British Wildlife Centre, Surrey
“ Canned Wildlife Photography ” is a very emotive phrase and personally one i don’t like. As long as we are all honest about the source of our photography , be it a wild or captive animal and more importantly the captive animals are properly cared for i do not see any problem. And having visited the British Wildlife Centre in Lingfield i can honestly say that the owners here are doing a fantastic job.
All the staff are extremely knowledgable and it is very obvious that the animals welfare comes first and foremost . I personally think that they have got the balance of education and the experience of meeting the animals just right. And thats my main reason for supporting the BWC . They are only open at the weekend to the general public , during the week the centre concentrates on school trips and education. If you can get people to connect with wildlife at an early age , it can only be beneficial for all , both human and wildlife ? The website is full of useful information ,( click here for link ) If you are new to wildlife photography the centre is a fantastic place to get familiar with 40 native species and practice wildlife photography at close quarters with no danger to yourself or the animal.
“If you talk to animals they will talk with you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them you will not know them, and what you do not know you will fear. What one fears one destroys.” Chief Dan George
The British Wildlife Centre was founded in 1997 by David Mills. Before then, on the site of what is now the wildlife centre, for 30 years David was a dairy farmer with the award-winning Venn herd of pedigree Jersey cows which, in its day, was one of the leading Jersey herds in the country. In 1994 David ceased dairy farming and reluctantly sold his beloved herd to realise his second dream – to create his own zoo. He decided to specialise in British wildlife as he felt that there was need to educate the public about native species and the challenges they face living in the wild in Britain today.
The Centre finally opened for pre-booked tours in 1998, with David doing everything himself; looking after the animals and giving guided tours, with a friend helping out with the admin. The Centre opened fully to the public in 2000 and has been growing slowly but steadily ever since, with over 20 staff now employed.
As well as providing visitors with an enjoyable experience observing and learning about British wildlife, the centre strives to make a positive contribution to conservation.
- Inspire and empower people from all backgrounds to participate in wildlife conservation activities and help influence other individuals and organisations to embrace wildlife conservation objectives.
- Participate in recognised captive breeding programmes.
- Provide an environment for scientific research and study.
- Develop and manage adjoining former agricultural land as suitable habitat for local wildlife
Location & Contact details
British Wildlife Centre , Eastbourne Road , Newchapel , Lingfield , Surrey , RH7 6LF
Phone – 01342 834 658 Email – infoabritishwildlifecentre.co.uk
From the M25/North
Exit at M25 junction 6 (Godstone) and take the A22 South towards Eastbourne. We are about 10 minutes from Godstone, on the A22 itself, just past Blindley Heath (don’t follow the road signs to Lingfield).
From the South
We are on the A22, just north of the roundabout at Newchapel (junction with B2028). We are about 10 minutes from East Grinstead, and 20 minutes from Crawley.