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VOLUNTEER WILDLIFE WATCH LEADERS AND HELPERS

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We are looking for very special individuals who are fun loving and enthusiastic about wildlife to join us in becoming….

VOLUNTEER WILDLIFE WATCH LEADERS AND HELPERS

 Teifi Marshes Wildlife Watch is a group for young wildlife enthusiasts that live locally. We meet once a month to explore the wildlife that Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve has to offer. Our group has grown over the last fifteen months and can now boast having twenty regular members. We currently have two Wildlife Watch Leaders and are hoping to welcome more to the team!

  •  Are you passionate about wildlife and our local area? 
  • Do you enjoy Art and Craft activities and can you come up with exciting new ideas? 
  • Can you give a minimum of two  hours every third Saturday of the month? 
  • Are you over 18? 

IF SO WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

  Please contact Sharon Davies on 01239 621600 or email s.davies@welshwildlife.org for further information and to arrange a meeting.

  

All successful applicants will undergo a CRB check.

 

 
 


 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

STOP PRESS – A new ‘Fairy House’ for Tots at The Welsh Wildlife Centre’s Adventure Play Area

These photos show a work in progress of a bespoke Fairy House which is being created by master wood sculptor Simon Hedges1094954_574004132645533_1360827663_n[1] 

 

  

 

It has been specially designed for toddlers to play in enabling them to climb in easily – inside they will discover mirrored walls making it a fascinating little den!  The finished product will feature a turret roof and also a fairy carving.

 

 

 

The Fairy House Entrance..Fairy House

 

Treasure Island – a swashbuckling family musical

Come and join us for a day of pirate antics on Sunday 30 June, ranging from BBQs, arts and crafts, theatre workshop and finishing with an outdoor show! Come as a pirate and have some fun!

The Cambridge Touring Theatre and the Welsh Wildlife Centre join forces for a day of pirate adventures ending with their fabulous production of Treasure Island.

 Come and have a joyful, fun-filled time with your family while you watch this hilarious musical show, performed by the Cambridge Touring Theatre, set in the majestic Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve.

Boys and girls are invited to come along dressed in their best pirate fashion (adults can come in costume too!).

Pirate Antics

Pirate Antics

“…has families rolling around their picnic mats with laughter.” – The Guardian

Fun starts at midday with a BBQ, followed by a theatre workshop at 2.30pm  finished off with the performance at 4pm.

Tickets available from the Welsh Wildlife Centre: telephone 01239 621600/621212  or email us for more information
– Adult £12.00
– Child (3-16) £9.00
– Concession (Students & Senior Citizens) £9.00
– Family (Two Adults & Two Children) £40.00
– Under 3’s free

PRE-PERFORMANCE WORKSHOP:

Before the performance, at 2.30pm, there will be a 45 minute workshop where children can play drama games with the actors.

£2.00 admission. Age 5-10. Please arrive 10 minutes early and please check availability at time of booking.

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Performance is open-air and lasts 2 hours including 20 minute interval.

You may wish to bring your own low-backed chairs and rugs and dress for the weather. No glassware please.

**The Glasshouse Cafe will be open all day for refreshments.**

Performances will continue in wet weather but will be re-scheduled in dangerous conditions. All tickets are non-returnable and non-refundable.

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Cambridge Touring Theatre Contact details:

Email: info@cambridgetouringtheatre.co.uk
Telephone: 01223 246533
Website: www.cambridgetouringtheatre.co.uk
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CambridgeTouringTheatre

 

 

Why vaccinate badgers against TB?

Badger by Margaret Holland

Why vaccinate badgers against TB? It is not a cure, there are no field studies to show how effective it will be and isn’t it just as expensive as culling?

We will attempt to answer some of those questions below.

badger by Andrew Mason

badger by Andrew Mason

It is quite right that there has been no field study of the impacts of vaccination equivalent to that done for culling (the £50m Randomised Badger Culling Trial, RBCT). As such there is no robust field study that shows the extent to which the vaccination of badgers can and would impact the extent of TB breakdowns under different conditions in the field. There are many, many potentially confounding issues which is why the RBCT cost so much itself, and despite all that time and money remains criticised by some for its robustness.

