Hemsley Conservation Centre

At the weekend, despite the miserable weather, we wanted to treat the younger 4 children to a trip to a zoo or at least somewhere where we could see some animals. After lots of research we discovered Hemsley Conservation Centre, its advertised as a small zoo in the heart of Kent. We really like exploring new places, so we booked tickets for a socially distanced timed slot and kept our fingers crossed that the rain would hold off!

Hemsley Conservation Centre is in the countryside but only around 5 minutes off of the M20, making it very accessible to us by car.

We knew from reading online that we would be walking around a small zoo, which is largely about conserving endangered animals and educating us about their natural habitats. In total we were there for around 1.5 hours and we walked around twice. We were lucky enough to see all of the animals and all of the Children absolutely loved seeing some unusual animals, as well as some firm favourites!

Here are some of our highlights;

The first animal we came across was a Parrot. When we went to walk away, he squawked Hello! All of the children were convinced it was Neil playing a prank (not unusual!) so we went back, and this time we all saw and heard it right before our eyes!

The Otters kept us entertained for ages, they were diving in and out of the water, being very playful with each other and finding fun by looking for and grabbing shells.

All of the children were fascinated by the Geoffory's cat. We learnt that its a member of the cat family around the size of a domestic cat. Native to Southern America, its conservation status is vulnerable. Whilst we were watching the cat, we were lucky enough to see him playfully capture his lunch (a small chick) which was placed inside a ball. Of course the best thing about the cat, in the children's opinion, was the markings on its fur made it look like a baby leopard!

Meerkat's are clearly a firm favourite, and the enclosure is set out to allow easy viewing for children. The Meerkat's seemed to be just as fascinated with us as we were with them!

'Save the Turtles' seems to be a phrase used here quite a lot, apparently something to do with the Vsco girl trend! Poppy and Millie were particularly fascinated to spot a cute pond housing a couple of Asian turtles.

We saw plenty of other animals besides the ones mentioned above and it was really great to read fun facts about them along the way. It was obvious that the animals were well cared for and for us it was a perfect way to spend a couple of hours. We finished our day off by visiting nearby Trosley Country Park which we will be blogging about soon, so look out for that!