Wildlife Zone Update

 Project Funding from LEADER

We are delighted to receive funding for our new wildlife reserve from LEADER, a European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development designed to support local businesses. As a business, Green Dragon Eco Farm supports the rural economy and provides jobs for local people, and by doing so contributes to two of LEADER’s national priority areas.

LEADER will be providing 40% of the funding need for the construction of the Wildlife Zone. The central building has been designed to enable indoor viewing and teaching space, with the enclosures and aviaries also viewable from outside. There will be an outdoor display lawn where demonstrations and flying displays can take place, encouraging the natural behaviours of the animals and enabling visitor participation. The other enclosures will be extra large to ensure a naturalistic habitat. Interpretation boards will give information about each species, their link to UK native habitats and how conservation can help them in the wild.

http://www.leader-programme.org.uk/

 

October 2018

The daily programme of activities for Halloween Halfterm included some fantastic animal encounters and with the addition of the Wild Zone made this year’s Halloween event even more exciting.

All the animals in the Wildlife Zone took part. The ‘H’Owl’ encounter, with the Barn, Little and Eagle owls, was particularly popular with visitors.

September 2018

It was a busy month  with Phase Two of the Wildlife Zone Project. Three enclosures and a food prep. room were added to the Central Hub, creating an huge enclosed undercover space. This will enable our expert staff to exercise the young birds of prey during the winter and will provide a spacious area for school visits and large groups – whatever the weather!

August 2018

Our three new Little Owls arrived just in time for the opening of the Wildlife Zone on the 1st August. It is a great addition to our offer and already very popular with visitors.

All the new animals are settling in well, in addition to our new expert team which is responsible for the welfare and training of the animals. Having the wildlife has made our daily encounters programme even more exciting for our visitors with informative talks, displays and tours by the staff.

  Soft Launch – 21st August

Green Dragon friends, annual passholders and crowdunding campaign supporters were invited to a soft launch of the Wildlife Zone to celebrate its opening.

After ‘farm to fork ‘ refreshments and a talk about the project from general manager, Jay Wood, guests enjoyed a tour of the Wildlife Zone with animal encounters, talks and displays making a lovely summer evening for all concerned.

 

July 2018

It’s exciting to see how the enclosed habitats are coming on. The spaces for the wildlife are huge and are being dressed with trees, stumps and foliage that will provide a natural environment for the animals with the enrichment that they will need.

New arrivals this month have been the young kestrels and tawny owls and red squirrels. The ravens have already moved into their new home and the wallabies moved straight in to their new enclosure on arrival.

 

June 2018

In spite of wet weather progress is still being made on the Wildlife Zone. The huge enclosures continue to go up  – the one for the golden eagle is 24m long which will give her plenty of room to exercise.

The access track to the Wildlife Zone is now open so visitors can view progress and the reindeer herd that are now installed in their new enclosure.

We’ve just taken delivery of a pair of young ravens. They are just nine weeks old and fully feathered but already large and boisterous.

They were removed from a private collection where they had been hand-reared, making them friendly to their handlers. The plan is to continue this close contact so they continue to be friendly for the benefit of visitors.

As they are male and female and unrelated, we will be able to breed from them in the future.

May 2018

The building of the Wildlife Zone is now underway and will be finished ready for the beginning of the school Summer holidays. The plan is to create large naturalistic habitats and enclosures for the wildlife that will include new trees and hedging and interpretation signage.

This silver fox came to us this month as a rescue after living in unsuitable conditions as a pet. The Silver Fox is a melanistic form of the red fox. Melanism is a development of the dark-colored pigment and is the opposite of albinism.

We are pleased to offer him a home here at the Farm. He is settling in at Pets Corner while we’re building a large enclosure for him in the Wildlife Zone

 

The first of the enclosures are going up which is very exciting.  Luckily the weather has, on the whole, been kind to us and we’re making great headway.

The enclosures are of a bespoke modular design, constructed by a local carpenter. Five metres high by eight metres across, they will provide ample space for the wildlife that will soon make them their home.

The new reindeer house has also just been installed. It will stand at the entrance to the Wildlife Zone when works are completed by the end of July.

There will be two acres of paddocks, including a large one for the main herd and a smaller for the females when in calf.

April 2018

The building of the Wildlife Zone is now underway and will be finished ready for the beginning of the school Summer holidays. The plan is to create large naturalistic habitats and enclosures for the wildlife that will include new trees and hedging and interpretation signage.

Some of the animals will be rescued native wildlife and rehomed animals from other wildlife parks. A few of these have arrived early so enclosures have been built at Pets’ Corner to accommodate them until the permanant enclosures are ready.

These temporary enclosures will allow these animals to settle in, get to know our staff and be monitored for health and well-being, whilst they wait for their new large purpose-built facilities to be ready.

The first post went in at the beginning  of April to start the 1000m of fencing for the deer enclosures and reserve boundary. In order for visitors to access the reserve a new track is being constructed from Pets’ Corner to the reserve.