Meet our animals.

We have lots of animals to see in the park. We have traditional farm animals to see as well as a small collection of non-native species which make up our zoo collection. Here’s a selection of our favourites.

 

Sheldon the tortoise

Sheldon is a Sulcata tortoise. He usually makes an appearance in the afternoons when he’s fully warmed up!

What he eats

The main diet of the Sulcata tortoise in their native Africa consists of grasses and succulent plants. Sheldon eats a surprising amount of grass every day!

How he lives

Sulcata tortoises are well adapted to the dry arid conditions of the desert and can tolerate temperatures up to 40 degrees. This is why Sheldon has a heated house to live in, but you’d be surprised how often he comes out to graze.

Fab facts

Sulcata’s are voracious eaters and look for food all day long. Sheldon has very strong legs to carry the extra weight of his shell and help him dig burrows. He was diagnosed with a shell deficiency a number of years ago but special scans showed that new shell has been growing underneath. So parts of his shell may not look great but we have been advised it is better to leave him as he is otherwise healthy!

Ethel & the hens

They are a mix of rare breeds, from Silkies to Bantams.

What they eat

Hens love to scratch peck and poke at the ground. They are called omnivores which mean they can eat anything. They love to eat the worms and insects they find in the soil – they will also eat seeds and vegetables too.

How they live

Our hens are creatures of habit. They wake up at sunrise and always go to bed before dark. Our hens are quite adventurous and love to roam around their grassy paddock looking for food. They have a favourite spot under the little oak tree. 

Fab facts

Egg laying season is March to October which follows the patterns of daylight. They sometimes make a loud shrieking noise when they’re laying an egg! Ethel is the small white one, not all have names but Ethel is quite special!

Ginger & the Alpacas

Ginger Monty & Woody are the best of friends and have been here since we opened back in 2007.

Where they come from

Alpacas are a domesticated species of South American Camelid. They look like a small llama.

How they live

They are very social animals and kept in herds. In their native setting they roam the foothills of the Andes, grazing on grasses. They can graze up to 5000 metres above sea level!

Fab facts

They are covered in “fibre” not wool. We shear them once a year and their fibre goes towards making beautiful clothes and garments which can be quite expensive! Their fibre is hypoallergenic which is ideal for people with allergies.

Do Alpacas spit? Yes they do but its only if we get too close to them. If we give them a bit of space they are usually very friendly!

Sergei and the meerkat mob

What they eat

Meerkats are insectivores and their favourite foods are crickets and mealworms but they also like eggs, vegetables and sometimes fruit. They love to play and dig for treats in the sand!

Where they come from

Meerkats are part of the Mongoose family and they originate from the Kalahari desert and Namibia too. They are small burrowing animals which live in large underground networks. They are very social animals.

Fab facts

Meerkats love to play and are quite competitive. At feeding time one will stand guard while the others feed. They are always looking up to the sky for predators. You might see ours standing up “sunbathing” – they stand against the wall and soak up the suns rays on their tummies!

Stinkerbell & Rascal the skunks

These two are quite shy – you may not see them all the time as they like to sleep in the day and play at night!

Where they come from

They can be found in woodlands and grasslands across America, they live in dens which they make from fallen trees and logs. They love to eat lizards, berries, grasses and earthworms.

How they live

They are nocturnal mammals and they love to burrow in the ground! At night they are so active, running around, playing and eating, They have much less energy in the day time and can be found snuggled up in a hole.

Fab facts

These two girls can spray a strong odour when they are scared. If you’ve never smelled it, its like burnt rubber and it hangs in the air for weeks!

Lancelot & the red deer

We have recently enlarged their enclosure so that they can roam a much wider area.

History

According to fossil records, Red deer have been around for almost 12 million years! They are one of the largest species of deer in the world, the males are called “stags” and the females are called “hinds”.

How they live

Red deer are originally forest dwelling animals but can also be found on the moorlands of Scotland. They can be quite timid but they feel much more confident when they have a stag in their group. They like to browse on grass, moss and young shoots.

Fab Facts

The stags have “antlers” on their heads. They use them to express their dominance during the breeding season. Sometimes they have to fight with them. Antlers drop off each year around May, at which time the stag loses his position as the boss! He will grow another set after the summer as the breeding season starts again.

