VIDEO Feature: Welcome to Mallydams Wood

Mallydams Wood, part of the ancient Wealden forest, was given to the RSPCA in 1961 by the late Horace Quick, a local artist who loved nature and wildlife.

To honour his wish that the 22-hectare wood should benefit wildlife, the RSPCA built a small rehabilitation centre.

Feature on Mallydams, Fairlight. 15/10/14 SUS-141017-112348001

Feature on Mallydams, Fairlight. 15/10/14 SUS-141017-112348001

Since Mallydams opened, the RSPCA has cared for more than 40,000 wildlife animals. Mallydams Wood’s education work, which again was a subject the wood’s benefactor was so passionate about, has become a core activity enabling staff the opportunity to pass on to generations of people a wide range of backgrounds and encouraging, from a pre-school age, the development of their appreciation of the natural world and all of its creatures and to respect and appreciate all our wild spaces.

The wildlife centre admits around 3000 sick and injured wild animals a year from around 150 different species. Our aim is to rehabilitate these animals for return to the wild as we are not a sanctuary. The centre is not open to the public but for wildlife admissions it is open 9am – 5pm from October to March and 8am – 8pm from April to September. For all out of hours casualties please call the National Call Centre on 0300 123 4999

In 2010 Mallydams was awarded Lottery funding of almost £250,000 to set up the ‘Hastings Wild Things Project’. Although this funding has now finished we are currently continuing the project with donations from Trusts and supporters until the end of 2014. The project aims to encourage young people, young parents and children to enjoy the outdoors and all it has to offer. Activities are run in our 55 acre woodland nature reserve and include badger watching, den building, cooking on a woodland fire, making animal homes, creating wildlife habitats and learning woodland conservation skills etc. Young parents and their children take part in natural play and learning activities in the woodland and in the interactive education centre. We also undertake day and residential visits for schools, colleges, universities and other groups with sessions tailored to individual group needs.

Although relatively small at 55 acres (22 hectares) the wood encompasses a variety of habitats accessed by a path system. There are 3 native trees in the wood that are recorded on a national database as being ‘notable’ or ‘ancient’: a pendunculate oak, a beech and a downy birch. A wide variety of trees include ash, beech, cherry, hornbeam, Japanese red cedar, redwoods, scots pine and sweet chestnut. Also home to bluebells, rosebay willowherb, spotted orchid and wood anemone.

Nesting boxes throughout the wood attract many species including tits, woodpeckers, wrens, owls, tree creepers, nuthatch etc. Mallydams also has around 50 dormouse boxes which since 1993 have recorded over 800 individuals using them including well over 200 young dormice in all stages of growth.

Mallydams stages several events though the year: the final Open Wood for this year will be on Saturday 13th December when our ‘Festive Open Wood’ takes place from 3 to 6pm (last entry 5.30pm) and the Friends Group is holding one of their popular quiz nights on Saturday November 15.

You can support their work by becoming a ‘Friend’ of Mallydams Wood and help the RSPCA to care for and rehabilitate injured and orphaned wildlife. An annual subscription is £15. For further information and an subscription form call 0300 123 0750 or e-mail: fiona.cannings@rspca.org.uk
Mallydams Wood is also looking for more volunteers to join their existing band of helpers in the Wildlife Centre - to support hardworking staff with the daily jobs in helping injured wildlife on the road to recovery and the Woodland Volunteer Group - with a 55-acre wood to maintain there will be plenty to occupy you. You can get fit, make friends and help the RSPCA to help the wildlife in beautiful woodland!

Opportunities are also available to help in the Education Centre supporting the staff with families and young people who visit.

To request a Volunteer Application Form or for more information call 0300 123 0750 or e-mail fiona.cannings@rspca.org.uk
Mallydams does not allow the public to tour the centre because the welfare of the animals is their top priority. The woodland is only open to the general public at events

To make either a one-off donation to support the important work being undertaken in both the Wildlife and Education Centres or support on a more regular basis contact either the Wildlife Centre 0300 123 0723 or the Education Centre on 0300 123 0750 or visit the Website: www.rspca.org.uk/mallydams
Keep updated about their work, events and campaigns on the Mallydams Wood Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rspca-Mallydams-Wood-50th-Anniversary/118870988183041.