Blackbrook Zoological Park
|Location||Winkhill, Staffordshire, England|
|Land area||75 acres (30 ha)|
Blackbrook Zoological Park is a zoo in central England which exhibits the largest collection of birds in the country. It is known for its breeding of rare bird species, with over 300 successfully breeding species to date. The zoo also has a growing collection of mammals, reptiles, fish and amphibians. It is a rural zoo, set in 75 acres (30 ha) of farmland and moorland at Winkhill in Staffordshire, England. The nearest towns are Leek, Ashbourne and Stoke-on-Trent.
The park was closed in June 2014 for refurbishment. No opening date has been announced.
Blackbrook Zoological Park was established in 1991 by Diana Holloway and her son, Mark Rubery. Holloway was already experienced in running a wildlife visitor attraction, having owned and run Hillside Bird Oasis in Mobberley, Cheshire since 1974. Blackbrook quickly developed into a large bird collection in its own right. Following Diana Holloway's death in 2006, running of the zoo passed to her son Mark. Development and expansion has continued in recent years: in 2006, a new entrance, gift shop and café were constructed, and in 2008, a £500,000 penguin exhibit was added. Hillside Bird Oasis was forced to close to the public in 2002 following complaints from local residents over increasing traffic levels, but it is still maintained by the owners as a private breeding facility. In 2008 the zoo became a charity and has begun to focus on conservation and education. The zoo receives no government grants.
The park is currently closed for refurbishment.
Blackbrook currently holds over 200 species of bird and around 40 mammals and reptiles. It has a large collection of cranes, pelicans, and waterfowl. Some of the animals exhibited are listed below:
- Humboldt penguin
- Grey Peacock-Pheasant
- Great Argus
- Siamese fireback
- Boat-billed Heron
- Magellanic steamer duck
- African spoonbill
- Red-crowned Crane
- White naped crane
- Sarus crane
- Wattled crane
- Demoiselle crane
- Black-necked crane
- Sandhill crane
- Milky eagle owl
Future projects at the zoo will include the development of the country's largest river aviary.
As of June 4, 2014, the zoo is closed for 'a short time' while it is being rejuvenated.
- "Park p-p-picks up eight new penguins". www.yourleekpaper.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
- "Park History". Blackbrook Zoological Park Website. Archived from the original on 2008-06-26. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
- "Award-winning tourist attraction forced to close". This is Cheshire archive. Retrieved 2008-08-30.