gwen What's On

Tilgate Nature Centre: Up Close and Personal with our lesser known local residents!

Last weekend, local nature photographer Mick Page captured these stunning images whilst on a family visit to Tilgate Nature Centre. The Centre is home to over 500 rare, endangered, native and exotic species varying from eagle- eyed birds of prey, some familiar farmyard friends, and an immersive reptile house that gets guests within inches of some rather creepy critters! From the fluffy, the feathered, the sharp-toothed and the scaly, Tilgate Nature centre has something for everyone!


Taking advantage of last weeks gorgeous weather, Mick and his camera were able to capture some of the Centre’s residents in their full glory- so now we can share with you some of Crawley’s more exotic and lesser known residents as you have never seen them before!

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The Nature centre has been undergoing a makeover since 2014- with the much anticipated Australasia Zone having opened on 2nd April this year, which features Emu’s, Wallabies, a Kangeroo, and the beautiful Kookaburra.


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This Yellow Mongoose looks less than impressed at being asked to pose whilst sunbathing!


Someone is expecting! This pregnant Pygmy Goat has found herself a shady spot to cool off. Baby pygmy goat ‘Nigel’ was born on 10th August and is already a huge hit with guests- you can visit Nigel & his mum in the small barn opposite the presentation area in the Nature Centre. Fun Fact: Animals with exclusively black and white markings are known as ‘piebald’ or ‘pied’.

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Gliding across Titmus lake to the customized duck habitat, one of a handful of native and exotic bird species that call the lake home.

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Loving the sunshine- this Meerkat is one of several resident family groups at the centre, and is one of over 100 different species you can visit. The Meerkat families of Tilgate have recently welcomed the arrival of a litter of pups- even more reason to make time for a trip over the summer holidays!

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Elegance captured in perfect detail. One of Mick’s most flawless shots captures a Japanese Crane taking full advantage of the warm weather, turning its head to the sun and striking a pose.


Meet Gwen The Snowy Owl! Gwen has been introduced to resident male Gustav & they are getting on very well! Maybe we will see some baby snow owls soon!? Fun Fact: Female snowy owls are bigger than males & covered in black spots so it’s easy to see hoo’s hoo!

The Centre is going from strength to strength following investment and refurbishment over the last two years, with Easter 2017 seeing the opening of a Madagascan Zone, to include Ring Tailed Lemurs and other African Island species, and an Americas Zone due to follow in Easter 2018.


Guests can now enjoy educational talks at the centre, as well as ‘meet the Meerkats’ experiences, and Junior Keeper days for any young wannabe Zoo Keepers! With something for all the family, and perfectly situated in the beautiful Tilgate Park, Tilgate Nature Centre is an absolute MUST for local families this summer!


Entry charges are £2.50 for over 17s, £1.50 for 2-16 year olds. Under twos are free.

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For more details on talks, opening times, adoption, and all other experiences please see the Tilgate Nature Centre website!

All photos are Courtesy of Local Wildlife Photographer Mick Page.