Head Keeper Matt has a particular interest in British wildlife, studying a HND/Foundation Degree in Animal Science at Plumpton College. “I came to the BWC in the Summer of 2004 and refused to leave! I love being outside observing the animals and their behaviour, and I enjoy educating visitors about our own, often overlooked, wildlife.” Matt’s special interest is red squirrels and pine martens. He’s developed a particular bond with our pine marten Bonnie.
Keeper Izzy has a life-long interest in animals and volunteered with both the Swan Sanctuary and Animal Line. She studied ND Animal Management at Plumpton College. “I’ve always wanted to work at the BWC. I enjoy the outdoors and being part of a friendly team. It’s fantastic getting close to animals you rarely see in the wild”. Particular favourites are the red squirrels, hares and otters, she has successfully managed to rear and release leverets (baby hares) in the past.
After 2 years of studying IT networking Richard longed for the outdoors and answered the "call of the wild!" He studied Animal Management at Hadlow College and worked part-time at the Centre before being taken on full-time. "I love the wildcats, but the foxes are a close second! Educating the school groups is particularly satisfying, the kids are so enthusiastic and it's great that they go away knowing so much more about our fabulous British wildlife." After a 10 month hiatus to travel the world, Richard re-joined the keeping team at the end of the Summer, 2010.
Katie studied for a degree in Conservation and Wildlife management at Sparsholt college. Having worked part time for many years Katie became a full time keeper during the Summer of 2010. "Working here allows you to learn and appreciate the struggle our native wildlife faces in this country. One small step for a fox, can be a giant leap for a harvest mouse." Katie has a particular keen interest in our birds of prey and owls and has volunteered much of her free time in the past to Eagle Heights falconry centre.
Leonie joined the keeping team in March of 2011. Leonie studied at Plumpton College obtaining not only an ND in Animal Management, but also an ND in Countryside Management. "I adore being outdoors with nature. Working here allows me to learn so much more about, and express my passion for our animals and vital habitats." Having previously volunteered at Animaline charity, and worked part-time in a pet shop and veterinary practice she was keen to obtain more experience with British wildlife.
Tom joined the keeping team in October of 2011, having studied Countryside Management at Plumpton College before going on to achieve a degree in Ecology and Biogeography at Brighton University. "Working here I have learn't so much about, and got close to, animals rarely seen in the wild. As John Muir said "any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much the larger and better in every way."" During his studies he did a lot of volunteer work towards habitat conservation, and has experience in small mammal handling and surveying techniques. All skills we hope to utilise during his time with us.
Lucy has joined the team for the Summer 2013 season. Having studied for an ND in Animal Management, and working in a reptile rescue centre for several years, Lucy decided to go back to college to further her studies and gain more experience. She is now at Merrist Wood College working towards a Foundation Degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare. "Having done my work experience at the BWC and enjoying it so much, I am excited to be a part of the team. I have always wanted to work with animals and over the last few years have become interested in British Wildlife. I am looking forward to working with the school groups and getting them excited about British wildlife." Lucy will be a part of the team from March through to the end of October this year.