BAYTREE OWL & WILDLIFE CEN­TRE

Bird Watching (UK) - - Breeding -

Baytree Owl & Wildlife Cen­tre is run by Mark Bird­sall, who has been passionate about birds since his child­hood. He took over run­ning the cen­tre about two years ago and has been slowly trans­form­ing it ever since. As well as a wide va­ri­ety of birds, the cen­tre houses a Red Squir­rel (soon to be­come part of the na­tional breeding pro­gramme for wild re­leases) and two Foxes. Mark has plans to ex­pand the species in fu­ture to pro­vide a way for visi­tors to get closer to our na­tive wildlife, while a new Con­ser­va­tion Cor­ner teaches visi­tors how they can get in­volved in pro­tect­ing Bri­tain’s wildlife in their own gar­dens. Schools visit the cen­tre fre­quently when the stu­dents are study­ing noc­tur­nal be­hav­iour or bird life to give the chil­dren the op­por­tu­nity to see avian life closer than they might ever have a chance in the wild, and in­spir­ing them to na­ture-watch. This ed­u­ca­tional as­pect of wildlife cen­tres such as Baytree is what al­lows them to be­come vi­tal parts of the con­ser­va­tion move­ment. It isn’t just about birds and mam­mals for Baytree though, with the cen­tre now plan­ning to open a na­tive but­ter­fly house from Easter. This has been de­signed with four dis­tinct habi­tats – a cot­tage gar­den, a wild­flower meadow, a wooded area and a scrub area of net­tles and bram­bles – to repli­cate the di­verse en­vi­ron­ments of the British coun­try­side. Th­ese ar­eas will not only pro­vide food and shel­ter for the in­di­vid­ual species but are also a great aid for the cur­ricu­lum topic of un­der­stand­ing habi­tats, com­bined with the other na­tive species al­ready at the cen­tre.

Based in We­ston, near Spald­ing (Lin­colnshire), the cen­tre is open Tues­day­sun­day, 10am-4pm. A daily fly­ing dis­play at 1:30pm al­lows visi­tors to see some of the birds fly­ing free and to learn more about their species and be­hav­iour. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit baytree­owl­cen­tre.co.uk.

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