Staff Information Pack
Visits to wildlife parks, farm parks and zoos are an enjoyable way for children to learn about the natural world and how it ties in with their everyday lives. At Wingham Wildlife Park we successfully and safely have in excess of 15,000 students of all ages (including nursery and pre-school groups) come through our doors, and like to think that our level of safety is as a result of great communication between us and the groups visiting our park. To try and make this even more efficient and easier to understand please find the information in this pack, to maximise the enjoyment your students will have at the park, while ensuring that you and your supporting staff are able to focus more on what matters… Helping your group make the most of their day walking on the wild side!
What to do in an emergency?
We take every precaution to ensure that your visit will be safe from situations such as fires and animal escapes. We have done this through thorough emergency procedure protocols for a wide range of emergencies, which are regularly practised with our staff. You can be assured that in such a situation our staff will come and find you, to take you to a place of safety and give you further information about how to proceed.
All you need to know in advance is that we have 2 assembly points for fires, which are the green next to the Penguin enclosure and Ring Tailed Lemur enclosure, or the car park. You will be directed to the correct assembly point depending on where the emergency is. A fire will be signalled via blasts on an air horn which resonate around the whole park.
We would also recommend that you agree an area with your adults and children, which should be used in the event of a child getting lost. We recommend the parks main reception / gift shop because this is the easiest area to find and our most heavily staffed area. All of our members of staff carry two way radios which ensure that we can easily re-unite children with the correct school group.
Rules of conduct:
- Children MUST be supervised at all times while in the park – please ensure that they do not wander around on their own.
- While the outdoor play area may be used during a school visit, your group may not use the indoor play area.
- Do not allow children to stand on or cross any of the barriers within the park. Such barriers are in place to protect our visitors from water hazards, animal contact & electric fencing.
- If you wish to use the walk through enclosures please do so in small groups and ensure that the children do not try to feed or handle those animals.
- Food may be purchased for some species, however please ensure that if children are feeding animals it is only with this food and only given to free roaming birds, deer and goats.
- If you eat packed lunches at the park please dispose of the rubbish using the bins provided.
- Ball games are not allowed to be taken in to the park.
- Ensure that children follow all instructions on animal enclosure signs. if the children are unable to read or unlikely to take notice of such signs it is the responsibility of the supervising adult to read these signs to them (with information such as not to touch or feed specific animals etc).
- Do not allow children to cross the road between the park entrance and car park on their own.
- Do not bang on animal enclosure windows or museum exhibit glass.
Useful Information & tips
We want to make sure that you and your students have an enjoyable and productive day at the park, and to ensure that this is the case make sure that you do not miss the following:
- Museum of Natural History (which now also has an ethnographic display)
- Daily animal keeper talks
The gift shop is always a fun thing for the children to do, and is an opportunity for them to learn more about real life situations by choosing and paying for their own goods. However it can be a chaotic time for yourselves and our staff, and as such we recommend that you allow your students to visit the shop in their groups throughout the day, rather than trying to get them all through at the end of your trip (this is especially true when we have numerous visits in on the same day). Alternatively we offer a number of goody bag options which can be pre-booked to get your group out with a Wingham Wildlife Park gift but no need to pass through the shop!
The nature of our park means it is very important that everyone keeps their hands clean. We do all we can to ensure that items which children touch are kept clean and that our animals are routinely vaccinated, however it is the responsibility of the supervising adults to ensure that your children wash their hands on a regular basis. The following list is not exhaustive but please make sure that you and your children clean their hands at all the following and similar times:
- Before & after using play equipment
- Before & after eating or drinking
- After falling over
- After sitting in the floor
- After touching any animal
- After touching any items in the museum
- After going to the toilet
- Before buying anything from the gift shop
- After feeding any animals
- ALSO ensure that children never pick up anything from the ground and put it in their mouth, or putting their hands / fingers in their mouth without washing their hands first.
Our new map has the locations of all hand sanitisers and wash basins marked on it, however please note that while hand sanitisers have some effectiveness against killing germs, they are not a replacement for washing your hands. Always wash your hands before using sanitisers, because this is the only way you can ensure that dirt and stubborn germs are treated.
Information for your drivers:
If you are using a coach please tell them that they must park on the hard parking surface on the right hands side (as you drive towards our entrance) of our car park. Your drivers are also entitled to free entry to the park during your visit as well as a small breakfast in our cafe.
We have taken on board advice given by the NSPCC and Safe Network which recommend a supervision ratio of adult to every 3 children for the nursery and pre-school age groups. As such to ensure that the group has a safe and enjoyable day with us we will allow a ratio of 1 adult per 3 children to join your group at the educational visit rate of £6.50 per head. All additional adults above this ratio will still receive our group entrance rate of £17.00 per head.