Keeping staff up to date - Please check this page regularly for updates and briefings about the Park and the situation with the Coronavirus.

Staff Update

Update 24th March 2020 - Message from Stephen

Hello everyone. I hope that despite the news last night from the Prime Minister you are all feeling reasonably ok – hard I know – and that you are doing your best to keep family and friends strong and safe. Most of us are at home now. I’m in touch with the trustees working out what we are going to do over the coming days and weeks. The animal team is looking after the animals in a new shift pattern to help keep the staff safe. Many thanks to them for getting organised so quickly and for doing so well what you all passionately believe in.

The phrase unchartered waters has been overdone a bit recently but we really have not been here before. I am confident though that if people do what is necessary and stick together we will come out the other end of this a little battered but intact.

We are an amazing team working in an amazing place and have a huge amount of support from our trustees, visitors, members and the wider community. When we do open again I suspect we will find it hard to cope with the numbers that will flood back to us but that is a nice challenge to deal with!

Christine will be maintaining contact with the public via Facebook and the website as it’s important that we don’t go off people’s radar. I think it fair to say that we have the opportunity to cheer people up in lockdown by keeping them updated with what’s going on – the animals in the park and our resident wildlife is carrying on as usual.

We’ll keep updating you using social media, phone calls and this page so do keep checking back.

If any of you, particularly those living alone like me, ever feel you need to have a chat, I’m always available on 07581 522708.

Thinking of you all. Keep handwashing and stay safe.

Stephen x

Update 22/03/2020

Hi all

The Park will close as of today – 22nd March 2020.  Below is the statement we have posted on the website.

Following Government advice on social distancing, Beale Wildlife Park will close its gates to visitors for the foreseeable future, from today, Sunday 22nd March.

We do not know how long this will be but we hope that our actions (along with other attractions) will help stop the spread of Corona virus.

A number of our amazing animal and grounds teams live on site and will be able continue to care for our animals ensuring that they have the same level of care that they are used to.

Some of you may have questions about the closure and we will post some Q&As on our website tomorrow.

Please stay safe, look after each other and, when this is all over, we will be back open and look forward to welcoming you back to this amazing place.

Thank you for understanding.

Heads of Dept will be in touch with you on Monday if not before.  In the meantime, please stay safe.

 

Update 20/03/2020

Earlier today, those on site gathered for a meeting.

Stephen’s updated included:

  • A review of the year so far which has been tough. In February there were low visitor numbers due to the weather which has resulted in a substantial loss of income.
  • With this in mind, he is asking all staff to consider ideas as to how we can save money and provided a couple examples from other companies where a simple idea resulted in significant cost saving.
  • We have agreed to stay open as long as we can as we are an outdoor space where people can visit safely as long as everyone follows the Government guidelines. Visitor numbers are low which is expected but there are positive comments and feedback from those who have visited or plan to visit in the future.
  • The following areas are closed: Bertie’s Bugs and Beasts, the indoor picnic area (formerly the Treasured Toy Museum) and the indoor part of the Toddler Village (Little Tikes). We are also closing the Bee Zone as it is partially covered and can be a tight spot for visitors.
  • The team in the Peacock Restaurant are now serving takeaways only with no seating available inside.
  • We will monitor what other zoos and tourism attractions and make the necessary decisions when we have to but otherwise, we continue to open.
  • We will get through this. We will keep each other going and when it is over, Stephen will be buying us all a HUGE drink! (OK – the ‘HUGE’ was added in and he may not have said that!)

Update 18/03/2020

Hello all

Just a quick update as to changes to the Park today (18/03/2020).

  • The Ticket Office and Gift Shop are no longer taking cash but are accepting credit and debit cards.
  • The Restaurant is now open for takeaway refreshments only and seating is no longer available inside.
  • Indoor areas (Bertie’s Beasts and Bugs, Indoor Picnic Area (formerly the Toy Museum), Bee Zone and the part of the Toddler Village (Little Tikes) will be closed from today.
  • We did not promote the Mother’s Day offer (which was Mums come in free if accompanied by a full paying adult or child) but we WILL be honouring the offer on the day for any visitors who come.  The reason for this was it felt irresponsible to promote people to come out when the Government advice is to stay at home.
  • We have been asked to watch spending at this time, so Christine has put the project for new uniforms on hold.  This will be reviewed in a couple of months.

Stephen will be providing an update on Friday 20th March at 9.30am at the Pod next to the Ticket Office.  This is just to let everyone know what’s going on.  If you are unable to attend a briefing note will be sent out to you.

In the meantime, Christine is asking for photos and footage of the Park as we intend to keep going with communications that cheer our followers up.  All ideas are welcome!