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What UK Zoo/safari Park that is closed would you re open and why ?

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by garyjp, 6 May 2016.

  1. garyjp

    garyjp Well-Known Member

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    Just a thought really of all the zoos safari parks lost over the years which one if you could would you re open and how would you make it both a zoological and commercial success ?
     
  2. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Moderator Staff Member

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    I think everyone on ZooChat would agree the one we want to reopen is the recently closed Rare Species Conservation Centre. How to make it financially viable is a mystery. Maybe open it to members only (since the public had little interest) and offer such a unique experience that they are willing to pay a premium.
     
  3. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    Next to the obvious RSCC I was thinking of Kilverstone with its amazing collection of South American species. I've never been there myself but have a guidebook and also have seen several articles about the park. Don't know however how to make it a commercial succes now-a-days....
     
  4. Zootastic

    Zootastic Member

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    Kilverstone and Penscynor Wildlife Park, Neath, Wales
     
  5. Zootastic

    Zootastic Member

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    Kilverstone and Penscynor Wildlife Park
     
  6. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    That's the tragedy of the thing - I've discussed the matter with other Zoochatters on quite a few occasions and the general consensus was that had Kilverstone fallen under the same ownership as Suffolk Wildlife Park and Banham Zoo - and possibly joined two of the collections together on one site - things could have been different.

    Those who know me, and my penchant for unusual small carnivores, might be somewhat surprised that given the choice I would *much* rather we still had Kilverstone than RSCC - much as the latter brought in some damn nice species, the former not only kept a wide range of very nice species but bred many of them copiously.... unfortunately when it closed, the biggest part of the callitrichid collection entered private hands in America and rapidly died out, I am given to understand. A particularly bad loss when one considers some of these taxa comprised multiple founding lines, which could have kept many of these species thriving in Europe to the present day had European collections shown an interest in taking stock from Kilverstone.

    However, if I could magically revive one closed collection within the United Kingdom, even Kilverstone would come a close second to Blackbrook Zoo at its height; of course, the issue of the climate and relative inaccessibility of the collection would still need to be contended with.........
     
  7. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Or to actually *advertise* the presence of the collection - something which I am given to understand was never really attempted......
     
  8. garyjp

    garyjp Well-Known Member

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    Really interesting responses I'm surprised no one has said windsor or any of the small zoos that used to be in our towns/cities.
    Was perhaps Kilverstones problem that it only concentrated on South american species not a great pull for the average zoo goer ? Especially with Banham & suffolk on the doorstep.
    With RSCC i would of thought as a guess location may of been a problem and possibly the name ?
     
  9. zoogiraffe

    zoogiraffe Well-Known Member

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    I don't see Kilverstones specialising in South American species being its problem given the fact that Thrigby is still going strong,and that opened after Kilverstone,also we now have Amazona Zoo in the area and that is doing okay with the same type of species as Kilverstone!

    As for RSCC I suspect the fact that the owner didn't advertise that well or cater for young familys with regards to having on Childrens play area was a major part in the problem,that and having his road blocked with artics for a couple of weeks!!
     
  10. Zootastic

    Zootastic Member

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    Penscynor Wildlife Park in Wales. It once was home to monkey island and had an Alpine bridge ( both of which are still visible through the fence).
     
  11. oflory

    oflory Well-Known Member

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    The Tower of London and the 2nd Duke of Richmond's menagerie at Goodwood....
     
  12. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    why? That sounds like an awful idea.
     
  13. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    The two closed UK collections that I would most like to see reopening are definitely the recently closed Rare Species Conservation Centre and Kilverstone, which closed about a quarter-of-a-century ago.

    The RSCC, with its fanaloka, spotted cuscus, tarsiers, rusty-spotted cats and other treasures is greatly missed.

    I have mentioned Kilverstone several times previously on other threads about closed UK zoos but, with its great collection of neotropical species, it was a particular favourite of mine. I visited it several times annually for many years and I miss my visits enormously. Kilverstone is still the only place where I have ever seen tassel-eared marmoset and I have fond memories of the Cabassous armadillo and the melanistic Geoffroy's cat too.
     
  14. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    I have been thinking about the collections that I visited that are now closed, including Belle Vue, Glasgow, Flamingo Gardens (now private), Kilverstone, Leeds Castle, Mole Hall, Otter Trust (Earsham near Bungay), Peakirk WWT, Rode, RSCC and Winged World (Morecambe). All of them had some good features. Glasgow had an excellent site. Rode had splendid free-flying macaws and a fine collection of parrots. Kilverstone and RSCC had some interesting and unusual species, as has already been mentioned, but I don't think either of them displayed all the species particularly well. I think I enjoyed the Otter Trust most because it had such a beautiful site on the bank of the River Waveney and marvellous pens for the collection of otters (4 species if I recall correctly). It closed for the right reason too - there was no longer a need for its otter reintroduction programme: but that means that there would be no point in reopening it, unless there was a chance of establishing a collection of endangered otter species from around the world.
    However the one I remember most vividly is Len Hill's original Birdland, on a tiny site in the middle of Bourton-on-the-Water which was not far from the current Birdland - so in a sense it has reopened already. The current collection has more space and much larger aviaries - but a much smaller collection and less charm and character I'm afraid.

    Alan
     
    Last edited: 7 May 2016
  15. pipaluk

    pipaluk Well-Known Member

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    For me the one I miss the most is Kilverstone and it annoys me that I didn't really appreciate it enough as a youngster in terms of what are now real rarities. I visited annually for about 6 years from my first visit in 1977. Although Banham has been suggested as a problem, in the late 70s, Banham was nowhere near as good as it is today.

    RSCC closure was also a great shame too obviously!

    I think the reason Windsor probably isn't seen as a great
    loss is that most Safari parks are all pretty similar really and it wouldn't have killer whales even if it was open today! I must point out I never visited though.

    The one I regret not visiting was Belle Vue, which I had been promised a trip to, but it closed later that year.
     
  16. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Like you, I also very much regret that I never visited Belle Vue.

    It many ways it was the type of zoo I dislike; a very commercialised zoo associated with an amusement park yet for most of its history it was probably the second biggest animal collection in the UK after Regent’s Park. And it had some very interesting species including gerenuk and lesser kudu when they were really unusual zoo animals.

    I know that it got extremely run down towards the end but I wish that I had seen it at least once before it closed.
     
  17. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I was fortunate to visit Belle Vue several times- its probably the closed zoo in the UK I'm most pleased I did see. The animal collection was terrific in its heyday as you point out. I doubt anyone would want to see a zoo re-opened there on the same site nowadays as it was so urban/commercialised-so RIP BelleVue- but its memory definately lives on as one of the UK's past 'greats'.
     
    Last edited: 7 May 2016
  18. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

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    What.....would you re-open and why?

    1/ Rode
    2/ All the rest, with 21st century upgrading of course.
     
  19. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Rode was an absolute gem. So was, as GentleLemur said, the original Bourton- on- the- water owned by Len Hill. Somehow atmospherically the current bird collections don't seem to match up, or is it just nostalgia- though there's a little bit of the same flavour to be had at Paradise Park in Cornwall.
     
  20. SHAVINGTONZOO

    SHAVINGTONZOO Well-Known Member

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    Aberdeen was nice.