Paradise Park continues its fight for survival through the winter months
Staff at Paradise Park in Hayle have had to make the hard decision to close to visitors for a period of time and launch their latest appeal and Winter Fundraising Campaign.
LEFT: Keeper Donna Sinclair helping to prepare food with other Keepers for over 1,200 birds and animals, and right, feeding Jai-Li the Red Panda.
Director Nick Reynolds explains “We have reached a point where being open during January will cost us money. Fifteen years ago we invested in our big indoor play centre and, as we hoped, our winter seasons were transformed. Now Cornwall is in tier 3 the JungleBarn is closed, which is understandable, but sadly with the cold wet weather visitor numbers have already dropped and we can’t economically staff the entrance, shop and café.
We have also taken into consideration the need to protect our staff from covid-19, we really can’t be without our Keepers so minimising their contact with any people is wise. The Keepers have worked hard doing their jobs this past year plus dealt with all the additional hand-washing, mask-wearing and distancing.
As with many businesses in Cornwall, we get through the winter on the money we make during the summer. But with the first three month lockdown and then restricted visitor numbers we have not been able to make up lost income, and the cost of looking after the animals continues every day. We have been able to secure some funding which has helped in the short term, and are hoping to receive a positive outcome from our DEFRA grant application, and meanwhile relying very much on the local community and supporters from further afield with donations of food, money and items from our Amazon Wish List.
A simple pleasure for a parrot, this Crimson-bellied Conure is loving the large carrot wedged into perching which was from one of the many food donations.
So once again we are putting out an appeal to help support the Park through this tough time. It costs a minimum of £46,000 every month to care for the birds and animals, the same if we are open or closed as they always need their feed, and there are staff wages, vets bills, water, electricity, enclosure maintenance etc. We have a donations page on our website which includes all the different ways people can help.
Visit our fundraising page here
We have had some wonderful donations from the local community like little Elsie who you can see here with Keeper Becky dropping off some of her home grown veg. She grows and sells veg (with a lot of help from daddy) at the top of the driveway at her little stall “Elsie’s Home Grows”. (copyright Tom Richards).
You can also see examples of how much it costs to feed some of the birds, for a penguin it is just over £10 a week and we have 21 penguins, so that works out around £11,000 a year just for the penguin colony. In total we have 1,200 birds and animals so every gift really will make a difference to ensure the high standard of care we pride ourselves on continues every day. We are keeping positive because every day we work with amazing animals and as so many species here are extremely endangered – we have spent decades working with them here at the Park and on their conservation in the wild.
LEFT: Millet sprays from our Amazon Wish List are ideal for our cockatoos.
RIGHT: Over 1,200 birds and animals need to be fed every day
A food donation dropped off in the Covid secure delivery box in the coach park where items can be safely left between the hours of 10am and 4pm any day.
We will announce a reopening date as soon as we make the decision, and I would like to assure our Season Ticket holders that we will extend their passes by the amount of days we will be closed.
The messages of support we have received give us much needed hope for the future and we look forward welcoming visitors back through the doors soon to create amazing family memories.”