The Yorkshire Wildlife Park Expansion – An Early 2024 Update


It’s been two years since my last update from the Wildlife Park and the big news is the addition of a new set of cheetah enclosures and a soon to be displayed family of lions*!

*Which I shall cover when they’re actually out and about.


The park’s public map as it stands today. It’s very similar to the previous map with one notable exception – the addition of the new Cheetah Territory at the bottom of the right hand panel!

Aerial Photographs

Alas I don’t seem to be able to find any updated arial photography for the new part of the Wildlife Park. Still… excluding the new cheetah enclosure, the previous image is still generally reflective of the state of the new part of the park today.


There’s still no movement on the south-east wing of the hotel. The frame remains in place however the overall site remains in hibernation.

The hotel frame from the main path from the car park.

From just inside The Hive near the ferris wheel.

From over the Tapir enclosure in the Atlantic Forrest.

Cheetah Reserves

The new Cheetah Territory. For more details see ‘Application 23/01322/FUL – The Cheetah Enclosure‘ below.

In the foreground is part of the sea lion pond. Behind that is Himalayan Pass and then, at the rear, are the new cheetah reserves of Cheetah Territory.

The southern path to Cheetah Territory. This path splits from the previous route just before the Himalayan Pass area.

Hard standing to the left of the new path.

Area board for Cheetah Territory.

The first of the areas three information boards.

The second of the areas three information boards.

The first female enclosure. The contains a small fenced off pond and a shelter is built into a mound.

The second female enclosure. This feels much smaller than the other two enclosures, though, on paper, it’s only 200 m2 smaller than the larger female enclosure. It also contains a small shelter for it’s occupant.

The male enclosure. Much larger than either of the female enclosures, it again features a small shelter for the occupant. To the left is the wetland that YWP currently plan to build a viewing platform in.

The last of the information boards. This is the only board in Cheetah Territory to specify that the actual housed species is the Northeast African Cheetah.

The small lake that separates Cheetah Territory and Himalayan Pass.

Alas, I don’t yet have any pictures of the new Cheetahs themselves as they appeared to be a little break out of public view. I blame the cool spring air.


An additional toilet block has been installed in the new half of the park. This block can be found opposite the smaller of the sea lion pools.

Re-turfed Monkey Enclosure

The re-turfed northern hill of Simien Mountains. The woodwork for the shelters also appears to have been renewed.

The southern hill of Simien Mountains. This has not been re-turfed and so appears very much the worst for wear.

Planning Portal Finds and the Future

Of course, there is also always a few interesting nuggets of information about future plans hidden away on the Doncaster planning portal.

Application 23/00402/FUL – A New Aviary and Primate House

Planning Status: Granted (2023-05-03)

This appears appears to be a planning application for a new aviary and primate house to be constructed within the the existing South American walkthrough enclosure. It also appears to have been built and I seem to have missed it!

Location relative to the rest of the South American enclosure.

The internal floor layout.

Application 23/01322/FUL – The Cheetah Enclosure

Planning Status: Currently Awaiting Decision.

The second of the three planning applications is the Cheetah Enclosure – partially photographed above – and, while it appears to be partially constructed, it is the first of the applications in this post that has not yet made it’s way fully through planning.

Overall Plan

Located to the west of the Himalayan Pass and to the south of Simien Mountains, the plans for the completed Cheetah area comprise of three public enclosures, two off-view yards, two houses, a feed tower, a lure track, and an additional covered public viewing point. At the northern end access will be via a new path from near the Simien Mountains and to the south access will be via a new path from just before the Himalayan Pass.

The Male Reserve and Male Yard

The largest of the three reserves at 5,700 m2, the male reserve is situated at the north-west corner of the development. This reserve also contains a lure track that runs alongside the landscaping and light woodland habitat. Dotted around the edge of this reserve is a keeper feeding tower, the northern animal house and a small, off display yard for the male animal. In the south the reserve is overlooked by a new viewing platform.

Female Reserve One

The smallest of the three reserves at only 1,500 m2, the first female reserve is to the south-east of the male reserve and to the north-west of the second female reserve. Overlooked by the viewing platform to the north and a footpath to the east, the majority of the enclosure shoud be visible to the public. Access to the second animal house can be found in the southern corner of the pen.

Female Reserve Two

The second largest of the three enclosures, this reserve has a 1,700 m2 footprint overlooked with a footpath to the east. On the west side is an off display yard for a female and in the north-west there is access to the female animal house.