Summer & Bethany the donkeys

These two have big personalities. One is big, the other small but they are the perfect pair of friends!

About

Donkeys are extremely friendly and hardworking animals. Traditionally they were used to carry heavy loads and worked long hours. Donkeys are very sensitive animals and can feel deep emotions if not treated well.

What they eat

Donkeys are herbivores and they mainly eat grass. Their stomachs are not made to take lots of rich food so we have to be careful with their diet- the simpler the better. Of course they will always tell you they’re hungry when you hear the Eeeyoring sound!

Fab facts

Donkeys have incredible hearing and can hear other donkeys up to 20 miles away – thats why they have such big ears!. They develop strong attachments to their mate and some people too. In fact they will always remember if you’re not nice to them!

Cookie & the Goat herd

A cheeky group of goats who love to climb their big tower!

 

About

Goats were the first animals to be domesticated by man in 10,000 BC. Today there are approx 450 million goats around the world! They are usually kept as herd animals and used for their milk or meat.

How they live

Goats are herbivores meaning they mainly eat grass.They love to eat mosses and plants on the side of mountains. In fact they are so inquisitive they will try and have a go at most things- they love to chew! They are so well adapted to climbing which is why we have put in a large climbing frame for them,

Fab facts

Have you seen a goats eyes? They have a slit shaped pupil, meaning they have a wider field of vision in which to spot predators creeping up on them. 

Merlin, Storm & Sapphire

Snowy owls are majestic and beautiful.

About

They are one of the largest and heaviest species of owl. With their thick white plumage and taloned feet, they are perfectly well adapted to life North of the Arctic Circle. Our owls came from a domestic residence and were bred in captivity.

How the live

In the wild, they nestle into rocks on the side of mountains. They feast on a variety of small mammals such as lemmings and other rodents. They are perfectly camouflaged in the snow and tend to dwell on the ground more than flying.

Fab facts

During the summer months you will find feathers floating in the air – this is when they go through the moult. The males often make a high pitched shrieking sound when they are protecting their females!

Our Sheep & Lambs

We have a small flock of mixed rare breed sheep from Dorsets to Jacobs and they have lambs every spring.

About

Domestic sheep are hardy animals and usually live outside most of the year. This is due to their oily, waterproof coat of wool so they are not bothered by the rain. We tend to bring ours in during lambing season in case the lambs get cold. They graze on grass, clover and other pasture plants. A male sheep is called a Ram, a female sheep is called a Ewe. There are over 1 billion sheep in the world today!

Our Raccoons

They live happily in a tree – if you look up you’ll see them.

How they live

Raccoons are social animals originating from North America. They are amazing foragers and best known for raiding bins and food stores!  A group of Raccoons is called a “gaze”. Our Raccoons are very active at night and prefer to sleep in the daytime which is why you might just see big fluffy shapes in the tree when you visit!

What they eat

They love to grab fish and eggs with their lightning quick paws, they also love frogs and mice and anything else they can grab along the way. They tend to be very quiet in the day, only really getting active in the darker hours.

Kune Kune Pigs

We have a number of pigs on the farm, the main two girls are Kim and Khloe and we have a variety of piglets in the spring months.

About

Kune Kune means “fat and round” in Maori. These pigs originated from New Zealand and are quite small compared to commercial British pigs. They make a perfect family pet due to their really friendly nature and size.

What they eat

Pigs thrive on a diet of fresh vegetation and grasses. Its very important to keep pigs healthy by not overfeeding them, they cant tell when they’re full so we have to be careful with what they eat. A male is called a “Boar” and a female is called a “Sow”. She can have up to 12 piglets in one litter.

Fab facts

Kune Kune’s have little tassles hanging from their chins. They are called “Piri Piri”, people are not quite sure why they have them. Maybe they’re for swatting flies?

Chubbles & Friends

We have a small number of Rabbits which were living in the barns last year so most visitors didn’t get to see them. They now have an outdoor run in the farm park for visitors to see them again!

Our herd of Cows

You will get to see our  cows on the tractor ride which leaves from the top of the hill.

 

About

We have a small herd of mixed breed British cattle- did you know that in the UK and Ireland there are 22 different breeds of cattle, all bred for different purposes? Some for milk, some for meat, some once for pulling ploughs and carts!

We have more animals in the park too!