Project information

wetlands at Wildwood

People learn about the illusive animals of wetlands,endangered otters and water voles. Wildwood will create an exciting and interactive wetland learning zone, where visitors come face to face with wetlands wildlife and experience this secret world.

1 year

Charity information: Wildwood Trust

Wildwood Trust logo
  • Need


    Wetlands provide important services such as improving water purity, providing flood protection and storing carbon. Without public interest and engagement into this habitat and its wildlife it is at risk of loss through development and drainage for farmland. Not only will the already threatened wildlife of these habitats suffer but people will too. These habitats are hard to reach and the animals that live there are even harder to detect, so it is hard to raise public awareness into their plight.


    The project will provide an exciting way for people to engage with British wetland wildlife, which is vital for the protection of the natural wetland environment. The disabled accessible facility with waterfalls and marsh areas will provide a learning environment for visitors to see otters and other wetland wildlife in natural ssurroundings. The
    raised pool will mean people can view otters grace under water
    in comfort, and even see into the secret world of an otter den.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    raise public awareness and support for the plight of wetland wildlife


    » create a wetland learning zone with public access, interpretation and viewing areas
    » set up a programme of public talks and feeds from expert education team
    » set up a programme of National Curriculum-linked education sessions for visiting schools

    Success will be an increase in the number of visitors and school children who understand more of the plight of wetland wildlife

    Aim 2

    provide facilities where volunteers can learn to recognise and monitor wetland wildlife in the wild


    » set up a programme of volunteer training days using wetland experts and the learning zone facility

    Success will be an increase in the number of volunteers learning wetland wildlife identification skills

  • Impact


    the long term change will be improved protection for the remaining wetland areas and their wildlife in the UK, following greater public involvement. This will be achieved through working in collaboration with other wildlife charities, and will be shown through increases in otter, water vole and other wetland wildlife numbers.


    There is a risk that the creation of the wetland learning zone could be delayed due to emergency work taking up our rangers time. We have dealt with this risk by carrying out assessments of the full facilities and prioritising needs.


    We will report to donors through regular e-mail reports and photos as the work progresses.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £60,840

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £11,800 public education leaflets, interpretation, sound system and under water camera for public talks
      £49,040 wetland zone creation of wetland zone including an otter dive-pool, water vole area, wetland bird aviary

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    W G Harvey Discretionary Trust £21,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The wetland project will be located at Wildwood Trust, within the wildlife park. This is based in rural Kent, between the Historic city of Canterbury and the quiet coastal town of Herne Bay.


    The local population is largely rural, with areas of high deprivation. There are local wetlands but otters have become extinct from these following the UK-wide pollution of rivers following the second world war.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    There is nowhere else in Kent where people would be able to see our native wetland wildlife face to face. Our keeper and education team have extensive knowledge working with British wildlife and we have long-standing partnerships with other wildlife organisations.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Paul Wirdnam

    Head keeper at Wildwood with extensive experience working with British wildlife and creating exciting wildlife facilities

    Anne Riddell

    Head of our education team with extensive experience and expertise in bringing wildlife conservation issues alive for all age groups and backgrounds


will help pay for a water vole's food for a week