There is a good number of animal and bird parks in the Cotswolds and they make a great day out. You may see a new-born lamb, an owl flying overhead or even a crocodile snapping! In the school holidays, there are alot of children around so come in term time to enjoy the beasts, birds and butterflies. So where should we start …
Cotswold Farm Park lets us get up close to the farm animals and see what happens on a working farm. The animals are often happy to come and say hello and you get the change to see lambing, milking or sheep shearing for instance depending on the time of year. Many of the farm animals are rare breeds. And you may get to see Adam Henson from Countryfile as it’s his place!
Cotswold Falconry Centre don’t just have falcons; there are Eagles, Owls, Hawks, Kites and Vultures too. The flying displays each day are unique and last about an hour and mean you get to see the magnificent birds in flight. The Cotswold Falconry Centre is next door to the Batsford Arboretum, about 7 miles from Apple Tree B&B.
For something a bit more exotic we have a crocodile park in the Cotswolds! At Crocodiles of the World, there is a crocodile collection and you can see feeding times for hatchlings and the adult crocodiles, or you could have an animal encounter. Located in Brize Norton, near Burford.
In Bourton-on-the-Water the Birdland Park and Gardens have a wonderful collection of birds including comical penguins, perfectly pink flamingos, parrots and owls plus many others. You can have a close encounter, watch feeding time and visit the Jurassic area too – whilst the dinosaurs may be for the children, it’s a great wildlife area.
Sticking with birds, at Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust at Slimbridge Wetland Centre you can see a great gathering of ducks, geese and all types of wetland birds. Slimbridge was the founding centre for the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust and still sets a high standard. Once you’ve walked through the bird collections, there are viewing points for the wild areas where you can see visiting birds so remember your binoculars.
Within walking distance is the Broadway Gravel Pit Nature Reserve run by the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust. You could see and hear chiffchaff, treecreepers or snipe depending on the time of year you visit. Dragonflies and damselflies enjoy the water and there are over 160 types of plant and more than 150 types of moth have been recorded.
Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens have a wide range of animals, plus insect, reptile and bat houses, and a tropical house. There are daily Lemur talks, and one for the penguins too. And the gardens are worth a look as well.
All Things Wild is located in Honeybourne and the Nature Centre has over 50 species including Monkeys, Meerkats, wallabies, armadillo, and many more. How about an opportunity to hold a Royal Python as an animal encounter. There are walkthroughs and feeding times if holding a Python is a bit too much.
At Broadway Tower, you’ve probably noticed the deer but you can never get as close as you’d like. If you go to a Deer Encounter, you can get up real close. This picture is from a recent event and its wonderful to see them within arms length. Keep an eye on Broadway Tower’s website for the next Deer Encounter. You do need to book as numbers are limited.
And I said butterflies, didn’t I? How about visiting the Stratford Butterfly Farm. Located in Stratford-upon-Avon, a great all-weather place to visit. Enjoy the tropical atmosphere with the exotic butterflies all around you.
Please check opening dates and times before visiting. All these fabulous places to visit are within easy driving distance of Apple Tree Bed and Breakfast.