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.
In 1956, Beale Park was formed by Gilbert Beale who decided to give the 350-acre (140 ha) Thames-side park land to ‘the people’ by converting it from private farmland into a non-profit making, charitable trust. In those days it was little more than a track and a couple of ponds.
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[clarification needed] 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 1⁄2 in (267 mm) narrow gauge railway on which is run a diesel locomotive, "Sir Humphrey Davy"; and previously a steam locomotive, "John Remmy", each capable of pulling 5 carriages and 50 people. Thirteen people were injured when a steam train crashed on the Beale Railway on Saturday, 27 June 2009.
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.
2008 saw the arrival of various new exhibits and attractions including a New Zealand exhibit with wallabies and Arapawa goats and 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.