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Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Zooreviewsuk, 14 May 2017.

  1. Zooreviewsuk

    Zooreviewsuk Well-Known Member

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    Hi Everyone, I am new to this site, but I just want to make a quick post.

    I am currently on a UK tour of every zoo, wildlife park and animal sanctuary and writing reviews on each attraction and rating them out of 100. I am doing roughly 10 zoo's a week.

    My website will be going live at the start of June and will hopefully be helpful for people who visit zoo's.

    I was wondering if it would be okay to add some of my reviews and images to this website as well ?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    hi Zooreviewsuk, welcome to Zoochat.

    Have a read of this thread first to avoid any hassle (specifically rule #20): Forum Rules | ZooChat

    Basically you can let people know that your website exists in an introduction thread, but do not create further links to it all over the place.

    However, it would be most welcome if you also put your reviews directly onto Zoochat, because everyone will be interested in reading them, and the same for photos of zoos if you would like to add them to the respective galleries.
     
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  3. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

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  4. Zooreviewsuk

    Zooreviewsuk Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the comments.

    Devilfish no, I've not read any publications. So far I have done 5 Zoo's but I am planning to do 10 a week. Tomorrow I am off to West Midlands Safari park to partake in a VIP Ultimate Big Cat Experience morning followed by an afternoon snapping.

    I often spend time going on nature walks and visiting natural nature places in the UK and spend my time taking loads of photo's. Animals have always been a huge passion as has photography and one day I want to build and own my own zoo.

    Each Zoo gets a full review, and a grading out of 100 . The rating is broke down into 7 categories, Pricing, Staff Involvement With Guests, Exhibits, Catering, Range Of Animals, Animal Experiences & Potential for the future.

    I attended 5 places over the last few days and scored Twycross Zoo 61/100, Blackpool Zoo 58/100, Peak Wildlife Park 72/100, Trentham Monkey Forest 64/100 and Knowsley Safari Park 52/100.

    I intend over the next week or so to go to West Midlands Safari Park (tomorrow) followed by South Lakes Zoo, Lake District Wildlife Park, Welsh Mountain Zoo, Highland Wildlife Park, Scottish Deer Centre, Edinburgh Zoo and Hebridean Nature Tours.

    I want to upload some albums but can't find a way how, any ideas ?
     
  5. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

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    Excellent. It sounds like you'll fit in well here.

    Are you avoiding aquariums?

    I strongly suggest you read Tim Brown's guide, and for greater feedback on the scoring systems you might wish to apply, I'd also recommend reading feedback on Anthony Sheridan's European zoo rating books (inc. https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/cka/Zoom...&qid=1494854151&sr=8-1&keywords=sheridan+zoos) - you'll find plenty of input on this site which you might find constructive. It might be helpful to read them while your first zoo visits are still fresh in your mind in case you opt to change anything.

    I gather your rating systems and reviews are designed for the general public, rather than for enthusiasts? (given the especially high ratings of Peak WP and Trentham - although I've not been to Trentham). If not there are a few more categories you can consider...

    I'd also suggest using my map: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1lpijyC2aHPlGV1E3uYEBQwBYxb0&usp=sharing
    If only to check that you're not missing collections you might later discover and choose to go back to.

    Out of interest, what made you choose to go for British zoos? If I were spending that much money and time I'd have been much more tempted to have chosen another country's zoos. :)
     
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  6. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

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    To add photos, go to the 'media' tab and click 'add media' (upper left) if you want to add photos or videos.
     
  7. NigeW

    NigeW Well-Known Member

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    I'd be fascinated to read your marking system. I know those collections, and the only basis I could apply that would make Peak and Trentham score that highly relative to the others here is photographer friendliness.

    I enjoy my photography and I do confess to rating zoos slightly differently in my own mind to many other zoo enthusiast visitors because I apply that very criteria, but even so, that's a big mark for Peak there.
     
  8. zoogiraffe

    zoogiraffe Well-Known Member

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    That score for Peak will have me baffled and confused for years, if I was to score it would be lucky to get double figures. Now if it was still Blackbrook that would be a very different story.
     
  9. Zooreviewsuk

    Zooreviewsuk Well-Known Member

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    I have just uploaded my review on Peak Wildlife Park. I am not a nature expert, but I am a very keen photographer and I am someone who loves to chat to keepers about animals and get up close to them. I love going to zoo's where animals are happy and I see good things for the future. My review will give you a taste of how I score and how I see things and rate things, this may get you to understand how I rate parks and why some parks score better than others.

    I look at how a park will attract someone coming to see the animals and most of all how they have a good day. I have uploaded a number of my images (13 I think) under Peak's gallery and my Review is on the UK section. I hope some of you give your views, any feedback is appreciated.

    This is a self funded venture where over the next year I want to visit every park twice and put something out there which fans of zoos will enjoy and try and have images of every animal in zoos on one site. I will be adding all my reviews and as many images as I can on here, hoping it's appreciated and helpful to others.

    I have put aside £100,000 for this project and plan to do many VIP days and post about them all. I hope people enjoy reading them as much as I do experiencing them and if it opens their eyes to another viewpoint and helps them decide their days out then brilliant. A better aim is the Zoos see the reviews and see a genuine viewpoint and perhaps something to take on board in the future.

    Like I said any feedback positive or negative is greatly received.

    Chris
     
  10. zoogiraffe

    zoogiraffe Well-Known Member

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    I think you have misjudged just how many collection, there are in the UK, by a very long shot as I have already passed the 200 mark ,and I am still nowhere close to doing them all!
     
