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New Forest Wildlife Park

Address: New Forest Wildlife Park, Deerleap Lane, Nr Ashurst, Southampton, SO40 4UH

On Thusday 4th May 2023, I was contacted by Mr Ed Heap, the General Manager of New Forest Wildlife Park, and Battersea Childrens Zoo, and I was asked to remove the zoos logo from my website, with Mr Heap stating I did not have his or the zoos permission to use their intellectual property. I have subsequently emailed Mr Heap, asking for clarification of whether I can display the Park Map. Opening Times, Entry Costs and Eatery information for the park, as well as any other useful information for those wishing to visit the collection. Hopefully the zoo will allow this, but until I receive confirmation, I am not willing to provide details on the page, as it is never nice to feel under the threat of legal action, when all you are trying to do is help promote the good that zoos and wildlife parks are doing.

History & Review

I can't really review the zoo as a day out, as I have never visited the zoo as a member of the

general public. The only time I have visited the New Forest Wildlife Park was in Setember 2022 when I took part in a Keeper For A Day, Gold Experience. The review of that, can be found below.

However, New Forest is very much a collection I would have liked to have worked with. When I started visiting zoos in the spring of 2017, I was living in Lancashire, and one of my favourite places to visit was always The Chestnut Centre, which was in Chapel-En-Le-Frith. The centre closed at the end of 2017, but during that year, I must have spent 10 or 12 days visiting the Chestnut Centre. I loved how it was native wildlife themed and for me there is no greater importance than native wildlife and I feel we should be doing a lot more. It was also at a time when my battles with depression started hitting the roof, so in many ways, the place was somewhat a sanctuary for me and somewhere I could just be happy. I was very sad to see it close when it did. From the Chestnut Centre, a number of the animals moved to the New Forest Wildlife Park, which is owned by the same people who owned and ran the Chestnut Centre.

There are a few places in the UK which specialise in native wildlife, and that is something which is very much key to me, definitely a big part of my outlook in life and one of my main passions, so I have to say that New Forest would have been one of the most ideal places for myself and Zoo Trips to support and would be a place I would love to be working with to spread the awareness of native wildlife and what we can do to help it. For me, it is therefore quite a great shame, that they would appear not to want to be highlighted on my website and so forth or work with me in a way that would support the part and conservation projects I am passionate about.

Zookeeper For A Day - Gold Package

On Wednesday 21st September 2022, (I had been booked for Monday 19th September, but this happened to be the date of Queen Elizabeth II funeral, so it was moved back a couple of days) I visited New Forest Wildlife Park and took part in a Gold Package Keeper Experience which lasts for three hours and costs £165.00. If you are an annual member of the park, you get a 10% discount. The package includes a return ticket to visit the zoo (this was valid for a period of time, but I never got around to using it), 50% off an animal adoption (again, I never got around to using this), A Souvenir T-Shirt, Certificate and a snack and drink which you could redeem from the parks cafe.

My experience took place from 10.15am to 1.15pm, to which I had the remainder of the day to look around the rest of the park.

When booking the experience, you are asked for two animals that you would have an interest in working with, to which I selected the Giant Otters & Pine Marten.

I wasn't too sure what to expect from the experience, but I had hoped it would involve more than two animals truth be told, but I went into it open minded, and I was pleasantly surprised I must say.

I met up with the first of two keepers for the day, and she gave me a little tour of the keeper area and vet room, before we headed to the keeper kitchen to prepare food for some of the animals.

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