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Where to see wildlife near you as Autumnwatch returns to our screens

The BBC’s popular Autumnwatch is back on our screens this week, showing wildlife from across the country.we take a look at where you can see all creatures great and small close to home.

The show, back on BBC2, sees presenter Michaela Strachan broadcasting from Scotland while fellow presenters Chris Packham, Iolo Williams and Gillian Burke report from other parts of the country. To celebrate, here's five places in Kent you can see some wildlife:

TV presenter Michaela Strachan is back with the Autumnwatch team
TV presenter Michaela Strachan is back with the Autumnwatch team

Hemsley Conservation, Fairseat

Opened in 2015, the small zoo and wildlife centre offers visitors the chance to see some of the world’s most endangered and least understood species.

Part of a network of zoos, safari parks and wildlife centres around the world, aiming to inspire people about wild animals, their habitats and their conservation, animals you can see include a pancake tortoise; lemurs and marmouset, and birds such as toucans.

You need to book in advance to visit and numbers are limited. Go to hemsleyconservationcentre.com to find out more.

Hemsley Conservation Centre
Hemsley Conservation Centre

Eagle Heights Wildlife Foundation, Eynsford near Dartford

The centre is one of the UK's largest bird of prey centres with more than 50 species and is a wildlife sanctuary with a range of other animals including meerkats, reptiles and birds.

It also runs experience such as alpaca trekking. But pre-booking is now essential, with visitors getting a time slot in which to arrive. To book your slot and find out more go to eagleheights.co.uk

There are lots of birds of prey and other animals at Eagle Heights in Eynsford
There are lots of birds of prey and other animals at Eagle Heights in Eynsford

Elmley Nature Reserve, Sheppey

The family-run farm and nature reserve is a 3,300 acre estate and grazing marsh that providesa special habitat for wildlife. An internationally important site for the conservation of both habitat and plants, animals, insects and birds, it is a SSSI, Special Protected Area for birds and Ramsar site (wetland of world importance) and is the place for birdwatchers in the county and beyond. It is open every day until Sunday, November 1 and from then it will be open Mondays, Wednesdays, and some Saturdays and Sundays. It costs £11 per person for a whole day.

Book at elmleynaturereserve.co.uk

Elmley Nature Reserve on Sheppey is a haven for wildlife, including hares Picture: Abbie Burrows
Elmley Nature Reserve on Sheppey is a haven for wildlife, including hares Picture: Abbie Burrows

Bexley Butterfly House & Plant Centre, Hall Place

The independently run butterfly house has just reopened, with safety measures.

The tropical butterfly house is full of free-flying tropical butterflies from warmer parts of the world. If you are lucky, they may even land on you as you walk around them. There's an ID sheet for £1 so you can spot the different species. You need to pre-book at bexleybutterflyhouse.co.uk

Butterflies could land on you as you walk through
Butterflies could land on you as you walk through

Wingham Wildlife Park, near Canterbury

The family-owned park houses the largest number of animal species in the county from tigers to flamingos, bats, and adorable red pandas.

There's a reptile house, tropical house, chimpanzee building and the giraffe and orangutan house. You'll need to book in advance for your time slot to visit. Find out more at winghamwildlifepark.co.uk

There's a variety of wildlife at Wingham wildlife park
There's a variety of wildlife at Wingham wildlife park

Where to see this year's spectacular autumn with the National Trust

For more days out ideas across Kent click here.

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