As many of you know, at the Lake District Wildlife Park we have many exotic animals including leaping Lemurs, swinging Gibbons and flamboyant Flamingos. However, what you may not know is that behind the scenes we have been working hard to look after the small stuff. We have an increasing number of exotic invertebrates including Madagascan Hissing Cockroaches, New Guinea Spiny Stick Insects, Giant African Land Snails, and a Tanzanian Red Legged Millipede called Marmite.
Our exotic invertebrate collection has grown over the years, mainly due to the hard work of our Reptile Keeper Kasper, who has a personal interest in all things creepy crawly! He always has time to talk about his passion and how important these interesting and colourful beasties are. On a local scale, our Park Manager Richard has been working hard to look after our native insects. And that is something that we have been building on for many years. Conservation is at our heart at the Lake District Wildlife Park. We care about the planet and know how important the invertebrates, more commonly known as bugs and beasties are to its survival.
On the wider Armathwaite Hall Estate, we manage two upland hay meadows with wildlife and invertebrates in mind. Invertebrates are an important part of the food chain, providing food for a huge variety of birds and small mammals including moles, shrews, voles, bats and hedgehogs and even bigger mammals like fox and badger. Bees, butterflies, moths, hoverflies and beetles all play their part in carrying out the important job of pollination for 80% of trees, plants and wildflowers.
On the Wildlife Park itself, there are areas that are left wild including in our woodland walk. That is where you will find our “Bee Bungalow” and “Bugingham Hotel and Spa. Those of you who have managed to visit the wildlife park recently may have noticed some areas that have been dug up near our Ring-Tailed Lemur enclosure and Yak enclosure. Whilst these areas look a bit uninteresting at the moment, they should soon be bursting with colour, as they have been planted up with wildflower seed.
We are currently getting ready for our annual “Bug and Beastie Week” which takes place in half term every year. This is a unique opportunity for visitors to the Park to learn all about a wide variety of native and exotic insects and for our keepers to enthuse people about how amazing insects can be. We will have lots of colourful information displays, keeper talks and will even have some of our exotic beasties out and about for people to meet. We always have lots of fun during bug week, so if you want to do something a bit different, come along and meet some of our bugs and beasties. Look out for updates on our website and our social media feeds.