45th Birthday celebrations, claim your wildflower seeds
Create your own piece of paradise as Paradise Park celebrates its 45th birthday.
The Reynolds family from 2006 – From Left – Nick Reynolds, Audrey and Mike Reynolds and Alison with husband Ray Hales.
April 14th 2018 marks the 45th birthday of Paradise Park. To celebrate, on the 14th, visitors will receive a wildflower seed packet with a mix of cornfield flowers that bees and butterflies love, so they can create their own piece of paradise!
Founded by Mike and Audrey Reynolds, ‘Bird Paradise’ as it was then known, opened in 1973.
Director Alison Hales explains “A bird garden was my father Mike’s dream as he wanted to house his ever growing collection of tropical birds including many parrots. Before realising his dream, he had been a successful copywriter at Greys, an international advertising agency, being most remembered for his Milkybar Kid ad and coining the catchphrase ‘The Milkybars are on me’.”
The Reynolds chose Glanmor House, which was built by the famous ‘Harveys of Hayle’, who made beam engines for Cornwall’s tin mines. The sheltered Victorian walled garden made it the ideal place to start a paradise for birds.
“As time went on, the perilous situation of many bird species became clear and conservation became our main focus, with the Park becoming a home for many endangered species. Our concern for conservation culminated in the launch of the World Parrot Trust in 1989, which now has over 2,000 members in 22 countries throughout the world, making Paradise Park a world leader in parrot conservation. In 1987 Operation Chough had been launched to help save the crow special to Cornwall.”
Over the years Paradise Park has continued to develop and is now actively helping to conserve many threatened species including Barn Owls, Otters, Red Pandas and the beautiful Red Squirrel.
Sadly Mike Reynolds died in 2007, and Audrey in 2017. Their family continue their work, joined at the Park by a larger “extended family” of staff, including long-serving curator David Woolcock, senior keeper Jill Thrower, and retail manager Lynn Jones.
LEFT: Mike and Audrey Reynolds with HRH Princess Alexandra on her visit to celebrate Paradise Park’s 30th year 2003. RIGHT: Mike Reynolds hand rearing a Kea back in 1983.
Paradise Park has won many accolades for conservation work and as an excellent family day out, entertaining and gently educating visitors of all ages. The gardens provide both an exotic backdrop for tropical birds which have become an attraction in their own right and wildlife–friendly areas to help the local environment. The JungleBarn indoor play centre was added in 2005, and ensures families can have fun in all weathers.
NEW EXHIBIT ‘The Tropics’
Paradise Park is growing! Building for the “The Tropics”, a new exhibit, is ongoing and due to open in summer 2018. It will extend the Park out into a large south facing area adjacent to Parrot Jungle and feature tall, spacious, flights with cosy shelters for tropical birds. The broad path leading to the aviaries will be surrounded with exotic foliage with seating to allow visitors to take their time watching the birds.
There will be opportunities to get up close and there will be educational displays to learn about the wildlife of world’s tropical areas. The birds will include parrots from large, colourful macaws to little lovebirds, and a group of Golden Conures – a bright yellow parrot which is threatened in the wild plus Victoria Crowned Pigeons, the largest of the pigeon family which is a deep blue colour.