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“Clearly in need of cash input but”
Review of Wetheriggs Animal Rescue Centre - CLOSED

Wetheriggs Animal Rescue Centre
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Wetheriggs Animal Rescue Centre is a small family run animal sanctuary now based at Thorpe Farm Centre near Barnard Castle having previously been situated in Clifton Dykes near Penrith since it started in 2006. The centre is currently home to over 600 animals, many of which have been pets in the past and are now looking for new homes. Some of the animals are brought in from the RSPCA and other animal rescue organisations and centres. There is lots to see, and visitors have the chance to get close to many of the animals and even feed some of them. We offer talks and animal handling sessions during weekends and local school holidays, and we are always happy to go the extra mile for our visitors, so if there is any animal you'd like to hold or learn more about please just ask.
Colchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
68 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Clearly in need of cash input but”
Reviewed September 25, 2013

It's a zoo because they have to pay zoo licence for some of the creatures not because they have lions and tigers in massive cages. They dohave some unusual animals though, like a genet. Don't know whatone is? Go and see.
Fruit bats flying past you in free space is wonderful.
Cafe on site is basic.
They cpuld do with having a look at moo.com and getting at least some postcards printed up for themselves.
Excellent few hours wandering around. Loved the wallaby with it's joey and caughtsight of the albino hedgehog.
£17.50 for a familyticket

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank kkkaarreenn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

135 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    72
    25
    5
    5
    28
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Hmm "zoo"”
Reviewed September 16, 2013

Well I went here today (16/09) and it was terrible. I have no idea why this place is called a zoo because it isn't whatsoever. Yeah some of the animals were ok but a very big disappointment overall plus the staff weren't exactly very friendly nor welcoming. Never again!

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Emmalouiise1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark T, Keeper & Administrator at Wetheriggs Animal Rescue Centre, responded to this review, September 19, 2013
Hi, i'm sorry to read you were disappointed with Wetheriggs, but i'm guessing you didn't understand Wetheriggs is primarily a rescue centre. I'm sorry if you were expecting Lions, Tigers and Giraffes. Part of the reason we have Zoo in our name is because we have a zoo licence which allows us to accommodate the many exotic animals we have in our care, most of which have been rescued. We also Zoo in our name to attract visitors as we rely on visitors to keep the place running, and if we were just called Animal Rescue Centre (like we were previously) many people think the centre is only open to people who want to rehome any of the animals.
As many of our visitors say, we have many unusual animals to see, and we are a lot more hands on than most places you can visit. I'm sorry if you didn't enjoy any of this.

Also i'm sorry you feel the staff were not friendly or welcoming. I was not in on the day of your visit so I cannot comment on your experience, but it is very unusual for any staff members to be unwelcoming. If any staff member was unpleasant during your visit I can only apologise for this.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Level Contributor
2 reviews
“Lovely afternoon!”
Reviewed September 12, 2013

We've just spent a couple of hours wandering around wetheriggs with our 2year old and we had a great time feeding the goats and miniature donkeys. There are a few unusual animals there too that we weren't expecting to see like the coati, mongoose, spotted genets and raccoon dogs.
I can't imagine what a difficult job it must be to look after so many rescued animals.
Well done folks, keep up the good work!!

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank vichicken
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark T, Keeper & Administrator at Wetheriggs Animal Rescue Centre, responded to this review, September 15, 2013
Hi, thank you for your kind review. I'm really pleased to hear you enjoyed your visit to Wetheriggs. I'm glad you enjoyed seeing the wide range of animals we have on display, most of which have been rescued in one way or another.

It does get very hard at times keeping the centre running, especially some days when we don't have many staff and volunteers in. I'm glad you appreciate the work everyone at the centre does.

Thanks again, and we hope to see you back at Wetheriggs soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Lovely place to visit for animal lovers”
Reviewed September 9, 2013 via mobile

This place is very well run by dedicated staff, a rescue centre for mistreated animals and very worthy of your interest and donations. The whole family spent a great few hours there feeding and petting some lovely creatures and had a great time. Keep up the good work guys!

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Mike C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark T, Keeper & Administrator at Wetheriggs Animal Rescue Centre, responded to this review, September 15, 2013
Hi, thank you very much for your kind review. I'm glad to hear you and your family enjoyed your visit to Wetheriggs. We rely on people like you to visit the site as this is our main source of income for the rescue centre. Without visitors coming and supporting us we would not be able to keep the centre running, so thank you very much.
Thank you also for your kind comment about our dedicated staff. We all work hard to keep the place running and spend time with visitors when we can.
Thanks again, and we hope to see you back at Wetheriggs soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glossop, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
68 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Excellent rescue centre”
Reviewed September 7, 2013

I have got to say that I feel sorry for the staff of Wetheriggs that have to deal with some of the idiotic reviews posted on here. It is a rescue centre not a department store for animals, many of the animals there have been previously mistreated - that is why they may not look like beauty contestants and that is why they have been taken there! Animals pooh and pooh smells, get over it. On the day of our visit I did not see a single enclosure that I would say particularly needed cleaning.

Back to our visit itself. We were pleasantly surprised by the variety and number of animals at the centre. The staff and keepers were helpful and friendly.
It was a lot more hands on than your average zoo, it was great to be able to feed quite a few of the animals, in particular to be able to hand feed the meerkats was wonderful.
It is quite clear that the place is an ongoing work, but it is obvious that they are doing the work. It should be applauded for the job that it does.
The only gripe that I had was that it was somewhat difficult to negotiate some areas of the site with a wheelchair, but I do understand that this is due to the historic nature of the site and the expansion required due to ever increasing animal numbers.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank ROBDOLPHIN66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark T, Keeper & Administrator at Wetheriggs Animal Rescue Centre, responded to this review, September 15, 2013
Hi, thank you very much for your kind review. I'm glad you understand many of our animals are rescued, and some are in various states of repair. Its a shame some others can't seem to understand this and end up leaving bad reviews when all they have to do is speak to a member of staff during their visit and we will be happy to explain how the centre runs and deal with any issues they may have.

I'm really pleased to hear you enjoyed your visit, and found the centre to be more up close and hands on with the animals compared to many other zoos. We know we can never compete with the bigger zoos, which is why we don't even try, we try to offer something different, so i'm glad you appreciate it.

The site is always being changed and worked on, we are currently working in the room next to the Tropical House to expand the indoor areas we have, we are also planning on doing a lot of work in the Vulture enclosure to make this a walk through enclosure so people can see this impressive bird much better as we understand it is currently not the best enclosure to see anything in.

I agree some areas of the site can be a little tricky for people with wheelchairs and pushchairs to navigate round, and we do try to repair and upgrade footpaths when possible, but as you say, much of the site is an old historic site and parts of the site do end up showing their age. Also the area where we currently have our chicken arks can be hard to move round due to it being on soft ground with many trees around this area.
Apologies also for the bark chippings on the floor in Tropical House. We are planning to repaint this floor so we should no longer need the chippings as currently the floor does look a mess.

Thank you again for your kind review, and we hope to see you back at Wetheriggs soon.
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