  11. Zooreviewsuk

    Zooreviewsuk Well-Known Member

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    Well I will take as long as it takes to see them all. No I wasn't aware there was 200+ but I have time on my hands and will be aiming to do them all. If it takes more than a year so be it.
     
  12. MagpieGoose

    MagpieGoose Well-Known Member

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  13. NigeW

    NigeW Well-Known Member

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    I've read your review Chris, and you clearly enjoyed your visit; that's reflected in your marking. Its always a little tricky to mark subjective things like how much you enjoyed it on the day. I do think, though, that you may have over-rated Peak Wildlife Park there. Everything is relative and you're going to have to compare it to Cotswold Wildlife Park, Hamerton Zoo Park, Chester Zoo etc, you may have left yourself nowhere to go.

    While I agree Peak has potential, right now that's exactly what it is. I had an enjoyable couple of hours there, but in my opinion there simply isn't enough there to justify you ranking it so far ahead of Blackpool and Knowsley. But, its all opinion, and that's understood.

    I look forward to your Blackpool and Knowsley reviews :)
     
  14. Zooreviewsuk

    Zooreviewsuk Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Nigel In regards to Blackpool and Knowsley the full reviews I will post later tonight but the ratings were as follows;

    Price: B5 K3
    Staff: B6 K5
    Exhibits: B12 K10
    Catering: B6 K8
    Range of Animals: B16 K11
    Animal Experiences: B10 K8
    Potential: B3 K7
     
  15. zoogiraffe

    zoogiraffe Well-Known Member

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    Hate to say this but you ranking score make Sheridan look good and even normal,when compared to what you are coming up with,that is however just my point of view but I suspect i will not be alone on that one!!
     
  16. Zooreviewsuk

    Zooreviewsuk Well-Known Member

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    What/who is Sheridan ?

    End of the day everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and my full review should give some reason as to why they scored so average.
     
  17. zoogiraffe

    zoogiraffe Well-Known Member

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    Antony Sheridan is the guy that wrote the Book What Zoos Can Do.That also has some very bizarre scoring and ranking systems!!
     
  18. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your open answers.

    @Zooreviewsuk, out of interest how many zoos had you visited before starting on this adventure?

    I get the impression that the more zoos you visit within the UK you'll discover that although there's a lot of variety, many collections don't stand out much at all. Once you've got good photos of a repertoire of common species I think that you, like many of us, might be looking more to see the rarer animals on display which you might only get one chance to photograph on your trip (until you return, that is).

    I'm also interested to know what visiting twice within the space of a year would offer you. In the majority of cases where little has changed, I'd be keen to know what value a second visit would bring.

    It's great to hear that you've got the time and resources to take on such a project, but I wonder whether there are more exciting zoo visiting projects which you could undertake during this time, like seeing the zoos of Singapore or ranking the zoos of Colombia...

    I think the most productive way to rank the zoos is to ensure you have geared the system to a target audience. If it is to the general public, you must prepare to have some higher scores. If it's for zoo professionals and enthusiasts then you'll need more specialised categories. From the sounds of your interesting review it seems you're focussed on photographers and the zoo's future - perhaps the scoring could reflect the photography aspect a bit more?

    On the map I've linked to a couple of times so far, you would have found that I've listed over 480 zoological collections in the British Isles, although a significant proportion of these aren't true zoos.
     
  19. Zooreviewsuk

    Zooreviewsuk Well-Known Member

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    Hi I've always liked Zoo's and as a West Country lad, I grew up going to Cricket St Thomas, Bristol Zoo, Longleat, Cotswold Wildlife Park, and attractions like that. I've been to Florida and Busch Garden's and Seaworld and gone Shark Swimming in Miami, and caged dived with Great Whites in the Cape. Added that to Safari's and many nature tours of Scotland and the Hebrideans and Orkney's in recent years, I have decided I wanted to see everything that's on offer.

    I do look for that good photo, so obviously that plays a big part in my scoring and I like animal involvement. I've spent two hours laid down in mucky/muddy sand beaches waiting for a Seal to come ashore and get a good picture, as well as camped out at night in the Lomonds to snap Pine Martin's as they hunt for food.

    The reason for two visits is to try and see the Zoos in different seasons and also to give a second chance to some that may have scored lowly on say an off day. I agree very little can change in 6 months but it can also change massively if the scores were dented by certain variants.

    I personally want to do this in the Uk and branch further afield in the future. I was disgusted by Dubai Zoo on holiday a few years ago and was excited about the talk of a massive new zoo out there a few years ago only for it to never happen.

    I think I judge the Zoo's fairly for people looking for a day out, photographers and people who want to have a good time. For me an animal enthusiast would be far better trying to go and view things in the wild but obviously everyone's individual finances would be different in what they can achieve.

    Thank you very much for the Map, it is most helpful.

    Chris
     
  20. sooty mangabey

    sooty mangabey Well-Known Member

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    Dear @Zooreviewsuk, I hope you don't mind my asking, but might it be a good idea to take things a little more slowly? There is a definite naivety to your comments, and some considerable holes in your knowledge, and whilst neither of these is a problem, they do both suggest that you would do well to listen and learn a little before proclaiming your own views in quite so unabashed a fashion. You would, I am sure, garner rather more respect if you took a step back, took a deep breath, and reflected a little as you piled up the posts....
     
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