Cotswold Wildlife Park
Tel: +44 (0)1993 823006
About Cotswold Wildlife Park
Cotswold Wildlife Park is a superb family attraction located in beautiful Burford, Oxon., in a backdrop of rolling hills. With some 160 acres of enticing parkland and sculpted gardens, as well as a listed Victorian Manor House and an impressive menagerie of birds, mammals, reptiles and invertebrates, it makes for the ideal family day out in the country. Just the ticket for rest and relaxation.
Cotswold Wildlife Park was opened to the public in 1970 and is divided into four main sections, each with a team of keepers and conservation and breeding experts. Additionally, the family attraction has numerous picnic areas, a playground and shop.
The Cotswold Wildlife Park East Section lies within the Manor’s Walled Garden, which was originally a kitchen garden that produced vegetables for the estate. Now it comprises enclosure for small mammals and birds, including playful Penguins – worth the ticket alone for twitchers – as well as the Oryx and Llamas that flank the entrance drive.
Amid the old apple trees of the family attraction’s gardens are numerous tropical species of plants, while birds nestle in the Giant Hornbill and Weaver aviaries, and the Tropical House Lemur Enclosure accommodates several species of lemur, plus Ground Cuscus and Madagascan Jumping Rats. Indeed, the standalone Madagascar exhibit at Cotswold Wildlife Park re-creates the fauna of the Island, with five lemur types, Night Herons, Madagascan Teal and Purple Gallinule, as well as Verreaux’s Crowned Sifaka in the bordering enclosures.
Other residents of the Cotswold Wildlife Park East Section include Lappet-faced Vulture, Black Stork and Scheepmaker’s Crowned Pigeon, Squirrel Monkeys, three types of Tamarins, Pygmy Marmoset, Asian Small-Clawed Otter, Prairie Dog, sloth and Mongoose and Meerkat, whose antics always brighten up a family day out for visitors. Ticket holders can feed some mammals and chat with their keepers, adding an extra dimension of fun to the family attraction.
The Cotswold Wildlife Park Tropical House is home to cuddly tree-hanging sloths, Sunbitterns, Speckled Mousebirds, Blue-bellied Rollers, White-eyes and a fine selection of flora. The South Section of the family attraction covers a larger area and larger animals too, not least the big cats, Bactrian camels, Chilean Flamingos, and white Rhino and zebras that share an extensive paddock to the front of the Manor (with the Mongoose opposite).
The feline star of a family day to out to Cotswold Wildlife Park is the Amur Leopard, the most endangered species of big cat, with less than 50 in the wild, alongside a pride of Asiatic Lions. Close to the Reptile House, gibbons and Siamang loiter, while the Bat House is a-flutter with Egyptian Fruit Bats and the Long-eared Hedgehog, while flamingo maraud in the lake opposite.
A breeding pair of Red Panda adjoin the Cotswold Wildlife Park Restaurant, and the nearby owl aviaries harbour the likes of the Great Grey Owl and Burrowing Owl, while other birds of prey include Turkey Vulture and Striated Caracara.
Cotswold Wildlife Park’s West Section takes in the Children’s Farm and its Walk-through, featuring Tapir, White-lipped Peccary and Wolves. The family attraction also showcases native species at the Children’s Farmyard and some animals can be petted while keepers answer questions and inform ticket holders about pet husbandry. Hand washing facilities are located outside the Barn, ensuring a fun and safe family day out. Its walls are festooned with relics of the farming industry of yesteryear, and it shelters rabbits, guinea pigs and pigs, as well as an enclosure for rats and three incubation rooms for newly hatched chicks.
Above and beyond the Pygmy Goat Paddock, the family attraction’s Barn boasts sheep and donkey enclosures, while the South American Walk-through contains the world’s largest rodent species, the Capybara, along with the White-lipped Peccary.
Other West Section creatures include Canadian Timber Wolves in the woods opposite the Lake, Wallabies, Stork, Crane, Emu, Coscoroba Swan and Geese.
Finally, Cotswold Wildlife Park’s Herpetology & Invertebrate Section features the Reptile and Insect Houses, which contain such species as Leaf-cutter Ants and Tarantulas.
The converted stable block that became the Reptile House has the only Morelet’s Crocodiles in the UK, Gaboon Vipers – with the longest fangs in the snake world – and a Reticulated Python – the longest of all snake species – with Barney measuring over 24 feet and still a growing lad! A hair-raising family day out also offers ticket holders the chance to see venomous lizards like the Beaded Lizard, iguana, Asian Water Dragon and the Leopard Gecko. A Tortoise enclosure in front of the Manor has a number of species, the largest being the aged Aldabra. Cotswold Wildlife Park’s amphibian contingent includes Dwarf African Clawed Frog, Green and Black Poison Arrow Frog and Spiny Reed Frog.
Two aquariums near the entrance of the Reptile House harbour several fish species, and the Insect House is populated by everything from Scorpions to Butterflies.
Cotswold Wildlife Park’s Gardens add another dimension to the family attraction, running from ancient Oaks and traditional borders, to prairie and exotic plantings in the micro-climate of the Walled Garden, where bananas and cannas grow. Outside the restaurant, one grand oak has a girth of 7.7 metres and is estimated to be up to 800 years old. Other standouts at the family attraction are a Giant Sequoia on the lawn by the restaurant, and native species that form the backdrop to illustrated talks to groups by the Head Gardener in the Manor House Drawing Room.
Cotswold Wildlife Park additionally offers corporate packages – with Meetings and conferences held in the Drawing Room, looking across to the rhinos and zebras – school tours and groups visits with Cream Tea in the Orangery. With plenty of fine refreshments, parking and disabled access, Cotswold Wildlife Park is a lovely family day out that everyone can enjoy.