Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Merry Christmas!

It hardly seems right to use a snowy image with the weather being so mild for this time of year, but here's a quick post to wish you all a very Merry Christmas from all the keepers and animals at the Wildlife Centre.

Don't forget, we are open to the public from Sunday the 27th for the following week. So if you want to escape the family festivities, why not come and see us.

All the best for the season, and the blog will continue in the new year.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Winter Opening

"360 Deer Park " by John Jefferies

An unusual photo above!?... I'll get to that in a moment, but firstly let me remind you all that this year we are open to the public for the few days before Christmas as well as our usual days after Christmas.

So, next week we are open on the Momday, Tuesday and Wednesday before Christmas. We then close for Christmas eve, Christmas day and Boxing day, before again opening on the 27th and all through the following week. After which it will be back to weekends, bank holidays and school holidays as usual.

So if you fancy relaxing a bit before the hectic festivities, or spending a bout of time away from the family or walking off your dinner after it is all over... why not come and see us.

ANyway, back to the image at the top of the post, and this one here. This was taken by member John Jefferies... but to really appreciate it (yes, they are both the same photo!), you need to click on one of the images to take you to the original.

John first shared this with us on our Facebook group. From the image above I didn't know what to expect, but clicked on it out of curiosity, and it took me to the original where you can rotate and zoom in and out of this photo.

This is a single photo, taken on 360 degree camera, amazing! By using the arrows at the bottom you can get a full view of the deer park 360 degrees around, above and below. It really is something, so if you have the time take a quick look.

Thanks to John for allowing me to share this here, and you can see some of his other photos on his flickr stream linked here.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

November's Photo of the Month

"Red Squirrel" by Tim Dawes

A very busy few weeks recently as our last few groups have been visiting for the year, and then all hands on deck to get the larger jobs done in our relatively small downtime! A little more on this next time, but for now lets move on to Novembers photographs!

As you can imagine, a lot of photos of Frodo have been shared around the internet this past month. A few new, many old, and recognition by both amateur and professional photographers for the joy he brought. It may be a surprise then that I chose this photo above by Tim Dawes as one of my favorites for November.

I loved this photo from the first moment I saw it. Our squirrels are friendly enough to allow you to get really nice close ups, but rather than go for the usual zoom lens effect Tim has used a wider angle exaggerating the proportions of the squirrel slightly, but still showing the background. This effect almost looks like the squirrel is popping out of the photo, and look at the size of his feet! In the end, it is a photo that just makes me smile every time I look at it... Well done Tim.

To see more of Tim Dawes photos, have a look at his photostream on flickr linked in his name. As with all our photos of the month, Tim's photo will be on display next year in our coffee shop gallery and be in with a chance of winning a photo day here at the Centre.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Farewell to Frodo

Sadly, last Friday afternoon, Frodo passed away...

Frodo was not only an ambassador for foxes, but an ambassador for British wildlife. He will never know the number of people he helped inspire to care for our wildlife, but he will always be remembered. Frodo passed away comfortably, peacefully, and in his home at the grand old age of 13.

Arguably the most photographed fox in the world, his image will remain iconic for many years. He is well known for being the fox on the packaging of the Epsom ink cartridges, he appears in many books, on many cards and posters and even a quick search on the internet show countless photographs of him by both professionals and amateurs.

Frodo was one of the animals here when I first arrived nearly 12 years a go, and in that time we formed a strong bond, worked closely with each other and watched each other grow, mature and change the way we work and the Centre itself. I knew him most of his life, and he was without doubt the most laid back fox I have ever known. Always reliable, ever dependable, if none other came out for a talk or photographic session you could almost see the look of "it's alright, I'll do it" on his face.

He brought much joy to many peoples lives, and leaves a lasting influence and legacy behind him. He will be missed by many, keepers and public alike, but will always be remembered.

Goodbye fantastic Mr Fox,

Goodbye fantastic Mr Frodo,

Goodbye my friend...