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Summer Wildlife Photography Course @ The Nature Discovery Centre
Jul 21 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Photo by Bob Coyle

Photograph the summer wetland wildlife with practical guidance and tuition from wildlife photographer Iain Green. Discover and learn about seasonal specialties of the reserve and how to photograph them. A practical course, the day will begin with an introductory session inside, before heading out to explore. Suitable for both beginner and intermediate photographers, the tuition is tailored to suit. Due to the small numbers on the course there will be plenty of time for individual tuition. During the day we will learn how to photograph breeding bird life and stunning scenery and enjoy some creative photography. We will explore colour, texture and the form of the natural landscape in Spring.

This course is suitable for anyone who would like to improve their photography skills or those who are new to photography and are mystified by the settings and buttons on the camera! The course is aimed primarily at adults but older children accompanied by an adult would be welcome.

Please come dressed for the weather, the terrain around the Centre and nature reserve is fairly level but can be uneven and muddy, so please wear sturdy footwear.

Please bring you camera and instructions if you have them. The course fee includes refreshments throughout the day, lunch and afternoon tea. Please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements.

Animal Experience Day – Fur and Feathers @ The Nature Discovery Centre
Jul 25 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Photo by BBOWT

Come and meet the keepers from ‘The Animal Experience’. This week they are bring a selection of animals which will include Meerkats, a hit with all ages, African Hedgehogs, quite distinct from those found in this country.

Gambian Pouch Rats these used for sniffing out landmines, and able to identify someone infected with tuberculosis purely by scent. An African Grey Parrot: “Georgie” — the most intelligent of parrots, and with an extensive vocabulary! Sugargliders, similar to miniature flying mice, and an Umbrella Cockatoo, a bird with real attitude!

Please note: this list may vary slightly if for example animals are carrying young.

Multiple sessions available throughout the day – please see the ‘tickets’ link for more information and to book.

Who is this event suitable for?
Everyone is welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult who has also booked a place.

What to bring?
A camera if you would like a record of the event.

Is there an age limit for children?

Children need to be 3+ years

Access details: The Nature Discovery Centre is fully accessible.

Lakeside Arts Workshop with Tessa Kirby @ The Nature Discovery Centre
Jul 28 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Join us for a day to explore your artistic capabilities. This day-long workshop will be relaxed and informal and will be based in our Lakeside room where magnificent views and abundant wildlife will be an inspiration to all.

Artist Tessa Kirby will be your tutor for the day and will encourage you to broaden your painting techniques and try different media. The day is suitable for all skill levels, experienced artists and those who’ve always just fancied having a go!

Tessa is a well-regarded local artist who is an experienced teacher, she regulary participates in the West Berkshire and North Hampshire Open Studio scheme. Tessa will bring a selection of her own work which is inspired by nature light and colour.

All materials are included in the cost of the workshop, however if you would like to bring your own paints or pastels or even a piece you are currently working on that is fine.

Refreshments including lunch and lots of lovely homemade cake will be provided throughout the day.

Crocodiles of the World @ The Nature Discovery Centre
Aug 1 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Crocodiles of the World is a conservation and education zoo. Its aim  is to inform and educate adults, children and infants about animals and conservation.

At this popular event there will be live animals and interactive experiences including crocodiles, alligators and caimans. Bringing the natural world to life.

Appropriate for all ages, all children must be accompanied by an adult.


There are multiple sessions throughout the day – please click on the ‘tickets’  link for more information and to book.

Wild Bird Rescue Encounter @ The Nature Discovery Centre
Aug 8 @ 10:30 am – 3:00 pm

Come along to the Nature Discovery Centre this Summer to meet Aimee Wallis. Aimee is the founder of Corvid Dawn Wild Bird Rescue which rescues and rehabilitates wild birds.

Aimee will share her huge knowledge and experiences of bird rescue and introduce you to some of her current birds. She’ll demonstrate just how intelligent and perceptive birds can be and promote understanding of British wild birds during this interactive experience.

Aimee concentrates on rescuing corvids (crow family) but also welcomes the song birds and other British wild birds. Her mission is to open minds, educate and share her experiences of corvids, to take great care and have the upmost respect and patience with each and every bird, large and small, that she takes in.

Her first priority is always getting the bird back out into the wild in its natural habitat, however, Aimee also takes in cruelty cases where birds have been mistreated or neglected, providing an experienced home and finding foster homes for those that can’t be released back into the wild.

Aimee has rescued birds and other animals since she was a child, inspired by her grandmother’s great love of animals and growing up in the countryside. Her love affair with crows began with a blind crow called ‘Wonder’ and in that 5 years she has since raised over 400 corvids and other birds.

This event is suitable for anyone, adults and children over 5 years old who has an interest in birds and wildlife.

There are multiple sessions throughout the day, please click on the ‘tickets’ link for more information and to book.

Willow Sculpture Workshop with Christine Brewster @ The Nature Discovery Centre
Sep 8 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Photo by Christine BrewsterLearn how to design and create a small animal or bird sculpture or even something abstract!

The workshop is for adults and older children who are accompanied by a paying adult.

During the day you will learn how to make a wonderful willow sculpture for your garden or home.  Be inspired by the enchanting examples of woven work that Christine has bought along or bring an image that you can work from.

The workshop is designed for those who are completely new to working with willow as well as those who wish to develop and improve on previously acquired techniques and skills.

The day will be informal, enjoyable and relaxed. The fee for the day includes all tuition, materials, refreshments and lunch with homemade cake in the afternoon.

Please bring secateurs if you have them and any ideas and inspirations for a design. Please dress for mess as the willow is wet when being used for weaving and may damage smart clothes, an apron is a good idea.

Silk Painting Workshop with Sarah Moorcroft @ The Nature Discovery Centre
Sep 15 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Inspiring artist Sarah Moorcroft will be at the Nature Discovery Centre today to teach participants how to create a beautiful silk painting.

She will be on hand to teach you how to work with silk, to plan and design, learn how to stretch, gutter and finally paint your design onto silk. then heat fix the painted work ready to take home to mount.

Your design may be influenced by the flora and fauna seen at the Nature Discovery Centre, an image bought in by Sarah or something from the many and various books and publications in the Centre.

All are very welcome to attend this relaxed workshop which is is suitable for both beginners and those who have worked with silk before and wish to hone their skills and develop their techniques.

The fee for the day includes all materials and tuition as well as refreshments, lunch and lots of homemade cake.