Monday, 30 November 2020

November Update

Well, my October update was short lived... not long after posting it, and inviting pre booked visits and our new Winter photographic days, we get plunged in to a second lockdown for four weeks! Hey ho, it's all about the red squirrels though, and our red squirrels are doing great :-)

Usually the "quieter" Winter months when we have a few less bookings than usual are when we utilise that extra time to get on top of some of the jobs that would be trickier to do when we are busy, or have more people visiting. These tend to be the jobs such as trimming back the trees, any major repairs and just generally freshening up the enclosures. 

Second lockdown has meant reduced staff for us to keep funds down and ensure we are still here at the end of it, but unlike the first lockdown when it was just myself and one other each day... the shorter days and extra tasks this time around allowed us to keep all keeping staff on board, albeit on reduced hours. Boy have we been busy!

Lots of tidying has been done all around the Centre, but it is the main enclosures that will be noticed the most. Branches and trees cleared from the otters, to carry on with rush removal of earlier in the Autumn. More recently we finished a bit of a change with the pine martens, including new branches and bark chip for them to explore. 

Just today we made a start on our wildcats hopefully to be finished, or at least nearly there, by our weekend opening. Still much more to do before the year end and over the first month or so of next year, but we usually manage it before the days begin to pack out February onward with groups and tours. 

On the animal front, the biggest news is perhaps our Roe buck casting his antlers. Unlike our other native deer, the red deer, who cast theirs in the Spring. Roe deer cast and regrow theirs over the Winter months. We have also had a late litter of water vole pups. All fit and healthy, but not the best time of year for a release. We will keep them over winter until better weather, and more pups are about, for a better chance of a more successful release next year. 

Let's try again shall we!.. Coming out of lockdown this week, we will be open to the public again from the weekend. Pre-booked online only, so take a look on our website to see how to do that. Tours and groups scheduled will still be taking place, and any that had to be cancelled I am sure the office have already... or will be shortly... contacting you about re booking. 

Take care and stay safe everyone.