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“Good play area”

New Forest Wildlife Park
Ranked #1 of 3 things to do in Ashurst
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Enjoy the amazing animals at this beautiful park, in the leafy New Forest, with its fabulous adventure playgrounds. Follow the woodland trails to see wallaby, European bison, wolves, wild boar, Scottish wildcats, lynx, foxes, pine marten, polecats, owls and ferrets. Meet the friendly deer and say hi to the playful otters, including the endangered giant otter. Feeding sessions, keeper talks and special events year round. Amazing playgrounds for under 6's and from 6yrs to 86yrs!!!
Ipswich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
84 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Good play area”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 May 2014

The main reason I didn't give this wildlife park a higher rating is because, I feel the cages the animals were in were all very small, and some of the animals seemed to be going slightly mad from the small area they were kept in.
The kids play areas however were very good, the under 6 play area was great with a sand pit and different toys to slide on and climb over.
The over 6 year olds play area was also very good, with a zip wire, and many different swings and rope swings.
Not really worth the trip, unless you are happy to pay for the play areas.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Amy K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carol H, Owner at New Forest Wildlife Park, responded to this review, 2 June 2014
Yes the play areas are good and thank you for mentioning them

I must reassure you none of our enclosures are too small all are larger than the recommended sizes for the species within. None of the animals are going mad that is totally incorrect - we have had successful breeding year with pine marten kits (always considered hard to breed in captivity unless they are happy) otter cubs and fawns.

If you wish to discuss this further with the Animal Manager please email the centre.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
40 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Oh go!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 May 2014

This small but fascinating wildlife park has so many interesting species to look and marvel at - whether it is the different types of otters or the collection of owls or the linx or wolves not to mention many other domestic species such as scottish wild cats and more foreign animals - it is a fantastic and very well kept and cared for collection. Whatever age you are - if you appreciate wildlife you will enjoy your visit and whatever the weather. Go see.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank johnrichardyoung
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carol H, Owner at New Forest Wildlife Park, responded to this review, 2 June 2014
Yes the play areas are good and thank you for mentioning them

I must reassure you none of our enclosures are too small all are larger than the recommended sizes for the species within. None of the animals are going mad that is totally incorrect - we have had successful breeding year with pine marten kits (always considered hard to breed in captivity unless they are happy) otter cubs and fawns.

If you wish to discuss this further with the Animal Manager please email the centre.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guildford
Level Contributor
82 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Some highlights, but some sad animals too.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 May 2014

Not having been to a British wildlife park for quite a while, we popped in here on our visit to the New Forest.

The price of £21 seemed quite expensive for 2 adults, but the reviews here made us think it was worth it.

The first section is a large number of cages with various owls in them. Now as far as we could see, the owls simply spend all day perched on barren treestumps with not much else to do. Owls are pretty intelligent large birds and seeing them just sit there for hours on end was a little sad.

The next area was the butterfly house which did have some amazing butterflies in it, although the smell of rotten fruit in places was a little unpleasant, I assume butterflies prefer mouldy over fresh fruit?

The next section was an indoor area full of waterfalls and ponds but no animals, as unfortunately all of the otters had decided to be elsewhere. The small lit cases with harvest mice in were cute, but again, why was their fruit mouldy?

After this section there was a night barn with some sleeping animals, obviously we don't expect nocturnal animals to be awake in the day, but it isn't a great spectacle.

We then headed around to an outdoor section and found 5 of the missing otters, However rather than playing, enjoying the sun or anything else, the otters spent the 10 mins we were watching them scrabbling madly in the bark trimmings at the edge of their cage. They were quite manic in what they were doing with 2 or 3 of them putting both paws and faces through the metal meshing at the edge of the enclosure. This did not seem a natural thing to be doing. I assumed they normally get fed by having their food placed under the bark chips for them to find, and they were hungry?

The water voles seemed quite happy however, and they were a highlight of the walk. We then headed across the second of the children's play areas (this one bigger than the other) and into a very sorry looking deer area. Two children had walked into the area and were aggressively stroking a sleeping deer as their father watched on without a staff member in sight while one of the other deer hobbled away.

More owls were here in cages, and strangely the smallest owl had the largest cage which looked a lot happier.

We then headed up to the Pine Martin which seemed to have the repetitive behaviour of an non mentally stimulated creature constantly walking back and forth across the same part of it's cage. It did this for the whole 5 minutes were were in this area and was a sad sight.

The Giant Otters were much happier however and had a good time running about and swimming.

We then walked around to the Buffalo (or were they Bison) all sadly sitting down in a smallish enclosure (for their size) in a field of mud. It's understandable they ruin wherever they stay, which is why in the wild they would have roamed a prairie instead of staying in one VERY muddy field.. We watched the Lynxes (is that the plural of Lynx?) being fed, one tossed the meat and jumped around, while the other seemed bored and walked off without eating.

The wild boars ran around quite happily but seemed to always stop right next to the electric fence staring into the undergrowth just out of reach.

The Wallabies were happy enough, but the wolves looked rather bored, constantly trying to go to the part of their enclosure away from most of the people and the constantly banging gate.

As with a previous reviewer, i was a little sad at the state of some of the pens (Although the winter has been very wet and the lack of things for some of the birds and creatures to do. The children's play area has definitely had the most money spent on it compared to the Bison or Owls for example.

Hopefully most people just wander around and think 'Aww, look, how cute' and enjoy it more than we did.

Perhaps some creatures just exhibit behaviour which seems happier than others.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Gothnak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Farnborough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great place to visit”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 May 2014

Visited on Sunday 25th May and have previously visited on one occasion a few months ago.
Our party of five adults absolutely loved it. Nicely laid out and a very pleasant way to spend two or three hours, particularly if you like to watch the otters! Educational as well - the Keepers are very informative about their animals and are happy to answer any questions.
I would thoroughly recommended a visit for all ages.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Patrick B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Etten-Leur, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Interesting”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 May 2014

The NFWP does not have a big collection of animals, but what they have is well tended and nicely presented.
The park is beautifully integrated in the New Forest itself.
Well worth a visit!

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Paul M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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