On Saturday, we had the pleasure of going to visit Shepreth Wildlife Park. It’s about an hour’s drive from us and it just outside Cambridge, off the M11. I’d actually first heard of it on Something Special, the Makaton signing show for children on cBeebies I’ve been meaning to go for a couple of years. But for one reason or another, we just haven’t. Until Saturday..
It was their Red Panda day, they were trying to raise money for the critically endangered Red Panda who’s numbers are seriously declining in the wild. If you’ve ever seen a Red Panda, then I’m sure you’ll agree that they’re super cute! I’ve only ever seen one at Banham Zoo and it was amazing. They had all sorts going on to raise money, including raffle, face painting, a magician and talks about the Red Panda. You could also buy specific merchandise and the proceeds would go towards the cause.
We arrived at the park at about 11.30am. I’d wanted to arrive a bit earlier to see what was going on and go to the talks and demonstrations but life with children never goes to plan, does it? After going through the gift shop to the entrance, we were greeted by a woman selling raffle tickets. I love raffles and as the money was going towards their charity, I was quite happy to part with cash (although we didn’t win anything!)
It’s not a particularly large zoo so we didn’t follow the map, we just wandered. First, we came to some owls and the red panda enclosure. They were sleeping so we didn’t get to see any unfortunately. As were the raccoons! We did go back later in the day to see if they were active but they were still hiding. “Bunnyland” was next, it was just a grassy walkway with rabbits roaming free. We also did the bat walkthrough tunnel which I wasn’t too keen on!
Donkeys, lemurs, monkeys, lynx and maned wolves were also out in their enclosures. The tiger’s was the most impressive though. There was a raised platform looking over the enclosure so you could see the tiger. It was asleep the first time but when we went back, it was pacing and trying to get meat out of a cardboard box. It was pretty impressive actually, whenever I’ve seen tigers at other zoos, especially London Zoo, they’ve always been sleeping or lurking in the foliage and really hard to see.
Then it started to rain. I don’t just mean lightly, it rained pretty heavily for the rest of the day. Luckily we’d managed to eat our picnic before the heavens opened. Because of the rain, we spent our time sheltering and didn’t make it to any of the talks or demonstrations which I was gutted about. I really wanted to learn more about the red panda cause and what I could do to help.
And of course, no zoo trip is complete without a train ride. The train was just a simple circular circuit in the alpaca, pony and prairie dog enclosure but we went around 3 times. Henry loved it. The train was used as a bribe for most of the day..it didn’t really work because we’d already paid for our tickets from the gift shop when we arrived.
Check out our video of the day here and see a species I haven’t mentioned above..a sulking toddler!
It’s definitely worth a visit if you live nearby. It’s a small zoo but I actually prefer smaller zoos. I feel they do a lot of work for conservation and you can see more of the animals because they don’t get as busy as the “mainstream” zoos. It was a really nice day, even with the rain.
Disclaimer; we were invited to attend this zoo free of charge for an honest blog review. All of the views and opinions expressed in this post are mine and I haven’t been influenced in any way, nor have I been told what to write.