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“Lovely day out”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Wildwood Escot

Wildwood Escot
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Escot is known as the Natural Place for good reason. In the 220 acres of parkland, threatened native species such as the iconic red squirrel and the secretive water vole have found sanctuary in surroundings steeped in history and filled with beautiful plants and champion trees. Meet Escot’s family of otters, wild boar and the stunning birds of prey. There’s woodland to explore, wetlands to navigate, a maze to solve and so much more.
England
Level Contributor
130 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Lovely day out”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 6, 2013

A great place for a walk, stunning grounds, a wonderful eatery and a small garden centre to wander around.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank aytch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RobinSavill, General Manager at Wildwood Escot, responded to this review, October 15, 2013
Thank you for sending in your lovely review. I am so glad you had such a nice time here at Escot.

For the benefit of future readers, I would like to point out that the garden centre you describe is actually our pond plant area, where we stock a small selection of aquatic and marginal plants to complement our range of cold water fish.
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287 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Over priced, understaffed and run down.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 28, 2013

I decided to visit Escot because i love animals and wanted to see my first red squirrel and to see the otters. Yes i saw the red squirrel's and they were as beautiful as i had imagined. As were the adorable otters, but with each visit to an enclosure i felt more and more saddened. Escot is set on such 'huge' and beautiful surroundings yet i felt the animal and bird enclosures were only large enough for 'legal requirements'. The bird of prey enclosures were so small and basic with no greenery or trees to occupy them. They looked thoroughly bored with no room to gain much flight. I don't know if all the birds get out to fly but i did see a lady drive in the back way with a bird of prey in her car just before the bird of prey show time?? The squirrel encounter enclosure was small again but ok, squirrels were seen enjoying rumaging on the woodland ground which was lovely to see but it seemed two other squirrels were housed seperately in a cage on another area of the park which was so small. They couldn't rumage around and they were acting so differently in their caged environment, they looked a bit crazed! I also felt the grounds were run down and shabby. All in all i left feeling upset in what i saw. With all that land, i expected enclosures to be so much bigger. It seems to me as long as the enclosure is legally big enough, its ok, instead of thinking of welfare. The place is perfect for children's summer camp with lots of activities but as for the animal side, they seem to have been forgotten.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank hollybean27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RobinSavill, General Manager at Wildwood Escot, responded to this review, October 7, 2013
Thank you for sending in your review regarding the animals here at Escot.

Far from simply satisfying minimum size requirements, our animal enclosures have been designed and built to provide the optimum conditions for the species concerned and the purpose for which each enclosure is intended. This policy guarantees that we exceed the standards of the zoo licences we are required to hold by providing first class accommodation for all our animals.

The red squirrel encounter was designed to bring to visitors’ attention the seriousness of the situation facing the red squirrel and also to allow people to encounter this elusive species. I am therefore very pleased to hear that it gave you the opportunity to see your first red squirrel. Over half an acre in size, and the second only walk-through enclosure in the UK, our red squirrel encounter provides ample room for its occupants, whilst ensuring that there is usually a good chance of our visitors catching a glimpse of these beautiful creatures.

The smaller squirrel enclosure inside the park was designed as a breeding pen. Smaller pens have been found to produce better results when breeding red squirrels in captivity. Recent breeding results mean that we are about to extend this particular facility to accommodate a further breeding trio. This is a sign that the squirrels in this enclosure are most content, as stressed squirrels seldom produce offspring. Breeding pens are also kept separate from general enclosures to prevent the spread of disease throughout an entire colony. Along with the otters, our red squirrels are cared for by our two highly experienced full-time Nature Rangers.

In the case of the birds of prey, each one is flown and handled daily by our expert falconers, who care for their birds to the highest possible standards. The aviaries provide more than adequate conditions for birds given this amount of attention and freedom. The aviaries already contain some plants, to provide more natural surroundings, and we intend to add to these later in the autumn. In the wild, birds of prey spend many hours sitting on a perch watching their surroundings and only fly briefly whilst they are hunting.

I hope that this helps to explain how the animal enclosures are designed, with the needs of the animals in mind, and why these different needs result in different size enclosures.
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Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Lovely Afternoon”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 14, 2013

Had a lovely time here with my sister and niece. Lots to see and do, especially for children. Great to be out in the fresh air and then have lovely tea and cake in the courtyard cafe, esp as the cake was free of charge on a Friday afternoon. Would love to spend a full day here the next time and maybe bring a picnic.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank GeraldineVeitch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RobinSavill, General Manager at Wildwood Escot, responded to this review, October 1, 2013
I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed your "lovely afternoon" at Escot.

Tea and cake and fresh air are three of our favourite things here at Escot and I am so glad you enjoyed them all! Thank you for your lovely review and I hope we will see you again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Absolutely loved this place!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2013

We visited Escot with our toddler when staying a couple of nights at the nearby Woodhayes Country House (also excellent) and fell in love with it. Such a breath of fresh air when compared to "similar" busy, overpriced, noisy, over-controlled and samey attractions in London/the South East! Loved the red squirrel conservation, otters and wild boar instead of just your usual pigs and sheep, fabulous natural play areas (pirate ship, drop slide, various climbing areas), hidden paths and openings in the woods, beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, polite and helpful staff, engaging display boards and sculptures (the termite mound sculpture is incredible) and overall relaxed atmosphere. The animals have spacious and well-kept enclosures (those are some lucky guinea pigs!) and while it is very large so was never really busy during our visit (on a warm weekend afternoon in August), once most people had left at around 5.15pm and the otters and red squirrels really came out to play, it was so peaceful and beautiful that we just didn't want to leave. Great shop, maze, pony rides, falconry displays, a soft play barn and even Devonshire cream teas, I would highly recommend this to anyone with children aged 0-12.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank satonamat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RobinSavill, General Manager at Wildwood Escot, responded to this review, October 1, 2013
Wow - what a fantastic review. I'm so glad that you all enjoyed your visit to Escot so much. We have worked very hard to ensure that Escot retains its unique relaxed, un-commercial atmosphere and it is very encouraging to read that we have achieved just that.

Thank you for taking the time to write your review and for doing so in such detail. I do hope that we will have the opportunity to welcome you back to Escot in the future.
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Axminster, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great day out”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2013

I took my grandchildren to Escot for the day, the otter feeding and the bird of prey displays were excellent, lots for the kids to do in this woodland adventure. Well worth a visit and reasonably priced for families

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Carey C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RobinSavill, General Manager at Wildwood Escot, responded to this review, October 1, 2013
Thank you for your lovely review. It's great to hear that you and your grandchildren enjoyed the birds of prey display and otters' feeding time so much. I am also pleased to hear that you considered Escot to be reasonably priced.

I am so glad you all had a lovely time and I hope we will see you again very soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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