The covered viewing platform. Situated between the male enclosure and the second female enclosure, and placed above an area of existing wetland, this raised platform would provide views of the male lure track and the parts of the second enclosure not visible from the path.

Application 23/01229/FULM – The ‘Golf’ Reserve

Planning Status: Currently Awaiting Decision.

Our final application is a little more expansive than either the addition of an aviary/monkey house to an existing pen or even the new Cheetah exhibit. Application 23/01229/FULM covers a new region of the park currently being developed under the name of ‘Project Golf’. ‘Golf’ appears to cover three outdoor enclosures of varying sizes, an animal house, various paths, and a system of moats to separate the viewing public from the animals. It also, interestingly, includes the removal of an existing path that ran by the lakeside.

Overall Plan

‘Golf’ is to be found at the top of the new area of the park. Though the development area is within the confines of the park boundaries it is – save for a path that runs along the north side of the lake – currently not much more than loosely landscaped scrubland.

A plan of the new area. The primary enclosure is to be found in the centre of this plan and is marked as ‘Main Reserve’. A second enclosure, marked as ‘Second Reserve’ on the map, is marked at the top left (north-east) and a final enclosure – substantially smaller than either the main or secondary enclosure – is to be found on the right (east). And, in a nod to minimalism, this enclosure is marked simply as ‘Reserve’.

A substantial animal house – marked in brown – can be found between the east end of the ‘Second Reserve’ and the smaller ‘Reserve’. The lakeside path is to be removed and a new route constructed that passed from the ‘Pangea’ dinosaur exhibit up to the animal house and then, via path, to the small playground near the hyena enclosure.

The Main Reserve

The primary outdoor enclosure of Project ‘Golf’. Surrounded by a perimeter of moats leading off the main lake, the Main Reserve is the largest of the proposed enclosures at just under13,000m2. Four tunnels – two overhead, two underground – pass around a covered, windowed walkway and lead from the animal house into a landscaped reserve containing, amongst other things, new trees, shelters, and landscaped hills. Two heated rocks – marked in orange – will allow whatever animals are placed in there to warm themselves. These are situated to allow the public to view whatever takes rest there. Pathing surrounds the enclosure on two-thirds of it’s side, with the final side open to the lake. This should allow a number of good views from multiple angles – including long views across the lake from near the red panda enclosure.

The Second Reserve

The secondary enclosure of Project ‘Golf’. Smaller than the main enclosure – yet still 6,600m2 – animal access from the new house looks to be to be via two tunnels. Another pair of heated rocks – again marked in orange – are placed to draw the hosted animals into good positions to be viewed from the path. Unlike the Main Reserve, public viewing is only available from a path that covers approximately one-third of the enclosure’s perimeter, leaving a large area hidden by the hills for the animals to take a break in.


The final reserve. At 1,500m2, it is significantly smaller than the main and second reserves and will become the first enclosure reached by the public when heading into the park via the Pangea exhibit. Again, the public will be separated by a moat from the enclosure and the public footpath will run around just under half of the perimeter. Animal access will be by raised tunnel but, unlike the primary and secondary enclosures, these animals will not have access to a pair of heated rocks.

Animal House

The animal house. On the west side is a canopied public walkway with large viewing windows. On the east is an off-display aviary and off-display enclosure.

The west side of the animal house. Note the two raised walkways and the two lower walkways that allow animal access to the main ‘Golf’ reserve. Seven large observation windows allow those on the walkway to see out into the largest of the enclosures.

The north-west side of the house. Note the covered walkway to the right. Two gates in the wall allow access for animals into the second of the ‘Golf’ enclosures.

The south-east side of the house. This overlooks the smallest of the reserves.

3D Visualisation

A 3d block visualisation of Project ‘Golf’. This is taken from the west side of the new zone and would be – were it shot via drone rather the visualised – be taken from over the hyena house.

A second visualisation. This is from the east and, were it real, the camera would be over the north side of the Pangea exhibit.


Click to Enlarge.

The other interesting thing to note is that the path on the northern side of the lake (pictured above) is to be removed and the land free’d up incorporated into the Main Reserve.


It’s been an interesting two years since I last visited the Yorkshire Wildlife Park and, should everything planned come to fruition, I should be able to make some interesting visits in the future.

Until the next time…

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