The Animal Centre
The Animal Centre is based in the East Woods and can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. The relaxed and welcoming atmosphere gives them the opportunity to see animals well cared for in a happy environment. Visitors can have hands-on, supervised contact with some of the animals, providing an enjoyable and educational visit.
The poultry section has numerous colourful and eye-catching breeds, housed in poultry arks and the breeds are changed frequently. There are also waterfowl, ducks and geese.
In the paddock, you will find unusual sheep breeds; the variations in size, shape and colour of the different breeds all in one paddock make a fascinating contrast. Alice, the donkey, is a great favourite and enjoys a chat with visitors, as do Beebee and Lily, the two British alpine goats!
We have two rare breed piglets that change each year at the end of the season as they are sold locally for breeding. Keep an eye out on our Facebook page for a naming competition!
Inside the Animal Centre there are pet lambs and small animals, such as rabbits. In the first half of the season, children can help to bottle feed the lambs and this has been found to be one of the highlights of schoolchildren's visits. Daisy, the wooden cow, is used by both adults and children to try their hand at milking.
There is an incubator on display and a brooder with newly hatched chicks. This is very popular with young and old visitors who delight in having hands-on contact with a chick. Visitors also marvel when an egg is 'candled' and they can see the chick at various stages.
Safety and hygiene are of paramount importance; all the animals are given regular health checks. Naturally, all animals carry a range of micro-organisms some of which can be transmitted to humans. While the hazard from infection is real, the risks are low and readily controlled by everyday common sense measures that will make the visit safe.
Visitors are asked not to take dogs to the animal centre.