A Wild Start to 2012

First and foremost, we’d like to say a VERY HAPPY NEW year to all our regular readers (and hopefully some new ones too) from everyone here at the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary.

We launched into 2012 in spirited fashion, with a special Baden-Powell "Wild Weekend" to help encourage all our young scouts and brownies to get out and about after the Christmas Break and to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the death of Lord Baden-Powell in January 1941.

Baden-Powell was born in 1857 and served in the British Army from 1876 until 1910 in India and Africa.  During his Africa years, Baden-Powell wrote several military books about reconnaissance and scout training, which were often read by boys and which then prompted him to write the publication ‘Scouting for Boys’, published in 1908.  Whilst he was writing the book, Baden-Powell decided to test his ideas by organising a camping trip on Brownsea Island and it’s this that is now seen as the beginning of scouting.


Strangers in a strange land… two unusual guests visited S.O.S. for our Wild Weekend - a beautiful bird from the Ipswich Exotic Bird Rescue Team, and a very large python, here bravely worn by our good friend Gary who in turn wore a rather worried look at times!

The S.O.S Wild Weekend was a two-day event packed with lots of hands-on activities and workshops provided by a coup of local organisations including the Mid-Suffolk Countryside Rangers and The Woodland Trust.  In addition, Jamie Baker brought along his giant land snails and stick insects, we had visiting parrots and macaws brought by the Ipswich Exotic Bird Rescue team and the Close Encounters Roadshow also came along with some superb reptiles for visitors to handle.  In addition we had some exciting illustrated talks by a scientist from the British Antarctic Survey Team and from an explorer who had made the incredible journey across the Canadian Arctic to the Magnetic North Pole.

Andy, Matt and our visitors braved the chilly weather for flying demonstrations featuring our Hawks and some 'up close & personal' time with the Owls as they discussed characteristics and conservation issues

On both days, birds from our own flying display team took to the skies in all their glorious magnificence and so a wonderful time was had by everyone in an event which we felt paid fitting tribute to Lord Baden-Powell and to all the tremendous work he did for the Scouting movement and, subsequently the Girl Guide movement as well.
Did You Know…
* The position of the Earth’s Magnetic North Pole was first determined in 1831, but hundreds of miles away from its current location.
* The Magnetic North Pole (not to be confused with the Geographic North Pole) is constantly moving, even from one day to the next. Apparently, at this point in time, it is drifting away from North America so fast that scientists think it could end up in Siberia within 50 years, meaning that Alaska’s northern lights would most likely be more visible in areas of Siberia and Europe.