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Half Term Halloween Fun!

12 Oct

If you are bored of all your local haunts, stake out the fun at Drusillas Park over the Halloween period. Between Saturday 22nd and Monday 31st October, Drusillas have conjured up some fang-tastically spooky surprises to keep your little horrors half term happy.

Venture through the creepy cobwebbed corridors of The Haunted Cottage into the terror-tory of Winifred the witch, as she plays hide and shriek with the unsuspecting public! Be warned however, Winifred and her frightful cat can startle young children and those of a nervous disposition!!

Winifred and her fiendish tricksters have also buried a wealth of their witchy wares within the sandy hollows of Dino-Dig. Help Drusillas reverse Winifred’s spell and return to normality, by retrieving the items in exchange for a tasty treat.

Visitors can also jump aboard Thomas the Tank Engine to complete the Pumpkin Challenge and experience a hair-raising haul through the Spooky Tunnel. With all this, plus the usual animal magic it’s well worth hopping on your broomstick and flying to Drusillas.

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Chestnut Tree House Visits Sussex Zoo

27 Sep

A group of young people from Chestnut Tree House have enjoyed a complimentary day out at award-winning Drusillas Park. The visit took place on Saturday as part of the charity’s Fun and Friendship Youth Group outings.

Chestnut Tree House is the only hospice for children in Sussex and Drusillas Park’s Charity of the Year. Families are never charged for their care and the charity receives little government funding, so relies almost entirely on the help and support of the community to raise the £2.5 million required to provide its services.

During their visit, the group encountered a host of furry and feathered creatures along the zoo route including the resident meerkats, penguins and lemurs. They also enjoyed some close animal encounters in the new walk through aviary, Lory Landing.

Activity and Buddy Co-ordinator, Trisha Cullingford commented: “Our young people have varied disabilities and complex needs and the sight, sound and smell experience of Drusillas was an excellent activity for them.”

“We spent time looking and interacting with the animals and some of our young people went on the train. A couple fed the parrots and one said ‘that was the best thing ever’. Another member of our group sat for ages captivated by a lemur eating and feeding.”

“We were looked after very well, nothing was too much trouble for the staff; they were really friendly and helpful.”

Get Ready for Creepy Crawlies Day

9 Sep

Venture down to Drusillas Park on Sunday 25th September for Creepy Crawlies Day and meet some very unusual mini monsters. The Discovery Centre will be open between 11am and 4pm, swarming with weird insects, slimy molluscs and scary spiders.

Amongst the creatures will be scorpions with their powerful pincers, hissing cockroaches that make a terrifying hissing noise to scare off predators, giant millipedes and large fanged tarantulas.

Experts from the British Tarantula Society will be available to answer questions throughout the day, including Drusillas Park’s very own spider woman, Angela Hale. Known as Tarangela at the zoo, Angela knows all there is to know about these eight-legged creatures and will be on hand to help visitors understand them too.

Drusillas Park’s Managing Director, Laurence Smith commented: “Spiders are one of the most misunderstood creatures on the planet and this is a great chance for the public to come along and meet them face to face – who knows we may even cure a phobia!  We find that most children love creepy crawlies but it is often their parents we have to convince.”

Family Fun before the Kids Go Back to School

23 Aug

No summer is complete without a visit to Drusillas Park; the South East’s Visitor Attraction of the Year. With plenty still to see and do during the holidays, it’s well worth a visit before the kids go back to school.

Join in the excitement and snorts of laughter tomorrow 24th August as Peppa Pig makes her last appearance with her brother George. The Fat Controller himself will also be causing a locomotion when he alights at the Park on 25th August.

Plus there’s all the usual animal magic on offer. Drusillas offers an opportunity to get nose to nose with nature with hundreds of exotic animals from monkeys and crocodiles to penguins and meerkats. Get up close and personal to the lemurs in Lemurland or feed nectar to a friendly flock of rainbow lorikeets in the new parrot aviary, Lory Landing. 

However, animals are only half the fun. The state-of-the-art attraction, Go Wild! combines a multi-levelled labyrinth of adventure play and the interactive maze,Eden’s Eye, takes visitors on an adventure style quest. Indoors there is Amazon Adventure, a state-of-the-art soft play complex and the Thomas & Friends™ train offers unlimited rides all year round.

