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Chestnut Centre Otter, Owl and Wildlife Park

Address Chapel-en-le-Frith
Telephone 01298 814099
How to Find it: We”re within the Peak District National Park located just off the A625 east of Chapel-en-le-Frith from the A6. Follow the brown tourist signs.
Open: Spring/Summer Open every day 10.30am – 5.30pm Last entrance 4.00pm Autumn/Winter Open every day 10.30am – dusk. Last entrance approximately 3.00pm
Prices: Admission Prices 2009 Adults – £6.50 Children (between 3 and 15 years) – £4.50 Family (2 adults and 2 children) – £20.00 Season Tickets Adults – £26.00 Children aged 3+ – £18.00 Family (2 adults and 2 children) – £80.00 Pre-Organised School Educational Visits £5.14 (incl Vat) (Adults free on a 1:5 ratio)
No of Species No of Animals Star Rating
Mammals Conservation
Birds Enclosures
Reptiles Education
Amphibians Recreation
Fish Research
Total 0 0
Click here for a Link to the Zoo’s own Web Pages
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This critique last updated:  Aug 2009

Visitor Reviews

David Lomas, June 2009

Just a few miles from Chapel-en-le-Frith, the Chestnut Centre in Derbyshire isn't a zoo, but its name says it all; it's an Otter, Owl & Wildlife Park. Full details of the park's location can be found at: http://www.chestnutcentre.co.uk/welcome.htm. On the day of my visit in June, the weather was slightly overcast. On entering the park, you'll take a track down a gentle slope through parkland shared with Muntjac and Fallow Deer.

Alongside the track there are frequent detailed information boards. These boards are a feature of the park, and they pitch their information to young children and adults alike. There's a strong educational content to these boards which adds greatly to your experience. At the foot of the slope, you turn through a gate and then backtrack through a wooded area that surrounds a river. This part of the park, as the owners admit, is not readily accessible.

The park hosts four species of otter, the first you encounter are the Giant Otters from South America. (The only other place I've seen this species was Bristol Zoo a few years ago.) The pair were extremely playful and seemed immune to the quiet observation of the visitors. As elsewhere in the wooded area, the paths are a mix of compacted stone paths supplemented with wooden bridges and walkways.

As you wind yourself through the wood, you'll see North American, Eurasian and the Asian Small Clawed Otter interspersed with aviaries hosting different species of owl. In this natural setting, there are a number of UK mammals in spacious enclosures. It'd be nice to extend this range slightly and include something like European Beavers, although this suggestion may be totally impractical.

The stand-out moments for me were the fore-playing Giant Otters, the Scottish Wild Cats (active and larger than I'd expected) and the rarely seen Pine Martin.

If you've an afternoon to spare when passing through the Peak District and the weather is suitable for a walk in the woods, then the Chestnut Centre is worth a minor detour for a visit.



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