Outdoor Ted has become the mascot for our educational work with school children. The subject we are passionate about is Outdoor Education which often gets shortened to the term Outdoor Ed and after Stacey had a close encounter with a brown bear in Canada the idea of Outdoor Ted was born.
One sunny May morning Stacey and her friend who lives in Canada decided to head out into the woods on a quad bike. After travelling a mile or so her friend suddenly stopped the quad bike and said "We need to turn back, take a look to the left" As Stacey slowly moved her head she suddenly saw two bear cubs climbing up a tree while mummy bear stood staring standing guard over her two precious cubs.
It was after this Stacey started to gain interest in bears and had a whole new respect for bear families after seeing how caring the female adults and how playful the cubs are what better mascot to have than the bear.
Here are some interesting facts about Brown Bears:
Brown Bears are the second biggest bear after polar bears.
When standing on their back legs they can be as tall as 8ft the tallest on record was 10ft tall.
Brown bears are omnivores, do you know what an omnivore is? It means you eat everything from nuts, to plants and meat.
They have huge claws which helps them dig caves to sleep in for the winter.
Female bears have cubs while they are hibernating in the winter. they stay warm by staying close to mum and feeding from her milk while she sleeps. When it's time to wake up for spring mummy bear wakes up to new cubs.
They can climb trees to escape danger or to find food, they especially like honey.
Adult bears can run as fast as 30 mph!
We love bears but definitely don't recommend trying to stroke one! And you won't find one at the Skylark, not a real one anyway.
Angel the Swan
Did you know that the Skylark Centre is also home to Yorkshire Swan Rescue Hospital? Dan Sidley founded the charity in 2005 and it is run by volunteers. It's the only 24 hr Swan rescue centre in Northern England. For more information on the hospital and all they do please click on the Yorkshire Swan Image.
Stacey founder of Outdoor Ted often visits the swans that live on the lake at Carlton Towers. This year Stacey noticed that one of the wings of the cygnets looked different. After speaking with Dan at YSRH it was confirmed that the cygnet had something called 'Angel' wing and wouldn't be able to fly.
While coming up with characters for the Outdoor Ted & friends book it seemed only fitting in tribute to YSRH and with Stacey's friendship with the swans that 'Angel' the cygnet should have a place in the story.
Above you can see the illustrated Angel as drawn by American artist Jo-Ellen and photos of the real life Angel with her brother and her parents. Soon Angel will be moved to YSRH when her parents start to lay eggs and start a new family.
If you visit any ponds or lakes to feed the ducks and swans please don't feed them white bread. They love corn, chopped grapes, chopped lettuce, seeds and you can even buy swan feed.
Keep coming back soon to see more characters and for more details on the Outdoor Ted book which we will be launching a ling with a adventure trail at the Skylark.