Red Squirrel Day 2013 – FREE entry for Children
21 February 2013 : 10am - 5pm
Entry to Escot on Red Squirrel Day is FREE for Children!
This very special day in Escot's calendar represents a great saving for families because the 21st February falls right in the middle of half term and there will be a variety of great activities for the whole family to enjoy, including face painting, storytelling, games and the great nut hunt!
Red Squirrel Day Activities include:
Great Nut Hunt!
Take part in the Great Nut Hunt, find all of the hidden nuts around the park, answer a few nutty questions (all entrants can claim a yummy chocolate in the kiosk.. Just for entering!) and return to the kiosk with your completed form. An overall winner (THE one with the most correct answers) will be chosen to win a cuddly red squirrel toy! There is a small charge of 50p for this activity. The winner will be chosen and notified after the event.
Name the Red Squirrels!
You will also have the opportunity of naming two of our youngest Red Squirrels. If your suggested name gets chosen, you will be invited to join our rangers for a very special squirrel encounter (this will take place on a date to be agreed with the 2 lucky winners). Naming forms can be collected on arrival from the entry kiosk. Winners will be notified after the event.
Red Squirrel Talk
Don't miss the informative Red Squirrel talk at 1pm! Meet and learn all about these incredible animals from Escot's Nature Rangers!
Crack the Nut and Nut Rolling Races!
We have some giant nuts filled with sweets and chocolates that we will invite the children to 'crack' at 3.30pm! There will also be nut rolling races to take part in in - but these are not running races - you need to roll them with your nose! There will also be nut and spoon races taking place. Races will run throughout the day with prizes for the winners. Free entry.
Anyone for Lunch?
If you have a delicious lunch in the Coach House Restaurant watch out for a very special visitor - a very large red squirrel may try and steal your sandwiches so watch out!
Warm up by the camp fires down at the Saxon Village, toast marshmallows over the fire and try your hand at some bush craft activities.
But that's not all....
Facepainting and storytelling will also be available at a small charge of 50p per child.
And finally... Remember to have lots of FUN!
For more information about the important work of Red Squirrel Project and Escot's Red Squirrel Encounter, see the information below and watch the video..
Escot Park has created an exciting open access red squirrel encounter in the heart of the 1100 acre estate near Ottery St. Mary.
The encounter, which was completed to schedule at the end of July 2011, features a walk-through open air enclosure with a 100m board walk, allowing visitors to wander through the trees and see the squirrels at close quarters. Red squirrels have been supplied by the British Wildlife Centre near Lingfield in Surreyfrom their own surplus breeding stock. In turn this will ensure that they have remote stock to call on in case of unforeseen losses. The British Wildlife Centre is home to the country's first walk-through red squirrel enclosure which provided the inspiration for the project. The Centre was also a valuable source of expertise during the creation of the enclosure at Escot.
The project itself is part of a larger ambition of the Red Squirrel Project South West (RSSW) initiative to eventually return reds to the wild in the South West. This is not currently possible as the abundant grey squirrel carries a virus deadly to reds but to which greys are immune.
Whilst the walk-through encounter acts as the public face of the project, it is not the whole story. Behind the scenes a breeding programme is being planned to increase numbers, not only for this project but for dispersal to similar projects around the country.
Educating the public as to the plight of this iconic native mammal is a top priority of the project. An essential part of this education is allowing the public the opportunity to really get to know this rarely encountered and often misunderstood creature. So just how much do you know about red squirrels? Red squirrels are often associated with hazelnuts but their diet is amazingly diverse, including seeds and nuts, as one would expect, but they will also dine on lichen, flowers, caterpillars and even small vertebrates. Red squirrels build two dreys (nests) per year, one for summer and one for winter. Like us, red squirrels can be left or right handed. Then there is the matter of hibernation, except that red squirrels don't hibernate!
As well as having the opportunity to learn through observation Escot's expert team includes two full time Nature Rangers who are responsible for keeping visitors up-to-date with the squirrels' progress through daily talks which are held in the enclosure at 1pm.
The project was supported by a 50% grant from Making it Local, a locally managed grants scheme in the Blackdown Hills and East Devon AONB areas, incorporating funding from the EU, Defra, South West RDA and Leader.
For more information on Escot’s squirrels please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01404 822188.
More information regarding red squirrel conservation is available at www.britishredsquirrel.org
- Dear staff, we had a great time at Escot on our residential programme. Thank you so much!
Teachers from Sherbourne Girls School