Access Statement

* This access statement does not contain personal opinions as to our suitability for those with access needs, but aims to accurately describe the facilities and services that we offer all our guests/visitors.

Access Statement for Wingham Wildlife Park

 

Wingham Wildlife Park is situated just outside the Kent village of Wingham. Whilst the park is at the bottom of a hill on either side, the site itself is on only a very slight gradient.

The park is well suited for people of all abilities with disabled access toilets, disabled parking, tarmac paths throughout, step free access or lifts available whilst giving access to free wheelchair hire.

The average amount of time which visitors spend at the park is around 4 hours, however when taking in all of the sights, talks and feed times, a longer visit is certainly possible.

We look forward to welcoming you. If you have any queries or require any assistance please phone 01227 720836 or email info@winghamwildlifepark.co.uk.

Pre-Arrival

  • For full details of how to reach us please see the “Find Us” section of our website.
  • The nearest 2 train stations with good bus services are Sandwich (6.4 miles) and Canterbury (8 miles). Bus services from both locations are available on the number 14A bus operated by Stagecoach South East. There is a bus stop outside our car park. Especially when travelling from Sandwich or towards Canterbury using this bus service please be very careful of the road when crossing as it is a busy, fast road.
  • The nearest train station without a bus service (local taxi services are available) is Adisham (4 miles).
  • You can plan your journey by car to us by putting yours and ours post codes (CT3 1JL) in to a route planning website. Please note that the last instruction will be to turn off the A247 on to Rusham Road. Please stay on the A247, following it to the bottom of the hill where you will see the entrance to our car park.
  • If walking from Wingham Village we recommend that you stick to the pavement and head down the A247 rather than turning in to Rusham Road, which is an unpaved single car width road with heavy plant growth on either side.

Car Parking and Arrival

  • We have plenty of free car parking for our visitors only, giving space for 1,200 cars. There are clearly marked blue badge only spaces at the end of the car park nearest to our main entrance.
  • When leaving the car park by foot to get to the main entrance there is a road to cross, please cross carefully. The walk from the car park to the main entrance includes a slight incline and is paved from start to finish.
  • Doors at the entrance open inwards and are of a generous double door width for easy access for all types of wheelchair and even double buggies. These doors are left open during park opening hours however, should they be shut during park opening hours, staff are always available in the reception to help with doors.

Main Entrance, Reception and Ticketing Area

  • The main entrance and ticket area is situated on the ground floor with step free tiled access throughout.
  • The entrance building is lit using energy saving LED lighting systems on an access sensor.
  • At the entrance area there are plenty of wheelchairs for hire, which are free of charge to use – all we ask is that a set of car keys or similar are left with reception whilst the wheelchair is in use.

Attraction (displays, exhibits, rides etc.)

  • Animal enclosures have either glass viewing windows set at seating height or wire mesh sides with a push off barrier – such barriers have been set to ensure that viewing is not interrupted for wheelchair users.
  • All museum exhibits are displayed in glass cabinets which can be viewed from wheelchairs.
WWP Education Center
  • The penguin pool has a raised walkway which is accessible via a ramp with a hand rail.
  • The chimpanzee house has a second floor viewing area in to the chimpanzee habitat as well as viewing of small primate enclosures. This second floor is accessible either by stairs with a hand rail or via a lift designated for disabled visitors.
  • Whilst the lemur walk and flamingo through exhibits are accessible for wheelchair users, please note that some extra paid for animal experiences may not be suitable for people with mobility problems. We try to accommodate as many people as we can, however as these experiences are done inside the animal enclosure these areas need to be designed to maximise the requirements of the animals first and foremost.
  • We have a large indoor play area. Due to the type of attraction we are, including the availability of both free roaming animals and walk through enclosures, shoes must be removed (whilst keeping socks on) for all children and supervising adults entering the play area and its supervision area. If you are unable to leave your wheelchair we will be able to allow you access however the wheels will require cleaning. If you are able to walk we would ask that you leave the wheelchair outside this area and use the designated chairs inside the supervision area access gates (in which case you will be required to wear socks and remove shoes). This allows us to keep all areas and access points clear for evacuation purposes. Staff are trained in assisting all visitors, including those with limited mobility during evacuation proceedings.
  • Every exhibit in the park has an information sign, whilst some of these have small text, effort is being made on an on-going basis to ensure that new and replacement signage has larger text.

Visitor Toilets

  • The park currently has 4 sets of visitor toilets (1 inside the indoor play area, 1 outside the indoor play area, 1 just inside the park following the main entrance and 1 near the lemur walk through enclosure). Each of these sets has a minimum of 1 unisex accessible toilet.
  • Other related features around the park are plenty of hand wash facilities near walk through enclosures and catering outlets which are at a level which is accessible for wheelchair users.

Catering

  • All of our catering outlets are situated on the ground floor of their respective buildings with step free access. The flooring in the reception restaurant is tiled, whilst the play area restaurant has solid carpeted floor.
  • Tables in catering outlets are well spaced apart with upright chairs without arms.
  • We do our best to cater for food allergies and have information freely available to advise of food allergens in our menu items. This information is available in text and illustrated form, with staff available offer to assistance.
  • Food orders are prepared to order. With some foods such as chips it may be possible to have these available at the time of ordering, however where there may be a wait for food, it will be brought out to your table.

Shop

  • With direct access from the main entrance, there is a shop with a variety of gifts, toys and souvenirs. This shop is level throughout and located on the ground floor.
  • Items are displayed and sold from various levels including tall display racks, however staff are available to help visitors in wheelchairs reach higher up items if required.

Grounds and Gardens

  • The grounds in the park are accessible via tarmac paths which in some areas may be on a slight incline, however the whole park is accessible with no steps.
  • Between paths there are grass area which are accessible however may be bumpy and soft during longer periods of wet weather.
  • Throughout the grounds however there are recycled plastic benches and picnic tables with benches at regular intervals.

Additional Information

  • All of our staff are regularly trained in customer care and emergency procedures which includes assistance to disabled visitors during evacuation procedures.
  • We are sorry to say that due to having a number free roaming species in the park as well as walk through enclosures covered by the EU balai directive, protecting the park and its animals from incoming diseases we are unable to have dogs within the grounds, including seeing eye dogs.

Future Plans

  • Plans are in place to introduce and develop free audio tour points accessible via smart phones equipped with a QR reader (freely available from your app store).

Contact Information

Address (Inc postcode): Wingham Wildlife Park, Rusham Road, Wingham, Kent, CT3 1JL
Telephone: 01227 720836
Email: info@winghamwildlifepark.co.uk
Website: www.winghamwildlifepark.co.uk
Hours Of Operation: 10:00 – 18:00 during summer opening times and 10:00 – 16:00 during winter opening times. Please note that the indoor play area and restaurants shut earlier (up to 2 hours) than the rest of the park.
Local Accessible Taxi: Canterbury Galaxy Taxis – 24 hour wheelchair friendly service – www.galaxytaxi.co.uk

Longport Taxi Service – Disabled / easy access taxi – www.longportcabs.co.uk

Greenlight – 24 hour wheelchair and guide dog friendly service – www.greenlighttaxis.co.uk

Thanet Cars – Wheelchair friendly taxi – www.thanetcars.com/

Local Public Transport: Southeastern Railway – www.southeasternrailway.co.uk

Stagecoach Bus Southeast – www.stagecoachbus.com