Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by canaryboy, 29 May 2013.
What are people's favourite bird parks in the UK and why?
Gauntlet Bird of Prey Centre in Knutsford because it's practically on the doorstep, the variety of birds is impressive and the staff are very friendly.
Blackbrook Zoo for the sheer variety of birds, especially more waterfowl than you could shake a stick at.
Tropical Birdland in Desford, Leicestershire for the number of free-flight birds that you can get up close and personal with.
Objectively speaking, if variety of species is what you are looking for, Birdland Park and Gardens, WWT Slimbridge and Blackbrook Zoo are probably all contenders for the best bird park in the UK, even if the latter collection has diminished in species held of late.
However, I have a "wildcard" choice for the best bird-focused collection in the UK - Living Coasts. Although it holds significantly fewer species than any of those I mentioned above, in terms of how many species are unique to the UK or even Europe, and consistent quality of the exhibits, it very much deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as any of the above.
I've never visited a Birdpark in the UK but after reading the book " Penguin Millionaire" by Len Hill and Emma Wood about Birdland in Bourton-on-the-Water this must be my favorite !
Birdland in the 21st century is not what it was in Len Hill's day, on the original site.
Blackbrook is I believe still very good.
My favourite, now long gone, would have to be the Tropical Bird Gardens at Rode.
I've just been paradise park and I have to say it was brilliant. It was great in terms of species, talks & shows and conservation. Although saying that I also like desford tropical birdland because of it being quiet and the free flying birds. They're both really good
Birdland in bourbon-on-water, is very good in my opinion. whilst not a birdpark i was also very impressed with everything at seaview wildlife park on the Isle of Wight, large enclosures, plenty of freerange waterfowl and mainly birds in well thought out enclosures, they also seem to look after their staff very well there!
same here. I always wanted to visit based purely on that book. But as FBBird says, it is not the same place today. Its not even on the same site! I'm sure it is still very good, but not what I have in my head.
that's an even more interesting-sounding locality!
I thought Birdworld near Farnham was the best bird park,I' ve been to Birdland at both locations in Bourton.The original site was a well laid out garden with a good collection, but the site in Rissington Road is more spacious but not so intimate.!
Rode was definitely my all-time favourite - oh, those free-flying Macaws. Sadly I did not visit Len Hill's Birdland (I visited the new one in 1999, the same year I made my only visit to Birdworld). My current favourite has to be Wingz, and I am a big fan of Lotherton too.
Stagsden was an excellent bird garden which has closed down now, some unusual species such as Chilean Tinamou.
I should have said I like Paradise Park too - how could I not with its parrot collection? I should also have explained that Wingz has some wonderful parrots too and is just the sort of place I like, being small and homespun (I mean that as a compliment), hence it being top of my current list. Lotherton's walk-through aviary is a real treat.
We don't really have any outstanding general bird collections. I don't think anywhere in the UK comes close to matching Avifauna in the Netherlands. And as for Walsrode in Germany - let's not even torment ourselves.
Having said that Newent, Weyhill and Muncaster are pretty good raptor collections; Pensthorpe and Slimbridge are good collections of waterfowl; and Blackbrook has a fine collection of waterfowl as well, plus an impressive array of storks and cranes.
I think you'd be hard pushed to find anywhere in the world which equals Muncaster in terms of owls; at my last visit, 54 owl taxa were held there, which compares nicely to the 19 taxa which Walsrode hold, and the 10 held by Avifauna.
Rode and the original Bourton(Len Hill's) have to be my two favourites from my youth. Rode was more spacious, Bourton more compact, but both were excellent in their day.
I think I may have been drinking some bourbon-on-water whilst typing that!
Best Birdpark in the UK
Just idly browsing and found this thread out of the blue – and found it very uplifting. I'm a Trustee and Director of Living Coasts and have been from its inception. It is super to hear someone thinks we've got it right. I just love spending hours watching these birds – in the fresh water area as well as the salt water pools. Whoopee for Living Coasts in Torquay.
have a look here for more discussions: Living Coasts Forums
Separate names with a comma.