Guy was welcomed by zoo staff on Friday and enjoyed a tour of
the zoo's newest enclosures and animals, concluding with officially
opening the zoo's Rainbow Lorikeets enclosure, a species of parrot
originally found in Australia.
During his visit, Guy received a tour of the zoo's new Civet
enclosure, home to Teemo the Civet, a slender nocturnal carnivorous
mammal with a barred and spotted coat, native to Africa and
Guy also visited the zoo's four new common squirrel monkeys, who
arrived form Budapest Zoo last month.
Animal Resource Centre Manager at Kirkley Hall Zoological
Gardens, Steven Sykes said: "We are thrilled to have had Guy
Opperman officially open our brand-new Rainbow Lorikeet enclosure,
which is one of the largest walk through enclosures in the UK.
"We are very proud of all our brand-new enclosure purpose built
to suit enclosures here at Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens. A lot
of time and effort has been spent ensuring these are all to high
standards for the new arrivals and are equipped with plenty of
exciting interactive items to keep the animals stimulated and safe,
such as indoor and outdoor swinging perches, interactive rope
swings, suspended branches and naturalistic planting."
Guy Opperman has visited Kirkley Hall and its Zoological Gardens
several times since the zoo opened in 2011, speaking with students
and staff as well as the College's Principal, Marcus Clinton.
He said: "I was delighted to be asked to open Kirkley Hall's
brand-new Rainbow Lorikeet enclosure, which will serve as a
fantastic home for these beautiful birds. Kirkley Hall Zoological
Gardens offer a great family day out, whilst doing important
conservation work, and I thoroughly recommend a visit."
The Kirkley Hall campus trains over 500 students each year in
subjects ranging from equestrian performance and animal management
to horticulture and environmental conservation.
An Ofsted inspection that was carried out in May, praised the
college for its clear vision to deliver high quality learning and
its findings confirmed the college as one of the best in the
The campus offering has expanded this year with the introduction
of Northumberland Career College, an innovative learning model for
14 to 19 year-olds that combines academic studies with practical
learning and work experience.
The College now offers over 30 higher education qualifications
ranging from HNC to Degree level, working in partnership with
leading universities and this year and this year, has built on its
partnership with Newcastle University that offers Foundation
Science Degrees in Animal Management, Equestrian Performance and
Coaching, Horticulture and Arboriculture.
More HE courses have been approved and will be introduced from
September 2017. These include BSc (Hons) Animal Management and BSc
Top-Up degrees in Agriculture, Rural Tourism and Enterprise
Management and Environmental Conservation validated by the
University of Cumbria.
Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens opened in 2011 and over the past
three years has expanded and is now home to over 200 species, which
include Ring Tailed Lemurs and the attraction now welcomes over
70,000 visitors per year.
Students gain hands-on experience as zookeepers, visitor hosts
as well as benefitting from a free travel scheme for 16-18s.
The campus also offers a full range of employer training from
Apprenticeships to short courses that include Floristry, Chainsaw
Use, Dog Grooming and more.
As well as the zoo, facilities at the campus, which spans a
190-acre estate include a working farm, equestrian centre, new
workshops for maintenance of agricultural machinery, for
arboriculture and for a base to state-of-the-art farm planning and
analysis software, plus there is an upland farm in the Cheviot
Hills, Carlcroft Farm.
Since December 2012, the college has invested over £14million in
new facilities at its Ashington, Kirkley Hall and Berwick.
Latest developments coming soon to Kirkley Hall include The
College's Equestrian Centre undergoing a total £1.2M refurbishment,
to create a new indoor arena with pro wax surfacing, American Barn
style stables and new classroom facilities.
Those who wish to enrol on to a course at Kirkley Hall can do so
now, as its summer enrolment runs until Saturday, 2 September.
For details of admission and opening times visit www.kirkleyhallzoo.co.uk.
For information about courses in Animal, Equine, Agriculture,
Horticulture and Veterinary visit www.kirkley.ac.uk.