Joanna Lovell visits Woodside Wildlife Park, Newball, Lincoln
THEY SAY: A fun-packed day visitor attraction for everyone from toddlers to grandmas. We have tigers, white wolves, meercats, lemurs and birds of prey. A hands on, family orientated day out.
WE SAY: BEING able to hold a snake, stroke an owl and touch a bearded dragon were the highlights of the day for my son Oliver at Woodside Wildlife and Falconry Centre.
I’ll be honest. The reason for an outing on a cold February weekend was “partly” to do with the fact we had the dreaded pre-school bear staying at our house and I didn’t think writing about village life was exciting enough. It’s typical we got it on the wettest, coldest weekend of the year so far when we had no plans. Couldn’t have come when we were off on holiday, or one of our hundreds of days out!
Anyway, we do love getting out the house and even though a picture of my daughter with said bear at a wildlife park in Lincoln may not quite compare to the family who had it before us and their Caribbean trip – it was better than the local park.
The ethos at the friendly wildlife park is to get children to be hands on and learn about the animals, as well as watching them in their habitats and that’s exactly what my children love.
It’s a fairly small wildlife park, but it’s home to more than 50 different species of animals including reptiles, birds of prey, monkeys, lemurs, wolves, tigers and even a sloth.
Despite it being winter when we visited, there was a talk or show on every hour with everything from meet the lemurs to wolf feeding and the owl talk.
The first one we went to was the reptile handling in the large barn – where, after the talk, the children were given the chance to meet the reptiles and hold them.
The friendly staff took the time with each child to talk about them and tell them where they live, what they eat and what they are like.
Next, we went to the white wolf feeding and, after learning about the animals, we watched them scoff large pieces of meat.
It was really interesting to learn more about the animals and the staff made each talk engaging and fun.
We also went to the owl talk to meet the owls and, I believe, in summer, there’s also flying shows.
Oliver, five, was really interested to learn the reason owls can turn their heads around so far and also learn why they have silent flight.
There’s also an indoor tropical house filled with free roaming birds and mammals.
We saw fish and bats and even the rats had their own kitchen to live in.
The butterfly room (open from March) also houses numerous species of tropical butterfly.
There’s a café with indoor and outdoor seating, but if you want to take a picnic, there are picnic benches outside and also an indoor picnic room.
On site there’s also a gift shop and a playground area with slides, huge wooden climbing frames and swings.
It’s all very accessible with paths all the way around.
Woodside Wildlife Park also holds birthday parties, which include three shows and a tea party.
The park also hosts experience days, where you can experience the thrills of a free-flying hawk landing on your gloved hand, feed a tiger or have a meerkat sit on your knee.
We spent just over four hours there last weekend, but will definitely return in the summer when the sand area is also open and ice creams are on sale.
- Last visited January 2016
Location, times, prices, facilities and weblink
LOCATION: Newball, Near Langworth, Lincoln, LN3 5DQ
OPEN: Seven days a week. Only closed on Christmas Day.
- Indoor and outdoor picnic areas
PRICES: Adults £9.95. Children £8.45. Family ticket for four £35. Under-twos enter free.
CALL: 01522 754280