more weeks.
Last weekend we did our pre quarantine for release check on all of our dormice. We had an excellent breeding season last year with both of our pairs having two litters each. They hibernate on the ground, and have yet to wake up after winter, but need to head off to London Zoo soon for a quarantine period and health check before release out in to the wild. This meant gently finding and checking on them to make sure they are alright and ready to go, good news... they are all fit and healthy and will be on their way to the wild very soon.
Our breeding dormice are on display, but being very nocturnal even when they are out of hibernation will rarely be seen. Usually you would be able to go in to our nocturnal house and see our dormice in there where we have reversed the day and night, but unfortunately we still have to keep that shut off until restrictions ease more the closer we get to summer. Above is a photo of one during the check the other weekend though.
Our other big news is that we have badger cubs! All doing well and being looked after brilliantly by mum, but again unfortunately our observation sett is being forced to close until restrictions ease. The cubs are nearly at that age when they will start to explore a bit more though and cause some grief for mum, so you never know, nearer the end of the day we may see a little one or two pop out to see what's happening outside.
But there are still all the usual suspects for you to see here, and more exciting news on the way I am sure. Our squirrels should be having kittens soon, our snakes are out and about in the warmer weather and will be dancing soon, red deer have lost their antlers and the fallow will follow shortly and our wildcats are pregnant.
Hope to see some of you back here in April, and looking forward to another fun year in terms of animal news and stories.