Scottish Wildcat photographed by Pui Hang Miles

British Wildlife Centre

The Secret Nature of Britain

The British Wildlife Centre in Surrey was founded in 1997 by David Mills. It is a not for profit organisation who’s aim is to educate people about the native wildlife of the UK.  All revenue generated is ploughed back into improving the accommodation of the resident animals, on breeding programmes and habitat conservation.

David and I were fortunate enough to visit the centre on one of their photography days.  We wanted to visit at this time of year because we knew that the foxes would still have their stunning winter coats on which should make for some stunning photos, plus the red squirrels should be sporting some magnificent tufts.

Fox photographed at the British Wildlife Centre

The red squirrel was nearly wiped out by the introduction of the greys. They can still be found in pockets of the UK, primarily in Scotland and northern England  but their numbers remain very low.

Red squirrel from the British Wildlife Centre

Meet Kendra, a female Scottish Wildcat.  You could be forgiven for thinking she was just a very pretty tabby cat were it not for her thick clublike tail, with its big, bold distinct rings around it which do not join together at all.  Unbelievably, the scottish wildcat, also known as the highland tiger is more endangered than the amur tiger due to loss of habitat and indiscriminate breeding with domestic cats.

female scottish wildcat

Lily the Otter. She is still a novice at posing for the camera and the only time we could grab shots of her was when she stopped to eat the fish thrown in for her. Hmm, novice or just extremely devious??

Check out my teeth

Technically, the american mink is not a native species of the UK (the clue is in the name!) and its introduction in Europe has led to declines in European mink, Pyrenean desman, and water vole populations.

American mink

This was our first time visiting the British Wildlife Centre and I doubt it will be our last. It was a great day out and I hope to come back when they have cubs and kittens.