Today was a little wet and rainy but we decided to brave it and take a trip to the new local attraction Messingham Zoo.
Messingham Zoo is a family run business and I must say the family are so friendly and welcoming. They give a very personal and social experience to your visit. We were shown around the park by one of the owners Iain, which wasn’t too much trouble at all for him and he was more than happy to give us stories and insights into where each animal came from and their background. You can tell he has a real passion for the animals and the project, him and his wife Alex have created. It was excellent to hear most of animals have been rescued and now seem very happy in their new home.
The primary aim of the attraction is to offer something different to larger zoos and wildlife parks by focussing on close up encounters with smaller, friendlier animals. Education forms a big part of what the owners want to deliver, teaching about animal care and welfare.
Although small they have made the best of the land they have and filled it with some really great animals. The enclosures have been built to a high standard and there is plenty to keep the animals entertained.
We were surprised at just how friendly all of the animals were. We were lucky enough to see everything the zoo had to offer even with the bad weather the animals came out to greet us.
Iain even got the Striped Skunk out for us to get a closer look and give him a pet. I must say he was probably my favourite animal as he was just enjoying the attention so much and had such a gentle nature with soft fur, which we really didn’t expect from a skunk.
As we walked round we saw the mother and her litter of Flemish giant rabbits munching on an array of fresh vegetables and I must say the father in the enclosure next to theirs was huge!
Adjacent to the rabbits is the large raccoon enclosure, which is home to two racoon brothers, Houdini and Doyle and one is an albino. Houdini was first out of the house to greet us and more than happy to come up close the fence to say hello.
Next up was the pair of white Artic Foxes also brothers, who had recently been reunited. Very cute these two and mischievous.
Down from the fox enclosure was a conservation area with a bug hotel, hedgehog house, bird houses and wildlife pond with a soon to be added addition of a friendly hive of bees. This will be a fantastic place for children to learn about how to help nature in their own garden.
We next met the pot bellied pigs, what a friendly and vocal bunch they were. All up at the fence waiting for some attention and absolutely loving in. “Happy as pigs in muck”. The family have had this piggie family for years and the pigs in the park are offspring of the owners, Iain and Alex’s privately owned garden pet pigs.
We got to see the barn owl in her enclosure as she popped out her door to see what was going on, her enclosure is built around a tree that she likes to sleep in, which makes a nice natural addition to her home.
The Prairie dogs had been having fun in their enclosure with underground tunnels but it was great to see them pop out for a nosey at us.
The Merkat enclosure is still in development as everything made in the zoo has been done by the owners fair hands but we are sure it will be great once completed. We got a sneaky peak at the Merkat couple behind the scenes of the zoo and hopes are they will start a family once settled into their new sandy home.
The Emu’s were full of character and really quite comical. They are open to touching but can be a little cheeky when it comes to pinching hats and loose items of clothing.
The Porcupine was having a little snooze with his spikes poking out his house doorway.
All in all this place is a credit to the family, a lot of hardwork has gone into providing a great local attraction and an intimate animal experience for visitors with the added bonus of providing happy, safe homes for the various animals.
Even in the rain we had a thoroughly enjoyable time and really enjoyed chatting to Iain and Alex.
There is going to be continued growth to the zoo with additions of new animals in the pipeline. It’s the hope they will soon be welcoming some wallabies to the emu enclosure along with new enclosures to house different species. They have big plans to progress with the zoo and we can expect to see more great things in the future.
This is going to be a must for any family with small children to visit on a weekend or on those sunny summer days. There is a lovely cafe onsite offering sandwiches, cakes and beverages all at affordable prices and we hear the cake has had some rave reviews. Outside the cafe are benches overlooking the zoo, which will be a great place to sit out in the summer and even better, there is a newly built park area in progress, which should be finished over the next few days.
Due to reoccurring visitors to the zoo since opening they have introduced an annual pass allowing you to go all year round for as long as you like.
Big thanks to Iain and Alex Gouldthorp for a great visit.
Messingham Zoo website
Children 15 and under £6
(Under 4 free)
Accompanying Careers free with proof
The Zoo isn’t hard to find as it’s straight down the road past Grange Park golf course on Butterwick Road, DN17 3PN Messingham, North Lincolnshire, United Kingdom.
Kid’s event brought to you by Scunthorpe Nights and Hull City of cultures favourite comedians.