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Northern England Animal Atractions

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Jackwow, 3 Aug 2015.

  1. Jackwow

    Jackwow Well-Known Member

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    A bit bored and isolated up here in Inverness so looking to do a bit of a zoo trip. I did south west England last October and south east England in January this year, although that was not a great success due to the weather. So I was thinking about doing northern England, say from Chester Zoo and above. So what are the best / recommended zoos, wildlife parks, bird parks, aquariums, etc., in this region? I have been to a few already, e.g., Chester, Blackpool, Knowsley, but would probably visit them again as well as the best recommendations from the forum.
     
  2. Waddi

    Waddi Well-Known Member

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    Lakeland Wildlife Oasis is only a small zoo but has the only Fossa in the north of England and a walk through plexi tunnel through the middle of the snow Leopard enclosure.

    The chestnut centre is worth a visit in my opinion too.
     
  3. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Chestnut Centre, however, isn't in the area in question :)

    Despite the "mixed" reputation of the collection on this forum, if you have not visited South Lakes in the past I suggest you probably should, if only to make your own mind up about the collection.

    Unlike the Northwest, which is relatively well-stocked with zoological collections, the Northeast of England is pretty starved of collections :( but there are still a few collections you should look into visiting:

    Kirkley Hall Zoo - a small zoo, affiliated with a local college and used by students on Animal Management courses and so forth. It is open to the public on weekends and - outside of term time - weekdays, and has rather a lot of nice little treasures, including a wide selection of unusual reptiles and amphibians, pure Rufous Lemur, New Guinea Ground Cuscus and a decent collection of cranes and ibises.

    International Centre for Birds of Prey (Duncombe Park) - a sister site to the long-standing collection falling under the same umbrella at Newent in Gloucestershire. Despite having been open for little more than two years, it is already the best falconry centre in the north-east as far as I am concerned, and contains a wide range of unusual taxa such as New Zealand Falcon, Booted Eagle, Lesser Kestrel and Verreaux's Eagle.

    Yorkshire Wildlife Park - a large collection growing by leaps and bounds, filling a niche which has not been filled in the area for a long time. Highlights of the collection include the only polar bear exhibit in England. However, unlike the previous two collections mentioned it has been much discussed on Zoochat so I can probably leave the description at that.
     
  4. sooty mangabey

    sooty mangabey Well-Known Member

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    Just looking at their website, which includes a full species list: http://www.kirkleyhallzoo.co.uk/media/35386/species-list-december-2014.pdf.

    This includes "African Wild Ass, Equus asinus". What is this?
     
  5. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Just donkey I think:)
     
  6. Jackwow

    Jackwow Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Waddi. Actually you've reminded me that I have already been to Lakeland, last March, although wasn't impressed with Snow leopard enclosure. I will look up Chestnut Centre.
     
  7. Jackwow

    Jackwow Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions TLD, I will look them all up.

    PS Chestnut Centre is north of Chester Zoo so is in the right zone.
     
  8. Jackwow

    Jackwow Well-Known Member

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  9. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Note that it is accurate up to December 2014; pretty sure the collection is even more diverse now.
     
  10. Jackwow

    Jackwow Well-Known Member

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    Plotting any suggestions plus collections I've already been to on Google Maps as I find this is the best way to visualise the location of everything I'm planning to visit on one map and also to then plan the best route around them all.
     
  11. Jackwow

    Jackwow Well-Known Member

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    There is also a Lake District Wildlife Park, do you know anything about it?
     
  12. zoogiraffe

    zoogiraffe Well-Known Member

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    It used to be called Trotters and it hasn't changed much from the pictures in the gallery!
     
  13. zoogiraffe

    zoogiraffe Well-Known Member

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    I know its not every ones cup of tea but there is the Maryport Aquarium,its only small and can be done in a couple ours no problem,but it always seems to have something that you don't see very often in an Aquarium,and 99% of the time its an odd native species!
     
  14. Jackwow

    Jackwow Well-Known Member

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    As I will be revisiting Chester and probably Blackpool, as well as a couple of WWT sites, I currently have the following list of possible collections (in a possible visit order).

    Kirkley Hall Zoo
    WWT Washington
    International Centre for Birds of Prey (Duncombe Park)
    Yorkshire Wildlife Park
    Chestnut Centre (old Blackbrook Bird Park not far away)
    Chester Zoo
    WWT Martin Mere
    Blackpool Zoo
    Lakeland Wildlife Oasis
    South Lakes
    Lake District Wildlife Park

    So any comments / further suggestions would be much appreciated.
     
  15. Jackwow

    Jackwow Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Zoogiraffe.
     
  16. karoocheetah

    karoocheetah Well-Known Member

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    if you want to just blip over the border into Rhyl there is the sea life centre there too?
     
  17. zoogiraffe

    zoogiraffe Well-Known Member

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    You also have the Lake District Bird of Prey Centre near to Lowther,the place is worth doing if only for the one and only display they do during the day,I think it starts at 2:30 and finish when they either run out of Birds to fly or the Falconers voice gives up!!Neither of which I have seen happen yet!!!
     
  18. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

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    The tropical butterfly house in North Anston ( less than 30 minutes from YWP ) is worth a visit. Plenty of interesting things to see, and there are lots of free -flying birds in the butterfly hall.
    Probably easy for you to see on the same day as YWP. :)
     
  19. Nisha

    Nisha Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget The Deep Aquarium in Hull :)
     
  20. sooty mangabey

    sooty mangabey Well-Known Member

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    ...given the cost of food, travel and accommodation in the UK, might you not be better off flying to Prague and spending some days there, Pilsen, Dvur Kralove.... Much as I love the north of England, reading these suggestions of - mostly - fairly unremarkable animal collections, and thinking of dodgy British weather, I can't help but think that if it were me planning a few days away, I'd prefer to look overseas....