Wildlife parks and zoos around the country reopened their gates for the first time in months last week as the government eased its lockdown restrictions.
This move was greeted with much excitement by the venues who could at last welcome back visitors to enjoy a great day out while raising vital funds to cover essential running costs.
However, social distancing measures mean that capacity is limited, with fewer tickets available each day, so online booking for selected time slots essential for anyone wishing to visit.
Some wildlife parks have opted for a phased reopening in order to fully prepare, and have announced dates for this throughout the next month – with details listed below.
The following zoos and wildlife parks opened last week with online bookings now accepted: Birdworld in Surrey, Wildwood in Kent, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, Dudley Zoo West Midlands, Port Lympne and Howletts in Kent, Twycross Zoo in Warwickshire, Chester Zoo and Yorkshire Wildlife Park near Doncaster.
West Midland Safari Park is also open with tickets available for its drive-through safari only, with Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire open to members from 20th to 26th June, followed by the general public from 27th June.
For a chance to see brown bears and wolves living side by side Wild Place Project in Bristol is open to visitors, although sister site Bristol Zoo Gardens remains closed for now – do check back for updates.
Longleat’s drive-through safari is now open, with walk-through animal areas open to annual pass holders from 25th June and the general public from 27th June.
RZSS has just announced that Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park will reopen from Monday 29th June. Folly Farm in Wales and Welsh Mountian Zoo in Colwyn Bay will both welcome visitors from Monday 13th July.
Marwell Zoo, Hampshire will open to members from Monday 29th June and the general public from Friday 3rd July.
Stratford-upon-Avon Butterfly Farm will reopen on Monday 6th July, with 4th and 5th July set aside for season ticket holders.
We plan to add further updates as we get them, so do check back for more details.
Main image – Amur tigers at Marwell Zoo (Credit: Jason Brown)