Garden Friends - How to make your garden a wildlife sanctuary (November 2016)
With an estimated 16 million gardens in the UK, the way they are managed can make a big difference to wildlife. Even the tiniest corner of land can be transformed into a haven, a sanctuary for bugs, birds and little animals. 'Garden Friends' is an inventive, vital guide for humans, showing how even the smallest backyard can be a sanctuary for creatures. Produced by Sky on Demand and presented by Patrick Aryee, 'Garden Friends' was filmed on location here at the British Wildlife Centre and at a wild hedgehog colony in South West London.
BWC Take to the Stage at Countryfile LIVE (August 2016)
We're delighted to report that British Wildlife Centre founder, David Mills MBE and Head Keeper, Matt Binstead will take to the stage at the first ever BBC Countryfile Live.
The event's headline sponsor, Quilter Cheviot Investment Management will present David and Matt in the Big Barn on Thursday
4 August at 12.15pm. David will explore his 'conservation through education' philosophy which led him to set up the Centre.
Excellent for the third year running (July 2016)
We're delighted to report that we have received a 2016 Trip Advisor Certifcate of Excellence, making it our third consecutive year. The accolade is awarded to establishments that have continually delivered a superior customer experience over the previous 12-month period.
What makes it particularly special is that it is a direct result of our visitors who have shared an honest review of their experiences with others. Thank you to all visitors who took the trouble to provide feedback on Trip Advisor and helped us to win this accolade.
Meet Leo the Long-Eared Owl (May 2016)
This gorgeous little chick, (named after the species initials) was born this spring and is the first long-eared owl hatched here at the Centre. Keeper, Meg has been hand rearing him and they settled down very happily together and are rarely apart. Leo has been becoming acclimatised to staff, visitors and even large groups of excited school children. He's very relaxed, taking it all in his stride and so is an ideal candidate to inspire and educate people about this beautiful but secretive owl species.
The long-eared owl is a highly skilled nocturnal hunter with excellent night vision and acute hearing, pinpointing a sound with great accuracy, helping it to locate its prey in the darkness. They fly almost noiselessly, low to the ground, taking prey by surprise.
Leo is still sporting his fluffy chick feathers, but these will soon be shed as he's growing so fast. When Meg is on duty, visitors will have the chance to see Leo out about the Centre.
BWC Animals Star in Keep Britain Tidy Project (Feb 2016)
Why is one of our red squirrels in a sea of rubbish? Have our visitors become litter louts? As if! Wildlife photographer and TV presenter, Chris Packham was commissioned by Keep Britain Tidy to highlight the impact of litter on our wildlife. Knowing that our animals are so wonderful to work with he dropped by to shoot some of the campaign images. The project, funded by Lidl, will focus on young people, providing resources for schools and aiming to reduce litter and waste. Chris said: “Through these images I hope to inspire people to dispose of their litter more responsibly and play their part in caring for the fabulously diverse wildlife that enriches us all". Visit www.keepbritaintidy.org for details of this inspiring project and to view all the images.
Pip's Corner Activity Area Launched (August 2015)
On 6 August we officially launched Pip's Corner, a wildlife themed activity area for young children. Talented actress, Finty Williams cut the ribbon along with members of the Pip creative team.
Finty is the voice of Pip the Squirrel, a cartoon character and star of children's DVD Pip the Squirrel & Friends, created by BWC owner David Mills. Finty was joined at the launch by her mother and friend of the Centre, Dame Judi Dench as well members of the local press.
David Mills said: "We created the DVD and complementary book to make learning fun and inspire children to connect with nature. Pip's Corner is an extension of this, providing an outdoor, interactive area where young children can have fun doing animal related activities, like building a heron's nest or exploring an underground badger sett. All simple activities to let off a little steam!".
Pip's Corner offers activities suitable for youngsters aged 3-6. It includes an otter bank for climbing and sliding, stepping stones, log path and climbing frame so kids can test if their jumping and climbing skills are as good as a red squirrel's. The backdrop to Pip's Corner is our Deer Park and the beautiful countryside beyond. Children can climb up to the top of the watch tower for a great view, and then slide down the curly slide!
Image (top): The 'voice of Pip', Finty Williams, cuts the ribbon on Pip's Corner. Image (bottom): The children rush in!