Sunday, 29 December 2013

BWC Photo Comp: "Animals in Motion" Shortlist

Animals in Motion has always been one of my favourite categories of our photo competition, and this year didn't disappoint. We had a lot of entries, and a lot of variation this year too, but finally came up with the short list below of ten photographs.

As with the other categories, the winners will be selected by professional wildlife photographer Danny Green. If you haven't yet already, please do go and have a look at his website. I promise you you will not be disappointed that you did, he truly is one amazing photographer and will inspire you to get out there to take more photographs of British wildlife.


 "42/52 Run!" by wacka quacker - flickr

 "Barn owl in flight" by russell.harvey - flickr

 "Dancing adders" by old-mad-george - flickr

 "Fox fight" by diddidi2001 - flickr

 "Owl no, I've lost one" by dickiek - flickr

 "Red deer" by helder alves@ photography - flickr

 "Run rabbit run" by andew winter photography - flickr

 "Scottish Wildcat" by mark_rutley - flickr

 "Watch out, here I come" by caldwell creations - flickr

"Whirlpool" by Peter G Trimming - flickr

Friday, 27 December 2013

Christmas Opening

Here's hoping you all had a great Christmas, and enjoyed spending time with your family's, and opening up all the loot that Santa brought you!

Just a quick reminder to you all... we are now open every day until the 5th of January! Why not come and see us all if you need a break from the festivities, need to walk off the Christmas dinner or want to show your visiting relatives what we are all about.

Then from next year, we are now open every weekend of the year!

Hope to see you soon.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you all from us all at the BWC.

It has been a wet and windy past week, but we have been working hard on our new aviaries and planning out other new things for 2014. More details will be revealed as the year progresses, and of course we still have the short lists for the final three categories of the photo competition to be announced.

For now, have a great few days over the Christmas period, and if you need a break from it all remember... we are open from the day after Boxing day for 10 days, and then every weekend throughout the year.

See you after Christmas!

Friday, 20 December 2013

BWC Photo Comp: "Animals and their Keepers" Shortlist

Today it is time to show off the short list for our "Animals and their Keepers" category of the BWC photo competition. 


 "Barn owl and Tom" by linda_k* - flickr

 "Cute hedgehog" by dancook1982 - flickr

 "Forward planning" by Peter G Trimming - flickr

 "Izzy and Owl" by izzy's-photos - flickr

 "Leonie and Flo" by dap's images - flickr

 "Oh not another photo, I'm playing with Izzy" by casamacca - flickr

 "Red squirrel" by sarah coates - flickr

 "Take me home mum" by flower snow - flickr

 "The bird in a precious hand" by Mary Morgan - email

"Wildcat leap" by scott-robertson - flickr

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Polecat Release

Earlier this year we successfully bred two litters of polecats. You may remember me saying a couple of months back that they joined other captive bred polecats in a release program.

I was sent a few of camera trap videos the other day showing how they are getting on, and thought you may like to see one or two of them.

As you can see, this little one was caught out and about and returning to his soft release pen to try and find some food!

Our polecats are part of the studbook held and organised by Lesley Harmer, who manages the breeding of them through many centres around the UK. She is helped by Lily and Steve at Ferret Rescue Surrey who collected our youngsters this year, and are the ones monitoring the post release.

Friday, 13 December 2013

BWC Photo Comp: "Fauna Fun" Shortlist

Next up in our shortlisted photographs for 2013 is our ten chosen pics for the "Fauna Fun" category. This category went down well with the staff, and with you too it seems with an increase in the number of entries from last year!

This year we have asked professional wildlife photographer Danny Green to be our judge and to chose the winners. Danny has been here in the past both for himself and to run workshops, but spends most of his time out in the wild. Recent years has seen him team up with other great photographers to set up "Nature Photography Hides". This gives keen photographers an even better chance of seeing real "wild" wildlife, and great opportunities to take away some stunning images.

So, here are the next ten photos in the competition:

BWC Photo Competition 2013: "FAUNA FUN"

 "And smile!" by wendysalisbury - flickr

 "Coffee" by Ian Rentoul (Ian Rentoul Photography)- flickr

 "Don't look down" by mark_rutley - flickr

 "Go on, tickle my tummy" by flame force five - flickr

 "I can roar like a lion" by Gary Stamp - email

 "If I could just move it a bit" by Dee Maddams - email

 "Lunch is coming, I can smell it" by caldwell creations - flickr

 "Say, ahhh!" by susietphotos - flickr

 "Thith thalmon ith thalty" by gus h - flickr

"Watch out, look where you are going" by daveG001 - flickr

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

New Aviaries

Exciting news as we start our big project for our winter period. New owl aviaries!

Having spoken to falconers and bird of prey experts, it seems that though our aviaries have always been adequate... they could be made better for the owls welfare. Much to our surprise, and possibly yours, this actually means slightly smaller aviaries!

The smaller areas will allow the owls to feel safer and more secure, hopefully increasing breeding success, whilst reducing the risk of damaging their feathers.

As for our flying team, they will still be flown most days but will soon be visible to the public during the day rather than being housed in off display aviaries.

The area looks quite a bit different doesn't it?.. More will be revealed through the new year, as well as a few other projects we hope to complete over the first half of 2014.

You can see the misty/foggy conditions the maintenance team are having to work through, I thought you might like to see a couple of pictures of our deer. It is quite eerie going out there to feed them... you don't see them at all, until they start to emerge from the mist only a few feet in front of you!

Monday, 9 December 2013

BWC Photo Comp: "Junior" Shortlist

So, here we are... the 1st of our shortlisted categories for our "BWC Photo Competition, 2013" As always we are starting of with our Junior section, allowing entries from children 16 years old or under.

This year we have asked professional wildlife photographer "Danny Green" to be our judge, and to select the winning photos from each category.

Danny Green is an amazing photographer, and has won many awards in the past. Have a look at his website here "Danny Green" to truly be inspired to pick up your camera. And if you like what you see there... check out the "Natures Images" website where he runs workshops, and "Nature Photography Hides" for some amazing opportunities to photograph British wildlife in the wild!

OK... so here they are, the ten shortlisted photographs for our Junior category:

BWC Photo Comp 2013: "JUNIOR" Category

 "Badger" by maddiealoof - flickr

 "Is the view better up here?" by Mathilde Lovell - email

 "Long eared owl" by caitlin loves bubbles - flickr

 "Peering over the grass" by Mya Bambrick - email

 "Red fox" by km-photography98 - flickr

 "Red squirrel" by Jack Darling - email

 "Stoat" by brennanfamily2012 - flickr

 "Tawny owl" by robin.j.s - flickr

 "Wildcat" by Tom Ivory-Bray - email

"Wildcat Stare" by Jaime Holme - email

Friday, 6 December 2013

Katie is Leaving

Keeper Katie is leaving the BWC team to move on to pastures new. Katie has been at the Centre the longest out of all the remaining keepers, having started here ten years ago as a helping hand. She continued to help the team out around her studies and working part time, until she became a full member of the keeping team in 2010.

But now she feels the time is right for a change, and has accepted a job at Gatton Park in Reigate as a Park Warden. She will be a little closer to home, and be able to spend more time with her boyfriend Scott. Rumour has it that wedding bells and children are in the future, and who can blame her... Scott is adorable!

On behalf of the Centre I would like to thank Katie for all her hard work and dedication over the past ten years. She has been an asset to my team, and can go away proud to have been a apart of creating what we are today... a centre of excellence for the education and conservation of British wildlife.

Good luck Katie, all the best, and don't forget to come and visit us, or at least say hello when you come to visit Archie and Ellis!