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Though cake decorating and cake making fanatics are often willing to try anything, there are traditions for how to finish each one. The fairy cake recipe includes a topping of a thin coating of royal icing.

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Cupcake bakers indulge in copious amounts of butter cream icing, covering the entire top of the cake, and paying no heed to calorie counts. The audience for the two is not the same either. Thanks to their appearance on Sex and the City and their larger size, cupcakes are very much an adult treat.

Their younger sister the fairy cake is perfect for children.

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Smaller, with less sugar on the top it also limits the probability of sending them into a hyperactive daze. Fairy Cakes : What fairy cakes do so well, unlike their American counterpart, is balance the topping and the sponge. As you bite in to the cake, you get the delicate resistance of the icing that quickly crumbles away releasing a wave of sweetness combined with the occasional crunch of hundreds and thousands before segueing into the star of the show, the sponge.

Light as a feather, the sponge provides yet another texture that contributes almost savoury notes when compared to the icing. They may be small but they deliver big in taste and texture. Butterfly Cakes : With a slightly higher ratio of topping to sponge, butterfly cakes are sweeter offerings that deliver the same wonderfully light golden sponge but, this time, with a pillow of luxurious buttercream sitting on top and slices of sponge semi circles angled outwards in an attempt to imitate butterfly wings.

Basically, soft sponge combined with a sweet and creamy topping. Wildwood is celebrating after successfully introducing another group of captive-bred hazel dormice to an area of Nottinghamshire woodland as part of a continuing project to help protect the species from extinction. This recent release is the latest in the scheme which was established in and aims to increase dormice numbers in areas of the UK where the species is in decline.

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It is hoped that this latest release group will eventually link up with another population released last year in a nearby area. Once widespread throughout much of England, hazel dormouse numbers have steadily declined over the past years. Thanks to the continued threats of habitat loss and unsympathetic woodland management the species has become extinct across half of its former range. Each year Wildwood supplies captive-bred dormice for the release programme and as studbook holder for the species, selects and pairs up the animals for release; thus ensuring the strongest genetic mix for future generations.


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To boost the animals' chances of success, the woodland is carefully managed by Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust to ensure it can provide suitable food and shelter, whilst the animals are introduced via a "soft-release" system. Initially they are housed in cages with adequate food and water before the cage door is opened after a few days. The cage is topped up with supplies allowing the dormice to come and go at will without having to fend for themselves immediately after release.

This supports the dormice as they become integrated into the area and gives them the best possible start in their new woodland home. Hazel Ryan, Wildwood's Head of Conservation said "It's wonderful to be involved once again in this amazing project. We hope that with continued releases and careful habitat management we can help to expand their range and bring hazel dormice back to areas where they once thrived.

Wildwood releases rescued bats to our woodland. The Wildwood bat flight centre has once again proved a success as the Wildwood conservation team celebrates the release of two rescued common pipistrelle bats to our woodland. The bats, both found orphaned as babies, were rescued and brought to Wildwood for rehabilitation with the hope that they could be returned to the wild. In our specially designed bat flight centre, built in partnership with Kent Bat Group, the bats learned to fly and echolocate so that they could catch their own food.

After careful monitoring, our Conservation team examined their droppings under a microscope and saw that they contained fly antennae. This confirmed that they were feeding themselves and were able to go back to the wild.

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As the bats were rescued at a young age it was decided that the best site for release would be Wildwood's own woodland as we have plenty of roosting sites and an abundance of insects for them to feed on. The park also has numerous bat boxes across the site where bats can shelter look out for them on your next visit.

Hazel Ryan, Wildwood's chief conservation officer said "We are delighted to have released these bats back to the wild. Thanks to the bat flight centre we were able to bring them back to full health and give them a second chance in our woodland". For more information on bats, their legal protection or what to do if you should find an injured or abandoned bat please contact Kent Bat Group: www. Conservation Courses at Wildwood. This course will provide an overview of Kent's mammals, small and large.

The focus will be on their ecology, reproduction biology and conservation issues. Their habitats and distribution in Kent will also be covered. NB: Please note that mammal identification is covered in a separate course. The morning will be spent in the classroom, and the afternoon will be spent on a tour of Wildwood's mammals including a behind-the-scenes look at some of our captive breeding areas.

This course is aimed at ecological consultants and those in training for their dormouse handling licence. A classroom session on survey methods followed by handling, sexing and weighing captive dormice under supervision. Limited to 6 places per workshop. This one day course is recognised as the definitive course on dormouse ecology and monitoring.

It is ideal for those with a general interest or those working towards their dormouse Handling Licence. Included is a field visit to check nest boxes and information on relevant legislation. Sunday 31 August - Seashore Foraging. A chance to experience the ancient hunter-gatherer pursuit of coastal foraging. Learn to identify edible seaweeds, shellfish and shore plants and the best ways to prepare them. Discover some exciting recipes and sample the fruits of the sea and shore.

Own transport required for offsite visit. For more conservation courses at Wildwood, visit our website: www. Thank you to the Gallagher Group. Wildwood is extremely grateful to the Gallagher Group for their kind donation of almost 3 tonnes of large stones for improvements to our Aviary.

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As a charity Wildwood needs to save our precious funds for our conservation work and so this amazing donation has helped us to re-vamp the enclosure and give our birds and visitors a much more pleasant environment for minimal cost. This type of recycling is not only good for Wildwood and our conservation work; it's also great for the environment as we can use lots of items that might otherwise go to landfill.

We use donations of timber, cabling and other building materials throughout the park. Next time you visit remember that many of the enclosures and their furnishing have been created out of other people's rubbish! If you have any unwanted building materials that you think Wildwood could use around the park please don't hesitate to contact us at info wildwoodtrust. Items needed - can you help? As a conservation charity, Wildwood loves to recycle so that we can save our precious funds for our conservation work.

We urgently need the following items for use around the park - can you help? If you can help with any of thse items please call the Wildwood office on - thank you! The Wildwood team. He points to the slope above us, and there, to my delight, is my very first Duke of Burgundy — swiftly followed by at least four more. We watch as these diminutive butterflies rest on flowers to feed, showing off their deep purplish-brown and buffy-orange colours. Using Peter's camera, I take a couple of photos, and after enjoying more close-up views of a dancing pair of butterflies we leave them alone.

We have been lucky to see them at all: the country-wide decline in coppicing our native woodlands means that suitable habitat for the butterfly has more or less disappeared.

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Fortunately careful management by various conservation bodies, including the Woodland Trust and Butterfly Conservation , may be able to reverse the decline. After a long and tiring drive back to Somerset I had forgotten about bank holiday traffic , I spend some time reading about the beautiful creature I had just seen. David Newland's excellent book Discover Butterflies in Britain tells me that the origins of its unusual name are not known, and that it was once known as "Mr Vernon's Small Fritillary". Matthew Oates prefers a simpler moniker: "His Grace". I also learn that the Duke of Burgundy is the only European representative of a tropical family of butterflies known as the "metalmarks", due to their brilliant colours.