Quality award for Chapel animal park

THE CHESTNUT Centre has been voted one of the best animal parks in the East Midlands.

The centre, in Chapel-en-le-Frith, has been given the Zoological Park East Midlands Award in a competition run by tourism publication Going Places UK.

Members of the public voted it best for quality of attraction, service, politeness of staff, cleanliness and overall appearance in an open poll of readers and online visitors.

The Chestnut Centre was founded in 1984 by Roger and Carol Heap, who have been involved in conservation for over 30 years. They also own and operate the New Forest Wildlife Park in Hampshire and the Battersea Park Children’s Zoo in London.

“We are very pleased to receive this award, especially as we were nominated and voted for by members of the public,” said Carol.

“It is very rewarding for all our staff members to know that their hard work is appreciated in this way and to know that our visitors really enjoy their day out with us.”

The Chestnut Centre, set in 50 acres of landscaped grounds, has 15 species of owls plus several species of otter including the endangered Giant Otter. It also has pine martens, polecats, foxes, Scottish wildcats and deer.

The centre takes part in international captive breeding programmes for endangered species and also cares for injured or orphaned wild animals, especially otters, which are eventually returned to the wild.