Head Keeper Matt has a particular interest and passion for British wildlife, studying a HND/Foundation Degree in Animal Science at Plumpton College. “I came to the BWC in the Summer of 2004 and refused to leave! I love being outside observing the animals and their behaviour, and I enjoy educating visitors about our own, often overlooked, wildlife.” Matt’s special interest is red squirrels and pine martens. He’s developed a particular bond with our pine marten Bonnie.
Deputy Head Keeper Izzy has a life-long interest in animals and volunteered with both the Swan Sanctuary and Animal Line. She studied ND Animal Management at Plumpton College before joining us in the Summer of 2008. “I’ve always wanted to work at the BWC. I enjoy the outdoors and being part of a friendly team. It’s fantastic getting close to animals you rarely see in the wild”. Particular favourites are the red squirrels, hares and otters, she has successfully managed to rear and release leverets (baby hares) in the past.
Senior Keeper Tom joined the keeping team in October of 2011, having studied Countryside Management at Plumpton College before going on to achieve a degree in Ecology and Biogeography at Brighton University. "Working here I have learn't so much about, and got close to, animals rarely seen in the wild. As John Muir said "any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much the larger and better in every way."" During his studies he did a lot of volunteer work towards habitat conservation, and has experience in small mammal handling and surveying techniques. All skills we hope to utilise during his time with us.
Senior Keeper Meg arrived at the BWC early in 2014. Over her previous years she had been studying Animal Management at Plumpton college, as well as working for them during her college holidays. After a brief spell at a pet store, Meg realised that it wasn't for her, and she wanted to get her hands more on the side of wildlife and the conservation of animals. "I enjoy taking the school children around, and inspiring them to become enthusiastic about British animals. I particularly enjoy working with the Scottish wildcats, why?.. because they are badass!"
Keeper Clare started at the Centre in the summer of 2017. Having just completed a degree in animal behaviour and welfare, and with some experience volunteering for Drusillas zoo and working in a pet shop, Clare was looking to advance her skills and learn more about working with wildlife and conservation. "Working at the British Wildlife Centre has offered me a great challenge and I've learnt so much already. It's a real honour to work with such amazing species and be part of a friendly keeper team."
Keeper Millie arrived straight from college at the end of the summer in 2017. Having studied in Animal Management she was looking forward to getting stuck in to a career working with animals. "I love the work here and the staff have been really supportive. I especially enjoy meeting the public, I am very excited about educating the school groups that visit here, the children are so enthusiastic!"
Keeper Jamie started here in the winter of 2017. Having recently finished a seasonal placement at the New Forest Wildlife Centre, following on from completing his degree in Zoology, he was keen to get started somewhere where he could develop and learn new skills. "I'm grateful for the opportunity to work with British species, it has always been a passion of mine. The team here have been very welcoming and its a great place to begin my career. The keeper role is so varied, from animal care to educating school groups and giving talks, so I still have lots to learn."
Keeper Aaron joined our team in the Spring of 2018. Studying Animal Science at Plumpton College, he went on to complete a degree before finding work in the retail industry. His heart always being with wildlife, he was keen to get back to a husbandry role where he could build on his skills learnt at college and broaden his knowledge on wildlife. "Why did I want to work at the BWC? Two things... their Head Keeper Matt, and Pine Martens. One who is always curious, a privilege to work with, loves climbing trees and arguably the most beautiful mammal in the UK. And the other, the pine marten."