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“WOW”

UK Wolf Conservation Trust
Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Beenham
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: The UK Wolf Conservation Trust is home to a ten ambassador wolves, including Arctic wolves. It runs events aimed at promoting wolf awareness and raising money for wolf conservation, including walks with wolves for its members, howl nights, wolf discovery days. all these events have to be pre booked.Full details and advance booking can be found on our website. The Trust is also open every Wednesday 11am - 4pm for public to view the wolves & watch them being fed at 2pm. No pre booking is required. Adults £8, children age 3- 11 £5, under 3's free. Full details and advance booking can be found on our website. Please note we do not have a café, but can supply hot/cold drinks by donation.
Reviewed 6 October 2013

I had a days photo session with the Wolf Conservation Trust.
Armed with my camera and warm clothing due to the snow I had an amazing day with the wolves.
The photo shoot was separated into their pens and we were given fantastic information about each of the wolves.
The volunteers knowledge is fantastic and they are extremely helpful.
As I attended during the snow we had the opportunity of walking with Nuka which is an experience I will never forget.
This was a Christmas present that I will never forget.

3  Thank Paul P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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188 - 192 of 278 reviews

Reviewed 6 October 2013

I've just returned from the Open Day. We both love animals and I purchased the tickets as a Birthday gift for her (and me!). We stayed nearly 4 hours, the time flew by and in that time, we saw how well cared for the wolves were, had opportunities to take loads of photos, saw a falconry display, watched the "Ferrets Race". Regarding the ferrets, we were also able to learn a lot about them from the enthusiastic volunteers. Last but not least, having spent a lot of time admiring and watching the wolves, my friend bravely had a photo taken of her holding a tarantula!!
The weather helped but I loved every minute of here and have no hesitation in recommending it. Yes, if you're squeamish about using Portaloos (on an Open Day) you may have a problem but apart from that, I can 100% recommend this for a visit.

1  Thank SurreyRonnie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 October 2013

The wife booked two tickets in advance to one of the trusts open days. Always been a fan of wolves and was looking forward to it immensely. It was October so we weren't expecting much of the weather but in the end it turned out to be a sunny 20 degrees.

The venue is fairly well signposted and only ten minutes from junction 12 of the M4, down a few country lanes and onto a lumpy and bumpy field which was acting as the car park. The weather helped us here as I imagine after a period of rain it could get pretty muddy and damp underfoot. The guys marshalling the car park were very organised and hand everything under control. The venue was open from eleven until five, we arrived just after twelve and the car park was already very busy. It's a few minutes to the entrance and buggy users and anyone not fully mobile might struggle a little with the uneven surface and ankle length grass. I don't know whether there is any disabled access, but I would advise wheelchair users to ask first.

At the entrance there were two queues, one for pre booked and one for cash. The queues were a little indistinct but we were in in no time. There was a shop next to the entrance which had all the wolf related merchandise that you could want. We were given a map and an issue of the trusts magazine and were on out way.

It was very busy but you could still get to the enclosures to see the animals, although bear in mind the enclosures are large and the wolves we saw moved around a lot, though they did seem to like posing for the cameras. Each enclosure was lush and green and the wolves looked well cared for. There were volunteers all along the front of the enclosures ready to ask questions and just generally chat to anyone who felt the need. The ones we listened to seemed very knowledgeable and friendly to a fault. Between a couple of the enclosures there are photography areas where at strategic points there are small lens sized holes in the fence to enable you to get that special shot. There is also a viewing platform above the enclosure that hoses the white wolves which again allows for better photos and also a different angle of observation.

Try and remember that this is not a zoo, the clue should be in the title really but one woman next to me said to her husband. "Where are the other animals?" I kid you not. There were birds of pray displays throughout the day and the chance to hold one on your arm. There was also ferret racing, The chance to hug a husky, Quite a few stalls selling different bits and bobs, there was also an archery area and a hut with small child friendly animals. In fact wolves aside the assemble stall and sideshows both animal and non animal are the sort you would find at an agricultural show. Pleasant to walk around and something to lengthen your stay if you were all wolfed out.

There was a large fast food trailer and plenty of places to sit. There was also a large picnic area at the bottom of the hill which was being well used.

I enjoyed watching the wolves and took a multitude of pictures, We spent a pleasant couple of hours slowly walking up and down. It was busy and there were lots of children running around which is a bit of a negative for me. All in all it was a great visit and in a year or so I'll no doubt be back.

It's a walk back up hill to the car park and on the way out a couple of mean speed bumps to be wary of. Bear in mind to match what you wear to the weather and be prepared to queue to take pictures in the designated areas.

Enjoy

5  Thank Roy13c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 September 2013

It sounded good on paper, the mysticism of meeting proud noble beasts, the dulcet tones of David Attenborough narrating the experience in your imagination, and so on...

The reality was a tad more peculiar and as with most things, it was the human side of things that tainted it for us.

My girlfriend pointed out to me that the whole "conservation" angle seemed a bit tenuous, as the wolves are essentially penned into a zoo like environment and gawped at in return for a fee, all in a Country where they are no longer and will never be reintroduced to the wild due to public opinion on safety.

We did a "wolf walk" day, which involved meeting at a hut full of merchandise (aka tat), being given a simple health and safety briefing (having I think signed away your right to sue immediately beforehand), and then we were introduced to the wolves who sniffed us each in turn and then proceeded to be walked around the local fields ad nauseum on chain leads with a couple of handlers on each. After a while the novelty wears off and we just wanted to go home.

