Over 2,500 incredible animals from around the world
Hilltop safari tour taking you on an exciting tour all the way up to the top of the Zoo - leaving you free to walk back down! Leaves from the sealion pool every half hour from 10.00am - 3.30pm at weekends in the winter (weather permitting). Only 50p, and well worth every penny!
The story of this splendid and beautiful addition to the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland is as full of fascinating facts as the house itself is full of plants and animals! It will be a wonderful new educational resource for the park and children will learn about the rainforest and the rate of it's destruction - 100 acres a minute. The tropical House - a 90 x 56 ft greenhouse - was formally at Windsor Safari park and was brought here and reconstructed - an amazing feat. This also represented a tremendous saving on previous plans for a totally new glasshouse. Environmentally the new tropical house is a demonstration of how rainwater can be collected and used for watering as a system of sixteen 400 gallon water tanks have been placed down one side.
Tropical plants ranging from tiny ground cover Fittonias to a 24-foot high Kentia palm tree have been planted with help and guidance from Barrie Findon of Wyld Court Rainforest near Newbury with whom Marwell has a long-established tradition of reciprocal help of planting and animal loans. The plants have their own story to tell - of their importance to animal life, of their medicinal uses and of their commercial value to the economy such as rope making and basket weaving. Their food value is also vital - bananas, sugar cane, vanilla orchid and papaya - all to be seen in the tropical house. The life support systems of the Tropical House are controlled by a computer nick-named "Bio". The humidity level in the house is maintained by "fogging" a very fine mist spray and the temperature and humidity make an immediate impression on visitors. The plants also need watering - a daily task taking 2 hours. The animals to be seen in the Tropical House include probably the biggest colony of Leaf-cutter Ants in Britain, a pair of Dwarf Crocodiles, Chocolate Millipedes and Pacu - which are fruit eating Piranha!
Since inception, The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland has developed a portfolio of conservation work that began with captive management of threatened species. The Trust has since developed a significant conservation education service and more recently in-situ conservation programmes. The Department of Conservation & Wildlife Management is responsible for Marwell Preservation Trust's British and international conservation programmes, and carries out and co-ordinates scientific work at Marwell Zoological Park.
Royal Zoological Society's Education Service exists because there is much more to conservation than the breeding of rare species. When people understand and care about biodiversity (the variety of animal and plant life) they are then more likely to become involved in its conservation. Our aim is to help people increase their awareness of the natural world and to encourage an informed reaction to conservation issues. We aim to offer educational opportunities for all our visitors, whether in school groups or on a family day out.
We would like all our visitors to go away with: renewed admiration and respect for the animal kingdom, a greater understanding of the effects human beings are having on other species, a clearer picture of how zoos fit into the effort to save endangered species and a desire to take action themselves. The Conservation Education Centre is the focus of much of our work but our efforts can also be seen all around the Park. Royal Zoological Society's Education Centre was built using environmentally friendly materials, including low and zero emission paints, double glazing in soft wood frames, lino instead of PVC on the floors and many energy and water saving devices.