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Photography Days at British Wildlife Centre

Home > London > Animals and Wildlife | Escape the City | Photography | Unusual Things to do | Zoos
by Alan Garnsworthy (subscribe)
Freelance writer living in the south of England
Published June 7th 2021
Amazing wildlife experience near London
The British Wildlife Centre is a little zoo near London, with more than 40 species of native wildlife.

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Flo the fox loves photography days


I was lucky enough to attend one of their photography days, when they're closed to the general public. Here's how I got on.

Red squirrels

There are very few places where you can see red squirrels in England, so this was a real treat. We were led into a large walk-through enclosure, where the public can mingle with the squirrels up close.

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Apparently they've recently had a new litter of squirrel kittens, so this would be a good time to visit


It was lovely to get so close to the animals. I don't know if this is normal behaviour for a red squirrel, but this one kept coming up and having a look at me, almost as if it was thinking about jumping onto my shoulder. It then tried to sneak up and touch my foot before running away.

Otters

The best thing about photography days is that you're allowed inside areas that aren't normally open to the public, such as the otter enclosure. This makes a big difference to your photos, as you don't have any wire fences in the way.

Like the squirrels, the otters seemed to be very curious about us, and we were rewarded with views like this.



Foxes

Flo the fox is the wildlife centre's star attraction, and she knows it. She also thinks she's a dog, after someone foolishly tried to keep her as a pet. I guess she wouldn't survive in the wild, so she now lives here.

Again, as this was a photography day, we were allowed to go and meet her inside the enclosure.

It was a great experience as Flo immediately came running over, wanting to see everyone and play with everything. She didn't stop moving the whole time we were there, which made photography challenging.

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You just wouldn't get this on a normal day at the zoo


Be warned: if you put your coat or bag down on the ground, it then belongs to the fox.

Hedgehog

Next up was the hedgehog, another animal that would normally be difficult to photograph.

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Hedgehog being safely held by a keeper


Harvest mouse

This was one of the highlights of the day. Harvest mice are tiny, and you'd be very lucky to see one in the wild.

Thanks to the keeper, we were able to get some great shots of the mouse climbing up these stalks of corn.



Weasels

I'd never tried to photograph a weasel before, but it was surprisingly good fun! The weasel had half a dozen different hiding places that he kept popping in and out of, as if he was challenging us to try and get a photo before he vanished again.

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At least I think it's a weasel - they also had a stoat which looked very similar


Other wildlife

This article only gives you a taster of the photography day. We also had a session inside the wildcat enclosure, and saw badgers, red deer and several kinds of owl. Although we'd chosen the Mammal Photography Day, the keeper also took out one of the owls for us to see.

Overall, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and we all left with hundreds of photos, many of which would have been impossible to take on a normal visit.
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Why? Unique photo opportunities
When: Photography days run in summer, autumn & winter
Phone: 01342 834658
Where: Lingfield, Surrey. M25 junction 6.
Cost: Normal visit 12.50 for an adult, photography days are 120 in summer/autumn or 85 in winter
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