“ Long Sutton, Spalding, Lincs, PE12 9LE. Tel: 01406 363833. „
On mother's day this year I wanted to do something different and spend my first mother's day doing something memorable. After receiving our local paper I saw an advert for a Wildlife and Butterfly Park in Long Sutton offering all mothers a free cup of tea and owl handling. Knowing that it was local and it was something we all could enjoy I decided we should make the trip.
*~* What is it *~*
The Wildlife and Butterfly Park is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin so to speak! The park has a heated tropical house complete with various other animals and reptiles but it also has an animal park which features various types of birds, sheep, cattle and ponies to name just a few! There is also a small adventure playground for children and a small picnic area. There is also a wonderful herb and flower garden but for those wanting a quieter visit there is also a lovely orchard where you can stroll around.
*~* Tropical House *~*
The Tropical House is directly opposite the main car park and adventure playground and you enter it through the gift shop. Everything is very well signposted so you know where you are going at all times. It has been landscaped to resemble a tropical paradise with plenty of water features running along side the curved paths and foot bridges.
Within the Tropical House are hundreds of gorgeously coloured butterflies amongst exotic plants and trees. Within the trees there are plenty of feeding stations where you can see the butterflies and birds feeding. There is also a resident tortoise which strolls along the paths (with a 'do not touch' sign on his shell!) but he isn't the only other visitor as there is a crocodile (a Caiman) in a tank (too small for my liking) and many terrapins who have a decent sized pool.
For those who like insects there are a colony of ants in the 'insect room' which is entered via the Tropical House'. They are joined by a selection of spiders, snakes, millipedes and scorpions. Not my thing but well worth looking at. As you leave the Tropical House there is an area for the reptiles where you will find iguanas, water and bearded dragons together with snakes.
At certain times of the day you can have the chance to hold a reptile, snake or spider. They are handled by a zoologist before being handed to you so it is all done safely. I handled a bearded dragon who was incredibly placid and tame but I was very glad to see him go back into his tank! To find out these times there is normally a large blackboard just outside of the gift shop.
*~* Birds of Prey *~*
As you make your way towards the gift shop, café and Tropical House you are met by a variety of birds of prey either hooked up to their posts in little shelters or in large metal cages which align the pathways. You immediately notice the large American Bald Eagle who stands very proudly on her perch - Liberty as she is known stands central in the enclosure and is surrounded by various other breeds of birds of prey. Each bird has a name and a little info of the breed which I do find incredibly useful. For those that like birds of prey there are demonstrations throughout the day.
In the cages surrounding the birds of prey are owls which are absolutely gorgeous and again they each have a name plaque and a little info about the breed. If you don't like caged birds then this may not be the best attraction for you to visit but they are very well looked after, cages are very clean and are fed well and they seem like content birds. They do owl handling at certain times of the day which costs £2 and you can get to hold an owl for a few minutes.
*~* Animals *~*
The park is home to a selection of various breeds of sheep, llamas, water buffalo, emu, birds such as pheasant and pedigree chickens as well as lovely little Shetland pony. There is animal feed available to purchase where you can feed the animals - the sheep in particular are the easiest to feed! All enclosures are a decent size which are all very well cared for and kept very clean.
*~* Gardens *~*
As I said previously there is a herb, flower and bee garden together with an orchard which are easily accessible by a pathway so anyone can go round the gardens. Those who like vegetables you will find a well cared for vegetable garden too. The gardens are not overly large but are a decent size to enable you to look at everything.
*~* Amenities *~*
The gift shop is located within the main area where the Tropical House is. They sell a variety of animal related products from pens and pencils to feathers from the birds of prey which have fallen out. The gift shop isn't huge but they certainly have a wide variety of stock which will appeal to everyone. Outside the gift shop is a blackboard with a schedule of the day's events it is also here where you can purchase your ticket for the owl handling.
There is a tea room which is actually quite large in size. As you would expect there is a small selection of cakes and, soups, jacket potatoes sandwiches together with drinks such as tea, coffee and a selection of soft drinks. As we went on mothers day we had a voucher for a free cup of tea which was a nice little touch. Adjacent to the tea room are the toilet facilities which are nice and clean both the tea room and toilets can easily accommodate wheelchair users.
There is a picnic site located in the adventure playground but there is also a covered picnic site located by the aviary so if you do get bad weather then you can take cover to eat your lunch.
