We love Christmas here at the Lake District Wildlife Park! This December has been a busy one with School Christmas Parties, Living Nativities and lots of involvement with the animal care students from Newton Rigg College in Penrith.
Fran involved young animal care students in the decoration of a Christmas tree for the Christmas Tree Festival in Thelkeld, greatly helped by Christopher Naylor.
Christopher’s autism sometimes makes it difficult for him to mix and get out and about, but after his mum Susan, a Newton Rigg Student herself, brought him on a visit to the wildlife Park he made a friend for life in Frosty our Cockatoo.
They immediately hit it off and Christopher decided to make some tree decorations including a very life-like one of Frosty!
I’ve enjoyed meeting children from lots of schools as they encounter our donkeys and dwarf zebu mum and calf during a colourful nativity scene– not to mention the delicious spreads that Lisa and Belinda have laid on for the schools.
The highpoint this month for me though, was the Newton Rigg Animal care students Christmas visit, when after a lesson about the benefits of enrichment for all our animals, they separated into groups and made creative, imaginative toys and tasty Christmas treats for some of their favourite animals. After a hearty Christmas buffet, complete with crackers and party hats, our zoo vet Andrew Robinson of Millcroft Vets led a simulated vet inspection of the livestock. Great to see the young zoo keepers of the future engaging with the animals with such gusto!
Now I’m getting ready for the Winter Solstice Yule Celebration Thursday 21st of December, I’ve sorted out the lanterns and John and the owls are ready and waiting, whilst the ladies are busy cooking pork with all the trimmings and warming up wassail – hope to see you all there !
Richard Robinson and the team