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Chestnut Centre Otter, Owl and Wildlife Park
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Chestnut Centre is an escape from the bustle of life, in a secluded natural valley in the Peak National Park. The centre is home to 4 species of otters including the rare Giant Otter, 15 species of owl, tame fallow deer in the deer herd, foxes, pine marten and the elusive, endangered Scottish Wildcat etc. Truly a ‘Hidden Gem in a Hidden Valley”.
Reviewed September 22, 2013

The animals appear well cared for and have plenty of space; the staff are friendly, and the setting is peaceful & beautiful. Very informative signing and a lovely afternoon walk. For £7.75 each (i think) this attraction is excellent value for money and does good work; we would have happily paid a little more. Polecat feeding time was great fun and the young lady took her time and introduced all her furry friends to the visitors.

Thank Calum B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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432 - 436 of 543 reviews

Reviewed September 20, 2013

This park is full of owls and otters....a few other animals thrown in, the deer are great but it is full of owls and otters, to be honest the otters are pretty amazing, the birds you can see in most places. The staff were really friendly, there is a cafe with home-made foods, so that was pretty good.and the loos were clean always a huge bonus. There is also some buildings were you go in were they do educational stuff, we went for Halloween one year, small fee and a large choice of activities with some really great staff. My only moan is I thinks its a bit pricey for what it is.

Thank angekate185
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2013 via mobile

We like to visit the chestnut centre every year and each visit is different depending on what mood the otters are in! Kids love it. It is very difficult with a pushchair and easier to do backwards. Usually finish off with a jam and cream scone!

Thank LisaNorcliffe-Haigh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2013

We must have arrived at the same time and on the same day as Ifachef. We had to move our car to ensure there was another space but we were asked politely. When we left, the car park was full and poor parking - like mine, I admit it - would have lost them spaces and, probably, custom.

The main animal section is cleverly nestled in a deep valley around a stream and several smaller ones joining it. This does make the paths wind around, up and down, with steps and some bridges to cross. I was very impressed with the build quality of the bridges, viewing platforms and handrails. It's been made to last, and potential slippery surfaces had both chicken wire and square mesh to give a longlasting non-slip surface.

People with pushchairs were struggling with the slopes and steps. It's a long walk to the animals, through a beautiful deer park. And perhaps they should make this clearer at the entrance, together with a reminder that the only loos are already behind you. But nobody likes too many signs.

But signs are this parks specialty. I've rarely seen so much information displayed about the animals. They deserve a mention for this. And it's also repeated in language and format that children can understand and take in.

Animals in zoos seek their own privacy and it's always luck whether they are on parade. The better the enclosure environment the more opportunity to hide. They'd be very visible if they were in small cages with no shelter but for the animals' sakes those days are long gone. The animals here seemed content enough and certainly well cared for.

For a small local attraction I felt it was worth the entrance fee and I didn't feel ripped off.

Thank Two_Tankertonians
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carol H, Owner at Chestnut Centre Otter, Owl and Wildlife Park, responded to this reviewResponded September 4, 2013

Thank you very much for the review we were very pleased you enjoyed your time at the centre. it is also reassuring to know you were met with a courteous manner when you were parking your cars.

Thank you again for taking time to submit your review.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2013

I think with this attraction you can tell that it was a place where wild animals were rescued which has eventually turned into a family attraction, as it isn't quite as commercialised as other zoos. There's a fair amount of (easy) walking involved, which I feel is part of the charm, as it means you can appreciate views of the surrounding countryside, whilst walking through the natural habitat of the animals which you've come to see. Other people have commented that the enclosures are messy and overgrown which I think is ridiculous seeing as these animals naturally live in woodland, and it would be cruel to keep them in an exposed glass box just for us to look at! I was pleased with the amount of animals which were out and about, including all the owls, the polecats and otters which you could see playing and interacting with people. Also the resident deer were very friendly, and I stroked a few, which was a bonus. My only issue was that all the information about the creatures and their habitats were aimed at young children, which I guess maybe is the centres target audience, although I'm just a little disappointed that I didn't learn anything new.

Otherwise, I must add there were a few lovely features such as a century-old 'dog graveyard' and a tree formed by 3 separate trees which appear to be hugging. Also as we sat on a bench in the meadow, there were hundreds of small birds (swifts or swallows?) flying around, right past our heads, which was unusual!

All in all I would say the Chesnut Centre is a fairly cheap trip out for a few hours, giving you the chance to see some of Britians endangered animals up close and personal, although probably ideal for families with young kids.

Thank Janeyw007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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