We wander through the entrance, and are greeted with a ghost town. It is a little later on in the day, but the lack of people was still surprising. It soon became clear why…
“The Animal Zone, at South Staffordshire College’s Rodbaston Campus, is home to around 750 animals from meerkats to monkeys, rabbits to alpacas!” [source]
Generally, I am a huge fan of the smaller nature centres over the larger zoos and safari parks, because they have more charm, and on the whole have an ethos of rescuing neglected animals, and promoting wildlife education which is highly commendable. I had hoped Rodbaston Animal Zone would be the same. Sadly the whole centre was a little tired. The facilities were all in need of updating. There was an onsite cafe, and play area for children, neither of which looked overly appealing. There were lots of beautiful animals on display, but their enclosures were not in the best shape. Of course I understand this centre is a place of learning, with connections to Staffordshire College, so some layouts of enclosures had been built to cater to students, and education. However, my concerns were more with the decay, the enrichment for the animals, or lack of, and the cleanliness in some areas. I did enjoy seeing the animals on display, but it was a bittersweet enjoyment. On the whole, the trip was disappointing, and I hope the animals in the centre are cared for a lot better than their homes, and facilities.
Rodbaston Animal Zone at a glance…
Weekends only, and weekdays during term breaks.
Family Ticket: £20.00
Address: South Staffordshire College, Rodbaston Dr, Penkridge, Stafford ST19 5PH OR use Google Maps here.
There is an on-site cafe, and play area for children.