Many guests ignored the advice not to wear leather, but alas none were eaten during our visit.

The wolves themselves were great though. They are of a much more powerful stature than say a husky, but my favourite aspect was the strong dismissive look in their eye that left you in no doubt that this animal was wild, and had to be respected. For me it was worth it just to sense that alone.

We each got to stroke them, although personally I regret doing so. It seems off kilter to me that essentially wild animals should be encouraged to be groped by a string of humans regularly just so that the humans feel they had an "experience" worthy of the price tag.

The staff and volunteers seemed lovely but their constant gushing allied to the cooing of half the guests, wore a bit thin and caused us to leave before the end.

I think though it's a case of different strokes for different folks, many people would love it there I'm sure.

12  Thank ItchyPigeon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2013

I am sorry that a previous reviewer had a poor experience but the large numbers in attendance at that visit (I guess an Open Day) and the overly hot weather must have made a strong negative contribution to that experience. I would like to redress the balance. My husband and I attended both the Howl Night on Sept 13th and the Wolf Walk on Saturday 14th September 2013. Both visits were so unlike the previous reviewer's experience that I wonder if we went to two different places! On the Howl Night (it poured) we were given a humourous and very informative power point presentation on wolf communication by Craig (having "met" the Arctic pack (wow!) on the way in in their enclosure near the car park). The shop was full of good quality merchandise. The photos and pencil drawings of the wolves were particularly stunning and had I had the money I would have bought one of just about everything (apart, possibly, from the soft toys which in my experience are so difficult to get right where-ever you go. I suspect there is a niche there for some-one ). Displays about wolf conservation were clearly presented with donation boxes available near every display. We were served with tea and biscuits by one of an army of Volunteers who work unpaid to support the trust. We were not charged but a wolf's head donation box was there to be fed. One guy Volunteer had travelled from Doncaster just to stand in the rain to guide people to their parking spaces space because he was so passionate about the wolves. Another woman on Saturday disclosed to me that she had been attending as a volunteer for six months and had that morning passed her interview to become an official Volunteer. On Saturday I noticed she asked Craig permission to join the public in a wolf Meet and Greet session! I chatted to her later and found that only that day, after passing her interview, was she considered trust-worthy enough to handle a wolf. That's the sort of dedication to the wolves that is found at the Trust. The actual handlers have very extensive training and because the wolves Walking Wolves and are hand-reared they are fairly socialised but still very wild. I cannot think of a place that is less like a zoo than the UKWCT! The animals have masses of space, are kept in appropriately arranged groups/packs, have enrichment toys and walks with the Handlers (all of whom have to demonstrate they can handle all the wolves who go on walks so that no wolf becomes dependent on one or two Handlers as dependency could be disastrous in a time of human illness or holidays etc). During the walks with the public it is the wolves who decide what they do or do not want to do. They are on strong lchain leads with two handlers in tandem per wolf and I have seen many dogs who have pulled harder - in fact at no point did I see the leads go taut.

Howl Night was terrific. We went out and howled by each enclosure. The resident wolves each time were a bit baffled because they could see us but the more distant wolvesd responded and we had "conversation" at each enclosure with wolves further away and at that point the resident wolves joined in. Awesome. We also got to see the food storage facilities and the meticulous way in which the wolves' diets are carefully monitored. All the raw food is frozen and defrosted when needed. I am glad to know that no road-kill is accepted (despite the kindness of the offer) as this could contain infections or poisons. We departed from the Howl Night with big wet smiles on our faces overwhelmed by the nobility of the wolves and the dedication of the Handlers and Volunteers.

Saturday gave us a better view of the enclosures which have plentyl of enrichment toys. The packs are moved from enclosure to enclosure periodically which provides greater stimulation for them. The wolf who was only hand-reared up to his second week of life is specially provided with extra securitiy so he can slope off alone when the public is around if he wants to do so. The wolves do what thery want to do at all times - not what humans want them to do. Zoo? phoey!

I have gone on for so long that I will have to cut the walk short which is a pity. Circumstances were exactly the same except it was daylight and our 90 minute walk extended to four hours plus thirty minutes before-hand! We walked with the Beenham pack although the alpha female tagged behind at all times (we were warned that this was very likely when booking). We observed the wolves, on their leads sniffing and playing and interacting with themselves, their Handlers and the packs back at home. We saw how well they intereacted with their Handlers and how besotted they were with each other (human animals and lupus animals). We had a moving experience when the co-founder Tsa Palmer turned up unexpectedly and the wolves refused to move on until she caught up then and fell about her feet like puppies. A similar thing had happened when one of the handlers was delayed at the start- they just had to wait for their missing pack member. After the walk we visited the goats and touched on the very good facilities there are for children as well as an extensive programme of fun educational events for kids.Then we visited all the packs learned more about each individual and then we saw them being fed and witnessed how changable the pecking order can be at times. We were given very helpful information by all the Handlers and were allowed to stay as long as we wanted. Further tea and biscuits were on hand at the end with an opportunity to ask questions and buy merchandise if we wanted to do so. I cannot praise this enterprise highly enough. Wolves are not big and bad. They need all the support they can get to survive in the wild. The money visitors pay to attend the events chiefly goes to support projects in countries where wolves are in danger.The UKWCT is doing its best with their ambassador wolves to start to redress the balance. I promise I am not employed by the Trust. Not many people are. Most do it out of love for these remarkably splendid beasts. Hoping to go to another event soon.

8  Thank jvhyen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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