What we do have, however, is a mixture of laboratory and now field evidence as well that shows beneficial effects of the vaccine on the epidemiology of the disease within the badger population. This includes:

(1) In a clinical field study, BCG vaccination of free-living badgers reduced the incidence of positive serological test results by 73.8 per cent. (Chambers, MA et al. (2010) Bacillus Calmette-Guerin vaccination reduces the severity and progression of tuberculosis in badgers. Proc. R. Soc. B , published online)

(2) A second paper showing that as well as the above protective effect, there was an impact on unvaccinated cubs; that when more than a third of the social group of adult badgers is vaccinated the risk to cubs reduces by 79%. (Carter SP, Chambers MA, Rushton SP, Shirley MDF, Schuchert P, et al. (2012) BCG Vaccination Reduces Risk of Tuberculosis Infection in Vaccinated Badgers and Unvaccinated Badger Cubs. PLoS ONE 7(12): e49833. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0049833)

We also know from the first year of Welsh Government’s programme that cage trapping and vaccinating- whilst less ideal than an oral bait vaccine for example, until that is available- is feasible. Just as feasible as cage trapping and shooting- and slightly less expensive as there are no costs associated with carcass disposal and testing (or for that matter, policing the kind of civil disorder currently evident in England).

We would agree absolutely that in an ideal world we would have a field trial on the scale of the RBCT to assess the impacts of vaccination. Unfortunately we know that this won’t be accepted – partly because of the current financial climate, and partly because of the political perception that we need to be ‘seen to act’ now rather than delay with another programme of this nature, which could take ten years, and as with the RBCT, still be criticised and not accepted by all.

Badger by Margaret Holland

Badger by Margaret Holland

Defra and FERA were running the Badger Vaccine Deployment Project (BVDP) which would have gone some way to answering the questions about impact on cattle disease, but tragically cut funding to it, reducing their study areas from five/six to just one, meaning that whilst it will contribute to the evidence base for feasibility and impact on badgers it is not likely to tell us anything meaningful about the follow-on effect  on cattle. Likewise the Welsh Government’s action in north Pembrokeshire is very much a ‘treatment’ and will not tell us anything quantitative about the impact of vaccination because there are too many other variables that are also different in this area, confounding the results, such as stricter cattle measures.

The principal reasons why the Wildlife Trusts and WTSWW are supporting vaccination is that we believe it is the only sustainable way of tackling the disease. Culling, IF it meets the criteria, can result in a modest reduction in breakdowns; 16% is the best reduction anticipated. However because it targets badgers and not the disease, ultimately it does not address the reservoir of the disease in the badger population. In fact Rosie Woodroffe’s analysis from the RBCT data showed that in some cases the prevalence of the disease in the remaining badgers increased, another result of perturbation, even though total number of badgers (and therefore TB breakdowns) reduced in the short term. Therefore there is no exit strategy other than keeping badger numbers low in perpetuity, which would be very difficult to do whilst maintaining the strict conditions required to avoid perturbation and spread the disease.

Badger by Jon Hawkins

Badger by Jon Hawkins

Culling could actually make future vaccination more difficult. If the remaining badgers, with the same or greater disease burden, form the founding members of a recovering population, then clearly we are not any better off than before. We are also clearly very concerned that the risk of failing to meet the conditions required to reduce TB breakdowns will NOT be met and the cull will be in vain.

We appreciate that there is less evidence to quantify the impact that vaccination will have, and in better circumstances we would absolutely be lobbying for an appropriate field trial. But we know that vaccination WILL reduce the disease burden in the badgers, and that it won’t cause perturbation and carries no risk of worsening TB in cattle by that route. It will also protect badgers from contracting the disease from cattle, thereby reducing the impact of the disease in the wildlife reservoir.

Therefore there is an element of balancing unequal evidence and risk between the approaches, we hope this clarifies our position, which ultimately could be summarised as ‘do no harm’, with a strong eye to the future, and being serious about eliminating the disease. Ultimately vaccination is the only way of actually removing the disease from any population that does not involve exterminating the host as well.

Find out more about what we are doing to tackle the disease.