Zoo Keepers Saddle Up for Charity Bike Ride

18 Aug

Three zoo keepers from Drusillas Park have raised nearly £1000 after completing a sponsored bike ride for Chestnut Tree House and the EAZA Ape Campaign.

Jodie Dryden, Claudia Caballero-Pope and Helena Faunch completed the 50 mile route on Sunday 14th August, starting from Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent before returning to the award-winning zoo in East Sussex.

All inexperienced riders, the energetic trio have trained hard over the past few months in order to rise to the challenge.  Wearing bespoke t-shirts they set off from Hythe at 9am, travelling west along the A259 through Rye, Hastings and Bexhill before meeting up with the A27 to Alfriston.

Claudia commented: “The journey started off really well with us getting lost on some country roads and having to ask a horse rider for directions within the first 10 miles!”

“There was lots of laughing and joking for 20 to 25 miles or so which soon died out as it got more challenging and we were getting tired. The wind was really strong along Rye and Hastings which also didn’t help. We ended on a high though with everyone from Drusillas waiting to wave us in as we arrived back 8 hours later.”

Jodie added: “The main thing that kept us going was knowing how much sponsorship money we had been pledged and how much the charities would benefit. We’d like to say thank you to everyone who sponsored us and made the day happen.”

The money will be split equally between the two chosen charities. Chestnut Tree House is Drusillas Park’s charity of the year and the only hospice for children in Sussex. Families are never charged for their care and the charity receives little government funding, so relies almost entirely on the help and support of the community.

The remaining half of the money will be donated to the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria to contribute to their Ape Campaign. This seeks to make a lasting difference to the survival of apes and their habitats in the wild. 

Janet Parsons, Head of Communications at Chestnut Tree House commented: “We are delighted to be Drusillas’ charity of the year.  We would like to say a huge thank you to the girls from everyone at Chestnut Tree House for supporting us in this way.”

Children Enjoy Dreamnight at the Zoo

28 Jun

Over 500 guests enjoyed a magical evening at the zoo at the beginning of June as Drusillas Park hosted their first ever Dreamnight, exclusively for chronically ill and disabled children in the region to enjoy with their families. 

Dreamnight is a charity event which takes place around the world on the first Friday of June. Each zoo organises the evening in their own way but in all cases the children are welcomed as VIPs.

At Drusillas guests were greeted by Deputy Lieutenant Michael Ann OBE, Stephen Lloyd MP, Mayor of Seaford Councillor Linda Wallraven, Mayor of Lewes Councillor John Stockdale, Mayor of Newhaven Councillor Steve Saunders, Deputy Mayor of Peacehaven Councillor Elayne Merry and the Chairman of East Sussex County Council, Chris Dowling.

Special events during the evening included a guest appearance from popular Cbeebies character Driver Dan, creepy crawly encounters with The British Tarantula Society and performances from Circus Take-Away’s Nick Huckleberry Beak.  There were also late night keeper talks and encounters, face painting, the rare opportunity to see the animals after hours as well as a Sausage Sizzle on the patio with food supplied by Heathfield Meats and 3663.

The Park was decorated with contributions from Newhaven Balloonatic and Rare Displays and Tansleys of Seaford provided a souvenir programme for each guest. Each child also received a gift, supported by a large number of generous donations.

Drusillas Park’s Managing Director Laurence Smith commented: “We are delighted to be able to provide this opportunity for children who may not otherwise be able to visit the zoo during our usual opening hours.”

“Everyone has volunteered their time and services to bring about this special evening. We have also had a great deal of support from local businesses, suppliers and other individuals for which we are incredibly grateful.”

 

Snake Saturday and Spider Sunday

21 Jun

Venture down to Drusillas Park this weekend (25th and 26th June) and meet some of the extraordinary animals taking up residence in the Discovery Centre as part of Snake Saturday and Spider Sunday.

On Saturday 25th June, a range of snakes will be sliding their way to the zoo and experts will be available to give advice on these fangtastic creatures. If you find snakes charming or think your knowledge of boas is constricted, this is the ideal opportunity to find out more about them.

Or creep down to Drusillas on Sunday 26th June and discover some spectacular spiders. Experts from the British Tarantula Society will be available to answer questions throughout the day, including Drusillas Park’s very own spider woman, Angela Hale.

Known as Tarangela at the zoo, Angela knows all there is to know about these eight-legged creatures and will be on hand to help visitors understand these mini monsters.