The British Wildlife Centre at Lingfied is one of my most favourite places - where else can you go to see examples of practically all the creatures native to Britain? Here, you can watch badgers, foxes, several types of deer, water voles, polecats, wildcats, pine martens, otters and hedgehogs all in natural enclosures. Best of all, in my opinion, is the red squirrel enclosure. In this beautifully planned habitat visitors can stroll around a wooden walkway, invariably being investigated by a red squirrel or two or three - they climb over you, peer into your camera lens or play chase up your legs!
The otters are beautiful, so playful and they come really close to the fence of their enclosure, so the photographic opportunity is great. In fact, most of the animals are easy to photograph in natural surroundings. Until I saw pine martens for the first time I didn't realise that the fur on their chests was a delicate shade of yellow - and I didn't know that they were addicted to strawberry jam!
The stoats are quick moving, but with patience you should be able to get a photo, and if you go on a warm day you will probably see the adders and grass snakes basking in the sun.
Regular keeper talks are given throughout the day, when even the shyer animals come out, and in the afternoons some of the owls are flown in the dell - a wonderful sight.
This is a very friendly place to visit - the staff are very knowledgeable about their charges. I love it, and would go every week if I could. Before you go, though, do check their website for opening times as often the centre is only open at weeeknds.
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