Due to the generosity and kindness of the supporters of the Lake District Wildlife Park, work has now begun on the Primate Playground Project. The rebuilding of the play areas in the primate enclosures is long overdue and has been part of the ongoing maintenance plan for many months. Due to the lockdowns and loss of income, the project had to be put on hold. However, with the help of fundraising by individuals, financial donations, donations of climbing rope and items bought off our Amazon wish list, the project is now underway.
At the end of 2019 we put the word out through the Association of Mountaineering Instructors to rock climbers and businesses to ask if they had any ropes that they needed to retire. We were overwhelmed by the response and along with our usual donation of rope from Go Ape, we have ended up with many lengths of brightly coloured rope. It is now being plaited and knotted into swings and rope ladders. These will then be strung and hung all around the playgrounds.
During the first lockdown of 2020 Evie Rolls aged 7 years old, participated in the Lakesman Lockdown Junior Challenge as she wanted to raise money for our animals. Evie wants to be a Zoo Keeper when she grows up and one of her favourites are Lemurs. Evie managed to raise a total of £310, quite an achievement for a young girl! Her funds helped to purchase the nuts and bolts and lengths of webbing that are an integral part of the Lemur playgrounds.
The funds raised by the recent crowd funding campaign have helped us to keep our animals fed and healthy during lockdown. However, it has also been a huge benefit to the mental and physical well-being of our animals. The playgrounds are essential for our primates to have an active and fulfilled life. Play has many benefits: exercise, problem solving, climbing, agility and balance. All of these are natural behaviours found in the wild.
Currently the first stages of the playgrounds have been put into the ground. This includes many upright poles and crossbars. The next stage is for these to be lashed with rope and then the swings and ladders can be added. The final touches will be feeders and toys. Staff at the Park are working hard to get the project completed. We intend to have the new play areas for the Ring-Tailed Lemurs, the Black and White Lemurs and the Cappuchins completed for when we reopen on the 12th April.
Play is such an important part of life for all of us. Humans also gain enjoyment simply from watching animals play and we are really looking forward to bringing some joy to all our visitors. Come along and be uplifted by watching our troop of Ring-Tailed Lemurs jump from pole to pole and up into the trees. Allow a smile to warm across your face as you watch the Black and White Lemurs balancing effortlessly on a climbing frame. Then if you feel inclined, you could have a go yourself on our animal themed adventure playground. Just let it all go and “Leap like a Lemur”.
We want to take this opportunity to say thank you again for your support.