Friday, 14 March 2008

Native creatures, ahoy!

Arthur (or me, anyhow) are fans of British wildlife, and this is a round up i wrote for The Guardian a while back.

Wild Boar at Chipping, near Preston

Wild boars, fluffy chicks and tractor rides for a pound a go, plus plenty of related edibles too. Wild Boar Park, 10.30am to 4pm daily, £4.50 adults, £3.50 child, £14 family. Chipping, Preston (Call 01995 61554)

Shire Horses at Cotebrook, Cheshire

A working stable packed with Shires, Clydesdales and rolling acoutrements. Horsing about guaranteed.Cotebrook Shire Horse Centre, 10am to 5pm daily, £5.95 adult, £3.95 child (under 5s are free), £18.50 family, Cotebrook, near Tarporley, Cheshire (call 01829 760506 or visit

Seals in Gweek, Cornwall

A rescue centre for the lost and poorly seals of the south, with sea lions and otters to add to the fun. The National Seal Sanctuary, from 10am daily, £10.95 adults, £7.95 child (3 to 14), Gweek, near Helston, Cornwall (call 0871 423 2110)

Shrew in Herne Bay, Kent

A forest park crammed with small and often endangered creatures like pool frogs, harvest mice and water shrew. Wildwood, 10am to 4pm daily, £9.50 adult, £7.50 child (3 and over) Wildwood Trust, Herne Common, Herne Bay, Kent (call 0871 7820081)

Kingussie Hooper swans in the Highlands

Home to over 100 of the Nordic charmers right now, as well as the odd Golden Eagle, Scottish Cross Bill and Black Grouse. Insh Marshes RSPB Reserve, open at all times, free, Kingussie, Highland (Call 01540 661518)

Easter days out: The Deep and Eureka!

Ideas for easter days out....

The Deep (in Hull, but don't let that phase you) launches Shark Summer season next Friday (March 21) which includes the daily screening of a '4D shark movie' which will star great whites, whalesharks and giant hammerheads. Excellent. Not one for the feary.

Halifax's Eureka museum meanwhile has something for all ages in the form of a Dinosaur Dig (March 21 to April 13) The museum's park will be transformed into a dinosaur dig fit and, if your young diggers dress up as explorers or dinosaurs, they get in for free with a paying adult.