Surrey British Wildlife Centre

29 March 2019

Region: South East

Wildlife photographers don’t always have much to celebrate. Long hours waiting in the cold and often wet for subjects that rarely if ever appear. And then they are too far away. So perhaps the dozen of us that gathered at the British Wildlife Centre in Surrey on Monday March 11th for the regional photography day had low expectations. The day before had been cold and wet. The one after was the same, and blowing a gale. But the day that mattered proved mild, dry and sunny. Not bad for the time of year.

A quick cup of coffee and we were off for a long, and very good day of photography. These are captive animals, but to be inside their enclosures with them only a few feet away is memorable, just to be so close to normally difficult to see creatures like otters or wildcats. Added to that we had the constant attention of David, a knowledgeable and experienced keeper from the centre who obviously has great affection for his charges and was happy to use his skills (and a bucket of food) to carefully encourage them into position against suitable backgrounds and even for the direction of the light we suggested. A couple of memorable ‘extras’ included a hedgehog and harvest mice, both now rarities in most people’s experience.

A light buffet lunch was included to break up a busy day that finished with everyone heading for home with full memory cards and questions about the next wildlife meeting. Watch his space, and for those we couldn’t squeeze into this event there will be a repeat.


Paul Stillman