Our highly-anticipated Wildlife Conservation Zone opened on 1st August 2018, following months of planning and building. This exciting project enables visitors to view certain British and European native species up close, learning how we can help to protect them in the wild through conservation of their natural habitats.
Species include the red squirrel, native to Britain but facing an uncertain future with only 140,000 left, and the protected British barn owl. Other animals include the red fox, Scottish wildcat, reindeer, fallow deer, golden eagle, common buzzard and other native birds of prey. More species to arrive later in a phased approach will include pine marten, European polecat and lynx.
Our mission since we began 4 years ago has been to conserve rare breeds and inspire people to enjoy the great outdoors. The natural next step is to support and celebrate some of our native wildlife. Our extra large enclosed habitats will enable visitors to view these wonderful animals, learn about their habitats and take home a positive message about what we can do for conservation – even small actions collectively make a real difference.
Protection & Conservation
The Zone’s aim is to support the protection and conservation of British and European native animals that are ‘conservation sensitive’ according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This means they are at risk in the wild and there is a need for active conservation to protect their populations. Green Dragon’s plan is to firstly get involved in conservation breeding programmes, such as the Scottish wildcat and red squirrel. Secondly, the Zone will become home to rescued wildlife in need of care, sanctuary, and possibly rehabilitation. Thirdly, sadly some wildlife is kept within the pet trade and animals are found requiring better homes – Green Dragon can provide the facilities to give them the care and support they need.
The five-acre Wildlife Zone consists of extra-large enclosed environments for the animals, a central, covered teaching space, and an outdoor display lawn for demonstrations and flying displays. Interpretation boards and interactive talks will give information about each species, their link to UK native habitats and how conservation can help them in the wild.
Ambitious and innovative
Introducing wildlife alongside livestock and pets is an ambitious and innovative new development for a British farm attraction and funding for the new Zone has come from a variety of sources. As well as the business putting everything it has into the project, Green Dragon has run a crowdfunding campaign and been awarded a government LEADER grant that recognised the business’s core aims and values in creating a Conservation Education Centre, as well as it’s contribution to the rural economy.
The new Zone will follow our Farm’s ethos of conservation and sustainability and we will continue to promote healthier lifestyles through recreation, education and events that bring the community together.
Educating Future Generations about Conservation
We aim to reach 250,000 children by 2023, giving them up-close experiences of animals and the great outdoors. The new Zone will be integrated into our successful schools’ programme that is aligned to the latest national curriculum guidelines covering animals, agriculture, farming, pets and food provenance. We are now widening the appeal of the Farm to inspire a broader range of children, forging links with charities, specialist schools, and college and university students as well.