Bear Wood tells the story of our British woodland from 8000 BC to present day. Discover four incredible ‘extinct’, British species – bears, wolves, lynxes and wolverines – and unlock the countless secrets of our woods today.
Thousands of years ago, European brown bears lived right here in Britain. Now Wild Place Project has brought them back!
Our spectacular Bear Wood exhibit takes you on a journey into a lost world. Start your journey by entering a ‘time chamber’, where we rewind the clock back to 8000 BC when Britain was densely covered with woodland. You then emerge among the trees, ready to go on a time-hopping, wildlife-spotting adventure.
Winding through beautiful ancient woodland on raised walkways, watch our magnificent bears as they roam below. And they’re not alone! Wolves, lynxes and wolverines also live beneath the leafy branches – all native British species lost over time, now brought back in one spectacular immersive experience.
This is our biggest, most ambitious exhibit yet, and the only one of its kind in the UK!
4 amazing species: European brown bears, European grey wolves, Eurasian lynxes and wolverines
Over 7.5 acres of ancient woodland (that’s 6 football pitches)
700m walkway rising to heights of 4m
180° panoramic viewpoint – a uniquely immersive bear and wolf viewing den with floor-to-ceiling glass windows
Interactive play areas: climb into our giant bird’s nest or hunt for carved creatures among fallen logs
Stories of the woodland throughout the year
And so much more …
But Bear Wood isn’t just about what we’ve lost. It’s also about fighting to protect what we have.
Today only 2% of Britain’s ancient woodland has survived being cut down, and offers a vital habitat for threatened species such as tawny owls and hedgehogs. Discover some of Bear Wood’s smaller residents with the help of our expert rangers, and leave inspired about how we can care for our native wildlife for generations to come.
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Wild Place Project - British Ancient Woodland.
Part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
The British Ancient Woodland project (known as Bear Wood) is a unique, exciting and inspiring exhibit, highlighting the consequences of woodland habitat loss and showcasing animals that are no longer found within British Woodlands but once roamed in South Gloucestershire. EAFRD has contributed towards the costs of fencing for the bear, wolf, wolverine and lynx enclosures.