|Cotswold Wildlife Park|
The thumbnails below are linked to larger pictures
Bradwell Grove the listed Manor house at the centre of the Park celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2004. It was 1804 when the then owner William Hervey demolished the existing Jacobean house and erected the present building in the fashionable Georgian Gothic style. In 1923 the house and estate were purchased by Colonel Heyworth-Savage and on his death in 1949 passed to his grandson John Heyworth the current owner.
The Cotswold Wildlife Park was created in 1970 by John Heyworth and now covers 160 acres of the original 3000 acre Bradwell grove estate. The Wildlife Park was created to breath new life into the house and estate and also to indulge John Heyworth's love of nature and animals. Now 35 years later the park has become home to one of the UK's most respected zoological collections together with the creation of highly acclaimed gardens and exotic planting.
The Park is home to a fascinating and varied collection of mammals, birds, reptiles and invertebrates from all over the world, including White Rhino, Asiatic Lions, leopards and primates. Many are designated as threatened or endangered and animals are exchanged with other collections worldwide to further breeding programmes of conservation importance.
The Walled Garden (originally the Kitchen garden) is acclaimed for its colourful exotic planting and the popular collections of small mammals including Meercats, Ruffed lemurs, Squirrel Monkeys and Marmosets. In addition Penguins, an Aviary and a Tropical House can also be found, making this one of the most visited attractions at the Park.
To satisfy children's needs to approach animals at close quarters and perhaps stroke them, the Children's farmyard contains many breeds of domestic mammals and birds familiar with human contact.
Personally I found the park had achieved a good balance of interesting animals, many in spacious enclosures with minimum fencing, set in pleasant landscaped grounds with some exotic and well maintained gardens.
The park can be found off the A40 close to Burford in the Cotswolds.