Beale Park

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Beale Wildlife Park and Gardens
Date opened 1956
Location Lower Basildon
Reading
Berkshire
RG8 9NH
Coordinates 51°30′N 1°6.5′W / 51.500°N 1.1083°W / 51.500; -1.1083
Website bealepark.co.uk

Beale Wildlife Park and Gardens is situated by the River Thames, between the villages of Pangbourne and Lower Basildon in Berkshire, England. It has three main areas of attraction: collections of small exotic animals, farm animals and birds; landscaped gardens and woodlands; and children's play areas.

The park was founded in 1956 by Gilbert Beale as his own private park. He was a keen collector and breeder of peacocks and these birds still roam free in the park. The park is known locally as both "Child-Beale" (after the founding charity) and colloquially as "The Peacock Farm."

Attractions[edit]

Beale Railway

Over recent years the park has expanded to accommodate a wide variety of visitors, especially the youngest ones. The park has recently built a roplay area, a pets area, sand pits, paddling pools, Little Tikes Play Area and the Beale Railway, a 1-mile (1.6 km) section of 10 12 in (267 mm) narrow gauge railway on which are run a steam train, "John Remmy", and a diesel "Sir Humphrey Davy", each capable of pulling 5 carriages and 50 people.[1] Thirteen people were injured when a steam train crashed on the Beale Railway on Saturday, 27 June 2009.[2]

For older visitors there are the gardens, lakes and the model boat exhibition.

There is also a gift shop, education centre and restaurant on site.

Birds[edit]

One of the ducks the lemurs live with

Beale Park's aviaries are home to a wide variety of bird species that are threatened with extinction. Most notable are the Green Peafowl, the Mountain Peacock Pheasant and the Bali Starling. There is also successful breeding programme and several birds have been released back to the wild.

There are many themed aviaries around the park including: Regional aviaries (home to African, Asian and Australian birds), the walkthrough aviary, the owlery, Madagascan aviary and the flamingos.

Changes[edit]

Over recent years the park has expanded greatly to a more zoological collection, the park now houses lemurs, owls, and in 2007 meerkats, prairie dogs and Tamarins arrived.

2008 has seen the arrival of various new exhibits and attractions including; A New Zealand Islands exhibit home Wallabies and Arapawa Goats, A Small African Mammals enclosure purpose built for Yellow Mongoose and Bat-eared Foxes with a raised walkway for improved viewing and also a new pair of Capybaras.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°30′N 1°6.5′W / 51.500°N 1.1083°W / 51.500; -1.1083