*~* Admission Prices & Openings *~*
For 2011 the prices are:-
Adult - £8.50 (season ticket £30.00)
Child - £6.50 (season ticket £20.00) - under 3s are free
OAPs - £7.50 (season ticket £20.00)
Family (2+2) - £27.00
19th Feb - 27th Feb 10.00am - 4.00pm
2nd April - 30th Oct 10.00am - 5.00pm
*~* Where the park is *~*
The Butterfly and Wildlife Park is located in a village called Long Sutton near Spalding in the county of Lincolnshire. It can be easily accessed by using the A17 which is near many holiday destinations such as Skegness, Hunstanton and the Norfolk Broads. Long Sutton is near to Spalding, Peterborough, Kings Lynn to name a few. We came from Spalding and the park was very well signposted and it certainly was not hard to find.
The Butterfly and Wildlife Park
Tel: 01406 363833
*~* Anything Else *~*
There is plenty of parking for cars and this is all well signposted as to where you can park. Most of which is on grass. For disabled drivers there is designated parking on gravel and grass just a short distance away from the main entrance to the Tropical House. Coach parties also have their own parking area and again it is all well signposted.
*~* Overall *~*
We had a lovely day and fortunately the weather was great which made walking around a lot more pleasant especially as most of the outdoor areas are grass so you may have to think about your choice of footwear before you go! I really liked to see that everything was clean, there was no litter it was as clean as a wildlife park could be. All enclosures and cages were very clean and you regularly saw staff cleaning and attending to enclosures and the animals themselves.
For the admission price I was expecting a little more as the main attraction, The Tropical House, was a bit small I thought but then comparing it to the butterfly attraction in Stratford upon Avon I was probably being a little harsh in my judgement as there is still plenty to see and with everything nowadays prices have been hiked up.
All in all our trip lasted a little over 2 hours and we did stop and have a cup of tea and do the owl handling which I didn't think was a bad length of time to see everything properly and walk around the entire site I just can't help thinking there should have been more to see. It seems to be more of an animal park rather than a wildlife park as you are expecting some animal a bit more exotic than pygmy goats!
However, we had a good day out which was enjoyed by all of us and there was still plenty to see and as this is on our doorstep I can't complain. Would I recommend it? Well yes I would, if you are in the area then do pay a visit as they do have events throughout the year and it is an enjoyable place to go just don't expect tigers or zebras!
NAME OF LOCATION: Long Sutton Wildlife and Butterfly Park, off the A17 in Lincolnshire, a short distance from Gedney.
BACKGROUND: My boyfriend Robert and I wanted to go on holiday with his best mate Richard and his girlfriend Michelle so we collected tokens from my parents Daily Express for their holiday offer. We then decided we needed a stop off en-route to Gt Yarmouth and this attraction was just over the 2 hour marker from home.
I typed the postcode (PE12 9LE) for this attraction into the AA and RAC route finder websites and got very explicit directions on how to get there.
Bird of prey centre, where for a charge of £2 you can have your photograph taken with certain owls the proceeds go to the upkeep of the birds. Displays of birds flying are held twice daily during the summer and at 2pm in low season.
Adventure playground with sliding swing, which is suitable for adults to try out too. Activities included a wooden castle, with slides, stairs, rope ladders, fireman's pole and tubes to crawl through, and tyre, balance and rope activities suitable for young or old. My boyfriend and his mate (both in their 30s had plenty of fun trying these out), although if a child wanted them, they let them go first, which I was proud of them for.
Animal centre set over several fields and areas with animals including llamas, pot bellied pigs, water buffalo, sheep, goats, Shetland ponies, guinea pigs, and lots more.
Tropical house, which includes
· An Ant room where you can see ants collecting leaf cuttings and walking along a rope to their home with their food on their backs. Some may find this a little creepy and if you dont like insects you may feel that they will crawl all over you, but they dont seem to be bothered by anyone.
· Insectarium, where you can see giant millipedes, snails, and butterfly pupae,
· Reptiles such as Water Dragons, Crocodiles, Snakes, Lizards and Frogs
· Butterflies and birds flying around you and feeding on fruit and flora set out for them. Birds include quail, macaw, parakeet and doves. If you are lucky you may see them mating, flying, or even have them settle on your clothing or fingers, especially the butterflies.
· Fish ponds which house koi carp, goldfish and some even have turtles or tortoises in them.
Wildflower walks are also available.
Crazy golf and ride on tractors were available for an additional charge, as well as a childrens play area (free to use) and although we didnt have any children with us, we did utilise these adventure play ground facilities.
There was a tearoom, gift shop, and decent toilet block on site.
TRANSPORT: We used our own cars to travel down to Great Yarmouth and there was a decent sized car park (on grass) near to the Bird of Prey display arena.
2006 OPENING TIMES: March 18-July 2nd 10am to 5pm, July 3rd-September 10th 10am to 5.30pm and September 11th to October 29th 10am to 4pm. Note last admission is 1 hour before closing times.
