You couldn’t really describe Wicksteed Park’s Woolloomooloo aviary as a hidden gem, given how big it is, but I often think people forget some of the amazing things we have at the park and that is certainly one of them.
Built and opened to the public in 2015, its winding path gives you the opportunity to see many beautiful birds. There are lots of colours, species and noise and it’s a joy to experience.
So it was great to see the aviary getting widespread national and regional media coverage recently, with some of the birds helping to predict the England football team’s results in the European Championship.
What many people don’t realise is that many of the birds in our aviary are rescue birds which we have managed to rehome after they became unwanted or neglected by their owners.
Indeed, Eva the blue and gold macaw who has now become a bit of a media star, was found being kept in someone’s attic a few years ago and came to Wicksteed Park in 2019.
Now the summer holidays are upon us, we are a great day out for the whole family, especially as our ride wristbands are being held at 2019 prices (£20 for children and £17 for adults) with ride tickets remaining at £2.50 (one ticket per ride).
So next time you visit, make sure you go and say hello to the birds in Woolloomooloo – you might get a “hello” back.
Elsewhere in the park, it is great to see people enjoying the rides and attractions, with even the announcement of a new ride to be installed in the near future for you to come and try out. The park is working hard to create new and improved attractions and we hope that those already announced are the first of many.
Finally, you may start to notice some intriguing pieces of “pop-up” art around the park, part of our @play project, supported by funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Kettering based artist Susan Williams will be artist in residence throughout the summer, creating large-scale ‘pop-up’ art works that celebrate the park and its communities.
The project aims to engage as many people as possible by offering a variety of art platforms with different appeal including installation, animation, video, community collaborations and onsite and online workshops.
It will develop a series of installations that appear and disappear throughout the park, mushrooming up, exciting different places and people, prompting discussion and engagement, evolving into an exciting series of art experiences.
I hope you enjoy searching for them when you visit.
chairman, Wicksteed Charitable Trust