Surrey’s newest tourist attraction Hobbledown has received its Zoo Licence.
The licence is mandatory for any establishment which exhibits wild animals to the public.
The Zoo Licensing Act 1981 sets out how zoos in Great Britain are inspected and licensed. This ensures that zoos are safe for the public to visit, that high standards of welfare are maintained and that zoos make a contribution to conservation of wildlife.
More than 100 animals currently reside at Hobbledown, ranging from wallabies and birds of prey to miniature sheep, meerkats [which have just had a new family] and Patagonian Mara.
Over the next few weeks they will joined by a variety of new species including otters, racoon dogs, great grey owls and an Amazonian parrot.
The animals are overseen by an expert team of handlers on site lead by Dolores Nicholson. In addition Matt Hartley has been employed as a zoo and wildlife consultant.
Matt has worked in zoos and with wildlife for 20 years throughout the world and is a Government appointed Zoo Inspector.
His job at Hobbledown is to ensure the farm is kept to the highest possible standard.
A spokesperson at DEFRA [Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs] said: “Well-managed zoos can play an important role in educating visitors about wild animals and their habitats, and through activities which help conserve and protect threatened wildlife.”
- Hobbledown is a unique farm park adventure which opened this summer. It cost more than £3million to build and has created more than 65 jobs.
- As well as the animals it houses a variety of adventure play equipment including towers, tunnels, a low ropes adventure, aerial walkways, mazes, an interactive sand play zone and an aerial adventure course. There is also a 14,000sqft play barn.
Hobbledown at Horton Park Children’s Farm can be found in Horton Lane, Epsom, Surrey, KT19 8PT. For more information visit www.hobbledown.com or telephone 0843 289 4979.