14 months and one minor apocalypse since my last outing, it’s time to return to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park and to see how work on the the new expansion has progressed. And progressed it has!
The outline master plan. The historic park can be found in the upper left and the expansion to the lower right. There have been a number of small changes since this plan was developed.
The new park map. It’s fairly self evident that, while the early stages of the expansion have been completed, there remain core elements of the Outline Master Plan that have not yet been completed – including basic elements such as the path around the north side of the lake.
A view towards the new entrance from the main car park. The previous entrance is now reserved for coaches only and regular visitors are no-longer able to enter the park as they would previously done. The new carpark is very sparse and, in inclement weather, not particularly hospitable. To the left is the red steel frame for the new hotel and conference centre.
Another view of the future hotel and conference centre.
Retail offering at the new commercial area called the ‘Hive’. The loop by the retail offering adds several hundred meters to your walk to the main entrance.
The new ticket kiosk. To the right (not pictured) are the new main gates.
‘Atlantic Forest’, the first of the new zones to open, is immediately to the left after passing through the new entrance. Behind the sign is the new Bush Dog enclosure.
The new Bush Dog enclosure. The turf is very new and does not look like it has yet fully taken.
The Lowland Tapir enclosure. Again the grass appears patchy. To the right (not pictured) is the Maned Wolf enclosure.
On the opposite side of the path to the ‘Atlantic Forest’/Bush Dog/Tapir enclosures is the second new area – a still under construction coastal area called ‘Point Lobos’. After speaking with a keeper I found out that this is to house a group of Sea Lions. At the moment this area is still under construction.
The under construction viewing plinth for the future Sea Lion enclosure.
The future Sea Lion enclosure from across the lake. On closer inspection there appears to be two pools as part of this enclosure.
The Binturong enclosure. Apparently Binturong have a musk similar to popcorn! This particular Binturong appeared to be quite happy crawling around the enclosure’s apparatus. To the right (not pictured) is the new Smooth Coated Otter enclosure.
The Red Panda enclosure – a very popular location before the rain set in. The fences are surprisingly low, especially given the Panda’s apparent fondness for the somewhat flimsy trees. Along the bottom is a small area of shallow water.
The east side path to the Red Panda enclosure. In the centre is the future site of the Sea Lion enclosure. At the rear you can see the framework for the hotel.
An image of the artificial lake taken from just north of the Red Panda enclosure.
The south side of Simian Mountain as seen from near the new entrance. This is the first of the Experience Ethiopia enclosures that you reach from the main entrance and is currently populated with Gelada Monkeys.
A closer image of the south side of Simian Mountain. In spite of the poor weather, the monkey troop was very active during my visit.
The Spotted Hyena enclosure. Again the grass was patchy and in need of a good season of growth.
The newly opened link bridge between the old and new sectors of the park. In spite of it looking rather wide on previous visits, with social distancing and excited crowds, it actually felt rather narrow. The view over the nature reserve was very good.
There is obviously a far amount of work left to be done for this initial phase – several areas were under very visible construction but, in spite of that, the completed sections of the new area are very well done and the animals looked content.