Reflections and Plans...
As the year begins to draw to a close, it is time to take stock and firm up plans.
Despite nine weeks of continuous rain starting at the end of September making it the wettest autumn anyone can remember in a life-time, we have had a very busy year. Visitor numbers have increased by 16% on 2018 and we have welcomed the arrival of many special new animals as detailed above. It has been something of a roller-coaster year otherwise, but our staff, volunteers and visitors have been continuously supportive, and we are delighted to welcome new members to our team over the year. Our re-vamped Coffee-Shop is working well and should be a great asset for the coming season.
In June next year the Park will have been open for 30 years, and 2020 will be marked by some exciting changes. A re-fit of our original toilet block is a mundane but important project which should be underway by the start of the season.
The first of a series of new animal arrivals are expected in January, continuing the expansion and broadening of our collection. At the moment, the following are planned for 2020:
Mammals - 5 new species due to arrive, and 2 to leave.
Birds - 8+ new species due to arrive, with no planned departures
Reptiles - 10 new species due to arrive, with 1 planned departure
Fish - 12 new species due to arrive
These are all in addition to the usual animal movements between Zoos which are normal for animal management. We hope too, that some of the more popular species at the Park will be moved around into new accommodation over the year. Work will continue to re-vamp the aviaries in the middle bird block, which will be extended to include two new aviaries with indoor houses, for some of the new arrivals.
With so much always planned, winter is a great time of year to invest in a season ticket, which gives a full twelve months of visits for just three times the standard entry fee at the time of purchase. All such tickets are protected from any price rises over the year and the child rate is reduced in the winter when the play area is closed.