PRICE: It cost £5.70 per person for entry to the wildlife park, which included entry to the butterfly area, birds of prey centre, insectarium, adventure playground, and animal enclosures.
OAPs are charged £5.20 and children aged 3-16 are charged £4.20 and family tickets are available 2 adults, 2 children is £18 and 2 adults 3 children is £21. All additional children are charged at £3 each. There are season tickets available and group rates available on request.
1. Very helpful staff
2. Great bird of prey display with interesting talk by the falconer.
3. Excellent adventure playground
1. Slippery when wet as mainly on grass paths are not gravelled or tarmac, so take care and wear sensible shoes.
2. Car park can get waterlogged and may be difficult to get on/off in inclement weather.
Go home and plan where to go next year!
MORE INFORMATION FROM
Long Sutton Butterfly and Wildlife Park (Tel 01406 363833 Fax 01406 363182). Website - www.buterflyandwildlifepark.co.uk
Directions: Follow brown signs from A17 nr A101, if coming from Boston before Sutton Bridge and after Gedney, and if coming from Kings Lynn after Sutton Bridge and before Gedney
This Butterfly and wild life park is set in the lovely countryside of Lincolnshire and well worth a visit. There is so much to see and do and adults will enjoy it just as much as the children. It is a quality assured visitor attraction. Out doors there are fifteen acres of fun and enjoyment, they have a birds of prey centre, with flying displays twice daily, if you love Eagles, Vultures and owls then you will really enjoy them. Each display is about half an hour long, and the trainer’s make the birds fly threw the crowd, it’s really amazing. You are told to sit very still during the display, you are then invited at the end to hold one of the birds, which they charge a fee of £2 which goes towards the up keep of the park. This is a great opportunity to take photos. On my first visit I paid for my stepson to hold a tawny owl, and took several pictures, I then realized a few hours later that I had actually forgot to put a film in my camera. Lol. My stepson could not stop laughing and couldn’t wait to tell his dad what an idiot I was as soon as we got home. Outside there are also the animal enclosures where you can find Llamas, Wallabies, Possums, Miniature Ponies, Rabbits, Pigs, Guinea Pigs and many more animals. There is a large adventure playground and a toddler’s area. You can follow the nature trail, and go through the wildflower meadows. If you like crazy golf then you can have a go, although this does cost a little extra on top of the entrance fee. They also have ride on tractors for four-year-olds up, the kids love them. There are also large car parks with picnic areas, or if you prefer they do have licensed tearooms and garden. The tearoom is fantastic the meals are all home cooked, both hot or cold meals and light snacks. It has been praised by Fern Britton of BBC’s (Ready steady cook). Inside you will find the another pet centre and museum where you can see a live display of some unusual species like Arabian
spiny mice, jirds, and more common chipmunks and field mice. The Tropical house is one of the largest in Britain. There are over hundred exotic butterflies and birds flying freely around you, the colors are amazing, and if you are lucky a butterfly may even settle on your clothing, There is also a display of reptiles, from crocodiles, chameleons, snakes, lizards and tropical frogs. Inside you will also see the ant room, where you can see the leaf cutting ants at work. The insectarium contains scorpions, tarantulas and giant millipedes; I personally find these creepy. The gift shop has a wide selection of reasonably priced items, plenty of cheap souvenirs for the kids to spend their pocket money on. Lastly I must not forget the toilet facilities; I was very impressed, as they were so clean and not at all smelly, as you normally find with most public conveniences. I was therefore not surprised to see a certificate on the wall, which read ( LOO of the year awards 2000). I have actually been twice now and it makes a lovely cheap day out for all the family, all the staff are very friendly, the food is fabulous. I would certainly recommend this park and I will visit again next year. So if any one is coming to Linclonshire this year, remember to pay them a visit, you won’t be disappointed. OPENING TIMES AND ADMISSION FEES - March 24th – June 30th 10am - 5pm daily July 1st - September 21st 10am – 5.30pm daily September 22nd – October 29th 10am - 4pm daily Adults £4.90 OAP’s £4.50 Children 3-16 years £3.50 Most credit card accepted and cash back service is available. Family ticket 2 adults 2 children £16.00 2 adults 3 children £18.00 Guide dogs are allowed. Disabled visitors welcome – wheel chairs are available. HOW TO FIND IT Off the A17, it is sign posted just 14 miles south of Kings Lynn, the same distance from Sp
alding and only 7 miles from Wisbech. The Butterfly and Wildlife Park Long Sutton Spalding Lincs PE12 9LE Telephone 01406- 363833/ 363209 E- Mail firstname.lastname@example.org I hope that you have found this informative and thanks for reading. Bye from Cinystar