As Christmas approaches, the wildlife park near Ottery St Mary has begun work on a new woodland home for two bear cubs who will move to the park early next year.

Wildwood Escot received an early Christmas present this December when it was granted planning permission to build an exciting new woodland home for its first-ever brown bear cubs, Mish and Lucy, who will move in ahead of Easter 2021.

The cubs' new home will span 1.5 acres, the equivalent of about 1.5 football fields, across beautiful Devon woodland and grassland, where everything will be left as natural as possible.

The cubs will enjoy lots of enrichment in their new home, from trees to climb and earth dens to dig, to root balls, fallen trees, toys and rope challenges, along with daily food treasure hunts to encourage their natural foraging behaviour.

“With young cubs like Mish and Lucy it’s going to be playtime and exploration 24-7, we are delighted to have been granted planning permission to create a fantastic woodland home for them, with as much natural enrichment as possible, here at Escot.” Said George Hyde, General Manager at Wildwood Escot.

Visitors to the park will be able to get close to these extraordinary animals by walking on a very exciting element - a ‘bear bridge’ - which will give guests a birds-eye view over the cubs woodland home.

“We are incredibly excited to be able to show the public how it could have looked when bears roamed Britain about 1600 years ago. One of our key aims at Wildwood is to teach the public about Britain’s native species and to be able to get ‘bear on the curriculum’ is fantastic. It’s such a festive treat for the whole team here at Wildwood Escot to be a big step closer to this becoming a reality.” Said George.

Mish and Lucy were discovered alone in a snowdrift in Albania in 2019. The cubs could not be returned to the wild and have been staying temporarily at Wildwood Escot’s sister park in Kent, before moving to their Devon home in spring 2021.

Find out more and contribute to the build of Mish and Lucy’s new home at

Along with building a new home for the bears, Wildwood Escot will be hosting Christmas activities in its Saxon village, with activities for all ages planned. See more here:

two bears playing with a christmas tree