The British Wildlife Centre was started in 1997 by David Mills. Before then, David had a successful herd of pedigree Jersey cows on the site of what is now the wildlife centre. Since 1971 the rich milk and cream of the Venn herd of Jerseys was supplied to local homes and businesses.
In 1994 David ceased farming to realise his dream of setting up a centre to educate people about our native wildlife. At first we were only open to pre-booked groups, but in 2000 we were able to open to the public.
We have been growing slowly but steadily since, enhancing the Centre to give visitors more to see and more to learn about Britain’s fascinating wildlife. Our objective remains the same - to help people learn more about our native wildlife in the hope that they too will want to protect it for future generations to enjoy.
We are a privately owned organisation and the vast majority of our profits are ploughed back into improving the accommodation for animals, on breeding programmes, habitat conservation and providing the best experience we can for our visitors. We are currently investing a lot in our new nature reserve (more details on the Conservation pages).
We are sometimes asked why we do not open more often. It's not just the unpredictable winter weather (in fact most of our animals are just as fascinating to observe at this time of year). It's simply that during term times we accommodate school visits from the region. We feel it is very important that children have the opportunity to see and learn more about our own native wildlife, so that they may develop a life-long interest in its protection and survival into the future. Our philosophy can be summed up as 'Conservation through Education'.