The site of Battersea Park was once nothing more than marshland, used by the local population for the cultivation of asparagus, carrots and lavender. The first time the area was developed was in 1858 when the land was turned into a public park for the pursuit of sporting activities. It was not developed again until 1951 when it was redeveloped as part of the Festival of Britain attractions when it became very much the park it is today.
Battersea Park is more than just a place to get back to nature and relax though, it is a place that the whole family can go and enjoy, especially the younger members of the family as the park contains a wonderful children’s zoo which is delightful and at the same time fun and educational. The zoo has been designed to allow children to learn more about the animals that they see and interact with here in the hope that they leave with a greater understanding and respect for the natural environment.
A Family Business
The zoo was facing closure in 2003, and it is thanks to one family with a love of animals and a commitment to rescuing and protecting endangered species that the zoo is the wonderful place that it is today. This is more than your average children’s zoo as there more much more exotic animals to meet here than those you would generally find in the children’s corner of a large zoo. If you are expecting rabbits and guinea pigs you will be pleasantly surprised instead to discover otters, polecats and bison in the park.
All of the animals that you discover here are taking part in a breeding programme aimed at increasing their numbers and saving the species from extinction. Within the Battersea Park Zoo you will find a range of mammals from the small, shy field mouse through to the large and impressive bison, as well as many different types of birds from domestic fowl to the more colourful and exotic of our feathered friends. There are also reptiles of all shapes and sizes to learn about here too.
Battersea Park is more than just home to the children’s zoo. There is plenty here to keep the kids entertained for the better part of the day, as alongside the animal attractions provided by the zoo there is also an impressive adventure playground designed to let the kids burn off some of their endless energy. In the adventure playground they can climb, swing and balance their way in and around the equipment as much as they like while mums and dads watch from the side lines.
Whilst the park makes the perfect place for you to take a picnic and enjoy a day out, there is no need to panic if you forget anything as the park also boasts a café that serves hot and cold refreshments as well as light snacks throughout the day. There are plenty of picnic tables dotted around the park and the zoo for you to relax and enjoy a break, and before you leave the kids will probably make sure that you pay a visit to the gift shop so they can spend their pocket money on a memento of the day.