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Sunday, 28 May 2006

Wild Sunday at British Wildlife Centre

Originally uploaded by Trance-Elbow.

Last year, while researching more interesting bike rides home from work, I came across the British Wildlife Centre on the A22 between Blindley Heath and the Mormon Temple roundabout in Lindfield Surrey.

Today we finally visited to see what interesting animals live there and we were not disappointed. In residance they have,

Red Squirrels
Scottish Wild Cats
Various Types of Deer
Bird of Prey

I could go on all day as there was so much to see and learn.

At various times of day the keepers run very informative talks on the various animals there. On our arrival we made striaght to the Red Squirrel enclosure for the 11 O'clock talk.

The keeper entered the Squirrel enclosure and woke them up so we could meet these shy creatures. For me this was a real treat as I've never seen one before. The thing that really concerns me is that they are expected to be extinct in main land Britian within 25 years and there's nothing we can do to stop this.

There are a number of reasons for their decline. The Grey Squirrel was introduced to the UK 150 years ago and being American they act as if they own the place. The Greys have forced the Reds out of their homes and also carry a virus that is deadly to the Reds. The only places which the Red Squirrels are safe from these immigrants is Brownsea Island, off the Dorset coast, and the Isle of Wight. Lets hope the Greys never workout how to buy ferry tickets!

As I'm sure many of you are aware, I'm a bit of a cat fan. Today I came face to face with a Scottish Wild Cat. They are very similar to our domestic Tabbies, but far more aggresive. I'd set myself up to take some great shots of it having a drink, but the cat seemed more interested in coming over to see what I was doing. Just as I was ready for that amazing full face shot, it decided I wasn't worth looking at and promtly wandered off in the opposite direction. All I got was a shot of its bum. I did however manage to get a couple of other shots of the cat having a wash. I thought our cat got into some silly positions while cleaning until I saw the Wild Cats version.

Other Things I Learnt Today - Badgers are huge, Magpies can talk and how many different types of rodents there are.

If you are interested in British Wild Animals it's worth a visit. It takes about 2 to 3 hours to get round and if you go early you can take better pictures as there aren't so many people about to distrub the animals. Don't forget the Keepers talks. They are worth the waiting around.

Photos I took Today


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1 comment:

  1. It is a great place, I used to visit when I lived in Kent, I used to work for a wildlife hospital and some of our patients took up residence there.