Did you know Lincolnshire Wildlife Park is home to the UK’s largest collection of Parrots (more than 100 species) as well as the greatest number of Bengal Tigers? I didn’t either until I was invited down to meet the owner, Steve Nichols, during a recent trip. The park is located just 20 minutes away from my parent’s pub The Wheel Inn so I dragged my mom along on the day which was great. Let me start off by saying, no, I didn’t just love it because Derren Brown is a patron of the parrots there, but in all, it’s a pretty spectacular place.
First off, I’m not going to lie that I was sceptical. Some zoos and wildlife parks put me on edge. Not because I’m scared of animals, but the few I’ve visited tend to have a lot of distressed animals running around or they generally look unhappy. However Lincolnshire Wildlife Park completely transformed my outlook on wildlife parks. There’s so much open space and this one especially is well maintained. There’s a high volume of dedicated staff, with an additional 6-8 volunteers at any given time. Just before we had a look around, Steve told us he hasn’t had a proper holiday since starting the programme in 1990. His whole life is dedicated to protecting animals and rehoming the unfortunate ones. This is Steve’s livelihood and he actually lives onsite near the tiger reserve. If that doesn’t scream dedication I don’t know what does.
Not only does the park runs a fantastic programme with Lincoln Uni, but every single animal is mentally assessed on arrival. I just want to stress that the place is a charity, and not for profit site. The whole history of the park is an interesting one and it means whenever you visit and pay to enter, you’re not only paying for a wonderful experience but you’re actually benefiting the park. Every single penny goes towards helping the animals and giving them a better life. It’s practically a win/win situation.
Steve has homed everything from mammals to reptiles. He opened the sanctuary to any bird or animal that needs a new home, in addition to welcoming Meerkats, Lemurs, Otters, Tapir, Tortoises and even the most endangered species in the world; Bengal Tigers. After sitting down for a cuppa with Steve, it’s clear to see from an outside perspective that we don’t understand the amount of blood, sweat and tears that goes into a job like this. When asking Steve if he has the ‘best job in the world’, he responded: ‘This is winning the lottery’.
If you fancy a day out in Lincolnshire, don’t hesitate to come here. Ticket prices, event information, opening times and more information on the wildlife park in general can be found on the Lincswildlife website. I knew that words would never do this place justice so I created a little video about the park below. Enjoy!