New Forest National Park Pocket Guide ebook

The New Forest Wildlife Park

For a relaxing nature based half-day out, the New Forest Wildlife Park at Longdown, near Ashurst, is a great attraction and gives you the opportunity to mix with both native and non-native animals.

Otter & Sika deer at the New Forest Wildlife Park

New Butterfly House open at the ParkThe established wildlife park, on the premises of the former New Forest Butterfly Farm, is a successful animal conservation and education centre that is much larger than it looks at first glance. Incidentally, July 2008 saw the opening of a new Tropical Butterfly House (open Easter to September) within the park - another reason to visit this already great attraction.

The outdoor areas of the wildlife park reach far back into the woodlands of the New Forest and there is an excellent variety of wildlife to see. Furthermore, not all animals are caged; notably the Sika deer are free to roam around an enclosed area and mix with the visitors, as are some fallow deer and wallabies in a different enclosed area, aptly named Wallaby Wood.
At the back of Wallaby Wood you can see the huge wild boar - fortunately a double fence separates these powerful beasts from the public!

Fallow deer, wallaby & wild boar

Above: Fallow deer, wallaby and wild boar are just a few of the animal breeds
that can all be seen at the park.

Other animals that you'll see around the park include Scottish wildcats, ferrets, lynx, foxes, pine martens and polecats.
Morris the Red Deer stag and his hinds are newer additions to the park, and 2011 saw the introduction of three European bison which are part of a captive breeding programme for endangered species. There are also wolves which are great to see, especially at feeding time.

Scottish wildcat, pine marten and wolf

Above: Scottish wildcat, wolf & pine marten at the Park.

Inside the main buildingThe main building of the New Forest Wildlife Park is a long green shed which houses several small ponds for the otters, along with a hedgehog garden, stoat and ferret pens and mouse display boxes, each one created in a way that echoes the particular animal's natural environment.

There are many different breeds of otter at the park, not just the one native to the UK but also breeds from as far afield as Canada and Asia. The endangered giant otters can also be seen, these animals can grow to a whopping 1.8m long!
These playful creatures are always entertaining to watch and always seem to be active in one area or another.

Keeper talk at the NFWPDaily feeding times for various animals, along with keeper talks, certainly guarantee close-up viewings, although an impromptu visit may miss these scheduled events so phoning ahead to check times is a good idea.
Throughout the year the park also offers animal encounters and special events, while extra activities include animal adoptions, group visits and Keeper Experience Days.

Other things to see at the New Forest Wildlife Park include a night room where you can view badgers and foxes as they sleep, a bird and butterfly garden, a dragonfly pond and ferret house.

For the kids there are two outdoor adventure playgrounds - Go Wild for six year olds and up, and Mini Go Wild for the under 6's.

New Forest Wildlife Park Go Wild adventure playground

A relaxing stroll around the park can take you a couple of hours and on exiting you can browse a well stocked gift shop, or grab a bite to eat and a drink at the cafe.

All in all, The New Forest Wildlife Park is an excellent attraction within the New Forest National Park for anyone who has the slightest interest in wildlife and conservation. The hands on experience with the deer is always a hit with the kids, and adults too!

View the New Forest Wildlife Park images on this page in Picasa


Park Visitor Information

Opening times:

Admission prices:

Location: Deerleap Lane, Longdown, off the A35 towards Southampton from Ashurst.
Telephone: 02380 292408
Website: www.newforestwildlifepark.co.u

Getting to The New Forest Wildlife Park

The conservation park can be found close to the north-eastern boundary of the New Forest National Park on Deerleap Lane, Longdown, approximately a mile east of Ashurst. The lane meets the A35 road at this point, the wildlife park is just over a mile along Deerleap Lane, on the left hand side.

The New Forest Wildlife Park mapLocation of the New Forest Wildlife Park within the National Park

 

GPS / SatNav information:
Lat/long: 50.886,-1.498. OS grid ref: SU353098.

Click for satellite view of New Forest Wildlife Park
Explore the New Forest Wildlife Park in satellite-vision
.

 

Return to main New Forest attractions page.

Images from the Park

Click an image below for the bigger version, view Wildlife Park slideshow or view images in Picasa.

Main Park building

Path around Outdoor cages

Outdoor area with Sika deer & owls

Fallow deer mixing with the visitors

Wallaby Wood

Otters at play

Inquisitive Fallow deer

An unusual sight in the New Forest!

Explore from above

Click image below to explore the Park using satellite imagery...

Click for satellite view of the Park