WORD FROM THE WILD: The Latest News From The Park

Written by Lorah, Education and Activities Officer at Cotswold Wildlife Park

December 2022

Whilst the England football team sadly missed out on securing the World Cup trophy, here at the Park we are delighted to have won three awards this year!

Cotswold Wildlife Park was named Wildlife Park of the Year at the Prestige Awards and received the award for Best Family Attraction at both the Muddy Stilettos Awards and Little Ankle Biters’ Awards. We’d like to thank our visitors for your loyal support this year and for also taking the time to vote for us.

Prestige Award 2023

Muddy Stilettos Awards

Reggie Heyworth, Managing Director of Cotswold Wildlife Park said: “These awards are a real tribute to the work of a lot of people at the Cotswold Wildlife Park, who do so much to keep it looking beautiful and keep the animals well and happy. I’m so grateful to all my staff and I know how much it means to us all, especially after a difficult couple of years as a result of COVID, to receive these awards. It makes all our work worthwhile.”

In other news, the new Lion house – designed by carnivore Keeper James Welch and Park Curator Jamie Craig – has almost reached completion, and should see the Lions moving into their new home in early 2023. The building is a welcome upgrade for Rana and Kanha, our pair of Asiatic Lions, providing multiple den spaces and a contained veterinary area. Visitors will be able to see into the front dens through large viewing windows, bringing you even closer to these remarkable animals.

The Park's new Lion House The Park's new Lion House

James said of the design: “I wanted to create a new space that reflects everything we have learnt about keeping Lions, to benefit both the Lions and Keepers. I am incredibly passionate about working with Lions, so it’s been an honour to work on the design of this house. To see it taking shape over the last few months has been very exciting and I can’t wait to see what Rana and Kanha think of it when they step inside for the first time.”

The Park's new Lion House Rana carefully inspecting James’ window cleaning skills. Photo credit: Philip Joyce

You can find our Asiatic Lions – and their new home – at the far side of the Park, near the Giraffes and Camels.


The winter season sees the first sign of Snowdrops begin to emerge across parts of our beautiful gardens. The Park is possibly the only place you’d find Snowdrops flowering next to neighbours such as Owls, Emus, Siamangs, Giraffes and Rhinos, to name just a few. Roy Lancaster CBE, Plantsman and Gardener said:  “The variety of plants in the Park is extraordinary… The combination of exotic animals and flora has achieved a near perfect balance.”

Snowdrops Manor House

Why are Snowdrops such an extraordinary flower species?

Firstly, they contain a substance used to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease; Galantamine is a naturally occurring substance found in the Snowdrop’s bulb and flowers.

Secondly, Snowdrops contain a natural anti-freeze. Even if they collapse in freezing weather they recover once the temperature rises.

Lastly, when temperatures reach 10C and above, the outer petals open, revealing the nectar inside. When the temperature drops again, the petal shield closes and protects the nectar. This is perfect for bumble bees which usually come out of hibernation when temperatures rise above 10C.

Snowdrops Manor House

You can spot the Snowdrops creeping through in several meadows around the Park. You will find them in the Winter Garden and the woodland opposite the (very fitting) Snowy Owl enclosure.


Please could we remind you that our new winter opening times change from Monday 9th January 2023.

Cotswold Wildlife Park will remain CLOSED on WEEKDAYS ONLY from 9th January until 9th February (re-opening on Friday 10th February 2023); EXCEPT FOR WEEKENDS when the Park will be OPEN from 10.00am until 4:00pm or dusk (whichever is earlier, with last admission being at 3:00pm). This is to allow for essential maintenance to be carried out – thank you.


Merry Christmas from Cotswold Wildlife Park

We look forward to welcoming you in 2023.


Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens

Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens