Sunday, 31 January 2010

Photographic competiton

Hello to you all on this extremely cold morning, brrr!

We are thinking of starting up a regular photographic competition to run inline with our 3 yearly newsletters. Nothing to fancy, just for fun... anyone can enter. And the winning photo will not necessarily be the best but will be the favourite of the keepers that work here.

To start off with it will just be any photo taken here at the Centre. But if it gains popularity and becomes a staple in our newsletter then maybe we will look to expand it to have themes for each new start. Interaction, Species specific, Behaviour, Water etc etc... Stiill all taken here of course!

So let me know what you think...

Obviously something like this will only work with input and support from our visitors so feel free to make suggestions on this and/or and ideas on how we could do it!

Comment below, email me or leave a message on our Flickr or Facebook group.

Thank you.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010


We are currently going through the Hedgerow section re-sorting all of the small mammal displays ready for our February half term opening.

Wood mouse, Apodemus slyvaticus

The biggest change will be to the corner pond area at the exit of the Hedgerow. You may have noticed at the end of last year we had already added a couple of Rudd and Tench to the pond. Now we are removing some of the Rush surrounding the pond and making the area 'escape proof' for Water Shrews. Water Shrews are good climbers but not very adept at jumping, so a smooth surface is being placed along the back walls of this enclosure. Then, very similar to the way we feed our Waters Voles, we will put a little island in the pond to try and tempt these elusive creatures out to feed.

Unlike most Shrews, you can keep Water Shrews in groups. We have a pair which will be released into their new home at the end of the week. Then following this we will add later in the year a few more frogs, toads and newts.

Unfortunatley I do not have a picture of a Water Shrew... yet!... but they are the largest of the shrew family in the UK, they have black fur on top and white fur underneath, and what look like little white eyebrows! They really are quite fascinating creatures to look at and watch.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Andy Rouse at the BWC

This week we welcomed world renowned wildlife photographer Andy Rouse back to the BWC.

Andy visited us a couple of weeks ago in the snow to spend some time with our foxes and otters before visiting again these last couple of days with National Geographic and Nikon.

They spent all of Thursday and the morning of Friday filming for an advert to go out on the National Geographic channel advertising the new Nikon D3s camera. They were blessed with good weather on the Thursday and of course Andy was not the only star with both our foxes and otters being on top form in front of the cameras.

Andy hopes to bring some of his photography seminars to the Centre later in the year, so keep your eyes open for forth coming news on both these and other events at the BWC.

For those of you not familiar with Andys work, check out his website at to see just some of his jaw-dropping photographs. You can also follow Andy on his lively blog, facebook ( and twitter( page.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

A big thank you!

... to all our members for making our Winter members day a huge success.

On Sunday the 17th of January, 2010, we held our third Members only event (our first Winter members day). It was a brilliant day with around 150 members turning up to see our extra events including a very popular Harvest Mouse talk and a well recieved Polecat talk. Of course all the animals were still on view with special feed times, and our Owl flying team was on top form.

We were very lucky with the weather being blessed with a beautiful sunny, warm day and are thank ful for all the very kind comments and feedback on how successful you all felt the day went.

Look forward to seeing many of you again throughout the February half-term and the following weekends we are open through to October.

Thank you once again.

Friday, 8 January 2010

More snow!

We all woke up to over 6 inches of snow at the Centre on Wednesday morning and although looking very pretty it brought with it some chaos. Unfortunatley a few of the enclosures have been damaged by the snow and a lot of the netting on the avairies have been ripped leading to lots of repair work needing to be done.

The snow did lead to both Chris Packham and Andy Rouse visiting us to spend some time taking photos of our animals and playing with "Flo"

I am pleased to report that despite the damage all our animals are safe and acounted for, they seem far more adept at coping with a little snow than we do

And we are forecast yet more snow over the weekend and for it all to hang around for up to a couple of weeks!.... urgh

Check out local paper 'This is Surrey today' to read a short article on our otters to acompany the new series of 'Dancing on Ice' and to see me being heavily miss-quoted! I promise you all I am not the reality TV show fan it paints me out to be and in fact I didn't have a clue what the show was, who was in it and I certainly did not say the obvious otter pun which was printed. In fact I think the only thing they got right was my age and where I live.
See you all a week on Sunday I hope!

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Happy New Year for 2010

2010 looks to be a good year and hopefully we will have the usual arrival of new cubs, kits and kittens throughout the months.

Just a reminder that tomorrow, Sunday 3rd January, the Centre will appear on BBCs Countryfile.