Some comments about The Spider Phobia Course run by

The Naturally Wild Company in conjunction with Drusillas Zoo Park

In September 2021, Gemma Marsh said about Drusillas Park

Spider phobia course – I cannot recommend this highly enough! Angela and Ray were so brilliant, informative, reassuring and adapted their approach for everyone on the course for their level of worries/concerns. I went in thinking there was no way I would come away feeling differently about spiders and now feel like I can catch them with my hands! Feel like I’ve wasted 30+ years worrying! Thank you!
Life changing!

Source: google.com

In September 2014, Kate R said about Drusillas Park

Having had a lifelong fear of spiders I went on the Arachnophobia course at Drusillas and within 2.5 hours I was holding a tarantula! The course is fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone who would like to face their fear of spiders.

Source: tripadvisor.co.uk

In August 2018, Dee said about Drusillas Park

I went on the spider phobia course to help with my fear of spiders. The course content was really good and the session helpful. I think if the session was longer I could have got even more from it.
I would recommend this class to anyone trying to get past their fear of spiders as it really helps

Source: tripadvisor.co.uk

In July 2013, Leslie R said about Drusillas Park

Having had a great day at the zoo, my appointment for my experience was at 3.30, my guest and I were taken to a private room by Angela Hale who is an expert on Tarantula spiders. Her knowledge of these beautiful creatures is incredible and we were so impressed with what she told us, and then came the experience of handling a Tarantula which for me was beyond anything I could imagine.

Source: tripadvisor.co.uk

In July 2016, Antonia Y said about Drusillas Park

We travelled an hour an a half to get to the place as we were coming from London but would have spent time travelling all over again for the experience! Had such a good time, defiantly no ordinary zoo! Thank you to Angela who gave us an amazing insight to the Tarantulas and helped me to overcome my fear of spiders! My boyfriend loved the experience and we both want to come back! 🙂

Source: tripadvisor.co.uk

In July 2015, Paula said about Drusillas Park

Visited Drusillas for a pre-booked close encounter day. The price included myself and a friend tickets to the Zoo. We spent an enjoyable afternoon watching the animals. This zoo is definitely aimed at young children with lots of fun activities for them to interact and learn. I will definitely go back there with my 7 yr old Grandson. As for the actual close encounter, I couldn’t fault it. Angela is very knowledgeable and is clearly passionate about spiders and also good with people as I was quite nervous but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would recommend it to anyone who wants to try and get over a fear, as in my case or simply likes spiders and wants to know more.

Source: tripadvisor.co.uk

In July 2019, Purpletigger said about Drusillas Park

Visited Drusillas for their creepy crawlies weekend and loved it. The couple were so interesting and informative and they brought some amazing arachnids. I would definitely recommend one of these weekends.

Source: tripadvisor.co.uk

In April 2017, rachie86328 said about Drusillas Park

I recently bought a ‘Tarantula Encounter’ experience voucher from the Virgin Experience Day website. I had wanted to overcome my phobia of spiders. It was worth the money and it was an experience I will never forget.
Angela, the spider keeper, was able to coach me step by step. She is incredibly knowledgeable about spiders and she reassured me through the steps to overcoming my phobia. Her reassurance was what I needed to overcome this phobia.
Within 20 minutes I was able to hold a house spider. At first when I saw the house spider all I wanted to do was run a mile. However, as I held the house spider I soon realised that there was nothing to fear anymore.
When it came to holding the tarantula I felt a lot more settled. The tarantula was very well looked after and very beautiful. I never thought I could use the word ‘cute’ to describe a tarantula but I did after this experience. It is fair to say I am now fascinated by spiders and I cannot thank Angela enough for helping me overcome my spider phobia. She is a treasure to the zoo.
Anyone who is afraid to spiders this is the experience you need to do. I guarantee you will feel so proud of yourself afterwards.
Source: tripadvisor.co.uk

In July 2015, Nick M said about Drusillas Park

My wife noticed a Creepy Crawly day advertised at Drusillas a couple of months back, and as my 4yr old is obsessed with mini-beasts, we stuck it on the calendar.
We recalled going to Drusillas on a wet day about 15 years ago, pre-kids. Our hazy recollections weren’t great: not much there, very small train, some animals. So hopes weren’t overly high. How wrong we were!. The Creepy Crawly session, organised with the British Tarantula Society, was brilliant. They were very informative, reassuring, fun, full of great knowledge, and we got to see and touch all sorts of amazing spiders and insects!
Source: tripadvisor.co.uk


