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Tilgate Nature Centre facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Tilgate Park - - 402751
Duck Platform at Titmus lake

Tilgate Nature Centre is a small BIAZA-accredited zoo located within Tilgate Park in Tilgate Forest, South-East Crawley, United Kingdom.


Nyctereutes procyonoides 4 (Piotr Kuczynski)
Raccoon Dogs from East Asia
D.plantarius on water surface
The endangered species Fen Raft spider from Europe

Tilgate Nature Centre was formed in 1966 by Crawley Borough Council to breed ducklings for introduction into the three lakes at Tilgate, namely Campbells, Silt and Titmus. Its focus changed over the years and it now houses an impressive animal collection including reindeer, owls, raccoon dogs, coati, parrots, mongooses, otters, snakes, tarantulas, lizards and various invertebrates. Tilgate Nature Centre is actively involved in breeding programmes for threatened species such as the Northern bald ibis, and has also been involved in re-introduction programmes; most notably the fen raft spider (Dolomedes plantarius) from the UK.


Meet the Meerkats

The centre is open to the paying public with attractions such as public talks, feeds and presentations, "Animal Adoptions", "Meet the Meerkats", "Junior Keeper for a Day" and "Tapir Time" experiences. They also offer educational visits for schools and animal-themed birthday parties for wildlife-loving youngsters. On 2 April 2016 visitors witnessed the opening of the new Australasian Zone which includes a kangaroo and wallabies, emus, galah cockatoos and kookaburras. The Madagascan Zone which includes a serval, ring-tailed lemurs and a variety of reptiles, opened in Easter 2017. The Americas Zone, featuring a Brazilian tapir, capybaras, macaws and more,opened in April 2018.


Chattering Lory (Lorius garrulus)4
Chattering lory

Many endangered species are kept at Tilgate Nature Centre, which has taken on an important role in conservation, protecting endangered species from extinction due to rapid changes affecting their natural habitats. Tilgate Nature Centre has become nationally important for maintaining breeding groups of these animals to preserve a variety of endangered wild species. Critically endangered animals include Northern bald ibis, Utila spiny-tailed iguana, Laysan duck and swift parakeet.


In 2020, Tilgate Nature Centre received a Gold STAR Award (Switch To A Reusable) for Sustainability and Zoostainability, from the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA)

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