BIAZA stands for the British Association of Zoos and Aquaria and every year BIAZA holds a Love Your Zoo Week to inform people more about the important roles that zoos and wildlife parks play in the conservation of flora and fauna.
“There’s lot of publicity about zoos and wildlife parks but not everyone knows what good zoos actually do or what they achieve,” said Chestnut Centre owner Carol Heap. “We’re inviting visitors to come along and chat to our keepers during Love Your Zoo Week to find out more about their daily activities and to discover what we do for conservation.
“We’re involved in many conservation programmes here, from Scottish wildcats to the tiny harvest mouse. Now’s the chance to find out more about why they are endangered and why we have certain species of mammals and birds here.”
The Chestnut Centre and its two sister parks in the New Forest and in Battersea are involved in rescuing injured and orphaned native species such as otters, owls and deer, as well as in captive breeding programes for pine martens, harvest mice, water voles, giant otters, European bison and Eurasian otters. Curator Jason Palmer also manages a European studbook for Asian short-clawed otters and pine martens.
Visitors to the Chestnut Centre during May half term will be able to complete the Love Your Zoo Week quiz trail and to follow the keepers on their feeding rounds, with informative talks taking place daily.
The Chestnut Centre has recently welcomed several new arrivals, including Hamish the pine marten, who has settled in after his move from the New Forest Wildlife Park. Asian short-clawed otter Ned, who came from the Martin Mere Wetland Centre in Lancashire, is getting on famously with his fellow otter Lola. Autumn, a young red fox, is now living with fellow fox Litchin and they have lots of fun playing together.
A new species of otter will be on show at the park in the future, once enclosures have been completed. The smooth-coated otters will come from the Wingham Wildlife Park in Kent and are named Song, a male, Alari (meaning flower) and Kanali (meaning sun) – two females. Smooth-coated otters are classed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of threatened species and the centre’s three new otters may form part of a breeding programme in the future.
The Chestnut Centre, in the beautiful Derbyshire High Peak District, is located in a natural woodland valley with a deer meadow and stream. Along the woodland trails you can see amazing animals such as giant otters, North American river otters, Eurasian otters and Asian short-clawed otters as well as fallow deer, polecats, a fox, pine marten, harvest mice and the very rare Scottish wildcat.
You’ll also find 15 different species of owls, including the snowy owl, barn owl, boobook owl, little owl, Eurasian eagle owl and burrowing owl.
There’s a tempting tearoom and a well-stocked gift shop on the site.
See the website at www.chestnutcentre.co.uk
for details and times of all special events, as well as for feeding sessions and keeper talks.
Please see website or contact for details
Castleton Road, Chapel-le-Frith, High Peak, Derbyshire, SK23 0QS