Testimonials on Ray’s Lectures

  • West Hoathy WI March 2019: SPIDERS FRIENDS OR FOE?Who would have though that after all these years being afraid of spiders I would now relish finding one in my garden. Unbelievable. Thank you Ray for a wonderful enlightenment. We need more like you!
  • Maidenbower WI September 8th 2021:TRICKERY IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM I thought it was absolutely brilliant and I really envy your life travelling with Angela to such exotic locations.Hoping you will be able to travel soon and thanks again for your talk: Cynthia Corner
  • Bosham WI May 2021:A STROLL ALONG A COUNTRY LANE Thank you so much for your delightful talk. I know we all enjoyed it immensely. Learning about our own natural fauna reminds us all that we have many species right here in the UK
  • Seaford Horticultural Society :Ray never fails to impress us with his knowledge of the natural world and his photos are simply stunning.
  • Ringmer Evening WI March 2019:I have been attending Ringmer WI for 30 years and I can honestly say that Rays lecture was a highlight for me. His passion and enthusiasm for his subject is beyond belief. It is nice to see some one who really cares about what he is doing. Well done Ray “
  • The Eastbourne Sussex Wildlife trust Group: LAST CHANCE TO SEE “Just a short note to thank you on behalf of the Group for another fantastic talk at our meeting last night.  It really was a most enjoyable evening with your talk packed full of information, delivered with enthusiasm and just the right touches of humour.  The photos were great and although I personally found it impossible to pick out just one favourite from them all, I have to say that for me the various close ups of the insects were exceptional.  Also our thanks to Angela for her considerable contribution by way of the photos etc and her sharp eyes in spotting some of the species you may otherwise have missed.”
  • Hassock Field Society February 2019: Once again Ray did not fail to impress us all with his knowledge. He will ceratnly be back with us soon.e back next year.
  • Ditchling Footpath Conservation Society: His subject was the great naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace. The chairman later said that in 52 years of him running the society he had never heard such an interesting lecture.
  • Raystede Animal  Sanctuary:Ray thrilled our visitors with his amazing display of spiders. Thanks you so much for giving up your time to come and talk to us.”It was great day and we are proud to be associated with such a worthy cause”:

Ray and Angela on “The One Show” with naturalist George McGavin


  • Crawley Camera Club: “Ray’s lecture left us all on the edge of our seats and wanting to visit Borneo for ourselves. We will certainly welcome him back in 2012.”
  • Orr and St Helens Camera Club:“”WOW”!!!!!!!   Have you got something to live up to next time you visit us! The response I have received has been the best yet for any speaker at the club and your pictures were wonderful. Congratulations for the wonderful evening and I hope you can come back in  April 2013. Thank You again for the wonderful lecture. Kindest Regards to you both and have a wondeful christmas and New Year”
  • Peacehaven Womens Institute: “Although we were all a little anxious about the subject of Ray’s talk, he soon made us feel at ease and we all learnt things about our eight legged friends that we didnt know. Wonderful !”
  • The Londons Wetlands Trust: “The Naturally Wild Company attend the Trust’s Halloween celebrations and brought along a number of spiders and insects. The weekend was a great success. Ray gave two excellent lectures to a packed house. Superb!”
  • Seaford Photographic Society: “Ray has an encyclopeadic knowledge on wildlife. His passion for the rainforests and the endangered animals there in is an example to us all “
  •  Hailsham Photographic Society: “This was a little different for us away from our normal type of lecture. We are so glad that we booked Ray. He has us enthralled at his tales of Head Hunters and Pythons. Excellent photographs taken in difficult situations.”
  •  The Arundel Wetlands Trust:“Many thanks for an entertaining and educational weekend. We look forward to you coming back in November”
  • East Grinstead Natural History Group:“Darwin and Wallace. Two Very Different Naturalists”It was nice to see someone with so much passion and knowledge of their subject. We cant wait to have Ray back very soon”
  • Birdham WI:“Darwin. A Naturalists Life” “Ray fascinated us with his explanation of Evolution and Darwin,s Life. We all learnt so much”
  • Adult College For East Sussex:“The Search For Endangered Species in Borneo” “It is such a pleasure to hear someone with such a wide knowledge of wildlife. We could have listened to him all afternoon. Come back soon”

Recent Posts

We are back!

Recently, Angela entered a Photography Competition and she was very pleased to be announced as the Winner of the 1st Prize. Here is her winning picture. A stingless jellyfish at Mool Island in Indonesia. her prize is to have a coral rack named after her. Well done Angela.

Why not join us on one of our adventures…..it’s a whole new World

Stingless Jellyfish Misool Island



The Naturally Wild Company Adventures Return

“Sail with us to Paradise”

Sorong to Sorong

17th December -26th December

30th December-8th January

Click Here Now!


In December 2022 we will lead two trips with excursions on to a number of islands including the most beautiful and remote islands of Raja Ampat where we will swim on stunning coral reefs and witness the stunning Birds of Paradise.

We  will visit a number of remote islands and trek deep into rain forests in search of butterflies, beetles and bugs. Not forgetting of course the odd spider we hope to come across. We will snorkel in crystal clear waters and get up close and personal with some of the most amazing marine life on the planet. Snorkel with turtles and got up close with Manta rays and Whale Sharks. An adventure not to be missed. Visit Seatrek Sailing Adventures for more details or simply email me.


The Red Bird Of Paradise

Wilsons’s Bird of Paradise

Wallaces Golden Wing Butterfly on Bachan Island

Golden Wing Caterpillar

Wallace’s Standard Wing Bird Of Paradise