Local Wildlife

West Country Wildlife Photography Centre

The West Country Wildlife Photography Centre was established in 2009 by naturalist Derek Gow and is an utterly unique facility.  Based on his experience of enclosure design for the New Forest Nature Quest project and the Wildwood Centre near Canterbury, Derek has drawn on over 16 years of experience with wildlife film makers and wildlife photographers to create a series of purpose built wildlife photography and film sets for British mammals.  A splendid collection of captive mammals has already been resourced for the project and this will be further developed in time to afford an unparalleled opportunity to film or photograph the broadest range of wildlife subjects with relative ease.  Natural wildlife is abundant in the locality with well-established populations of red and roe deer, badgers, foxes and otters.  Barn owls and ravens are common together with a range of smaller bird species such as meadow pipits, goldfinches, linnets and yellowhammers.  There is a broad butterfly compliment and the ancient hedge banks in spring offer delightful displays of wild flowers.

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OTTER ON A ROCK

Looking out for a freshwater fish supper

Set in an 8 acre landscaped valley the site includes a wide range of indoor and outdoor wildlife photography sets all fully enclosed with specially designed portals to facilitate the best possible view of the animals inside. The indoor facility is constructed in a well lit building will full power and lighting facilities. There are a wide range of large enclosures, aquaria, assorted props and vegetation to facilitate the construction of highly realistic small sets. The sets are planted with fully mature vegetation suited to each animals natural habitat and includes rocks, logs and undulating terrain. The smaller species such as mice and voles are transferred to sets for photography to portray the animal at work and play in an attractive environment. The larger species such as the red fox for example stay in their own spacious and landscaped enclosures. Carefully designed ponds are home the the European beaver family with specially designed lower dam walls allowing 'infinity' photography across the water surface. The outdoor habitats comprise heathland, drystone walls, rock mound, woodland, hedgebank, wetland pools and culm (sedge) grassland. Inset features vary but are principally hollow logs, tree stumps or rocks. All sceduled photography days are accompanied by a trained animal handler. A wildlife photography expert is available to tutor groups and to run wildlife photography courses on request with prior notice.

This centre is right next door to Percy's and offers a unique opportunity for enthusiastic budding wildlife photographers to up-skill and capture some really amazing images.

Red fox
pole cat west country wildlife photography centre

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