Is this the biggest hedgehog you’ll ever see? It stands at the entrance to the British Wildlife Centre in Lingfield, Surrey, which you can visit at weekends and during school holidays.
My 20 month-old grandson is already mad about animals, and recently came with us dressed as a character from one of his favourite stories – a Gruffalo! Those who know the story will not be surprised that he could recognise the owls before anyone pointed them out! There is also a huge barn with mice runs that cross overhead within the building. Sadly it was too cold when we visited for the mice to be running around, but we did spot a few, and he was very excited to see another character from the story!
The frequent keeper talks are informative and interesting, and give you the chance to get a close-up view of animals such as otters that come out of the water onto the bank at feeding time. You’ll also see Scottish wild cats that might otherwise remain hidden from view. The wild cats might look a bit like our domesticated cats, but they really don’t like people.
There is nothing like a child’s excitement at seeing wild animals for the first time to remind me why I support wildlife conservation charities, and I really hope that my grandchildren will still be able to experience this when they are my age…
The staff at the British Wildlife Centre are very keen on educating children so that they care about our wildlife. They do an excellent job in helping children to develop a life-long interest in animals through the keeper talks, various information boards around the site, and hosting school trips. Adults are welcome too, so if you live near enough, or you’re visiting the area, do go and support them.
And if you can take a small child with you, even better!
Interested in finding out more? Get updates and special offers here.