If you have not visited the Zoo before, here are some important things you need to know about our footpaths:
Our pathways are made from loose tarplanings, this means that the paths can be quite gravelly in places making it difficult to push through with a wheeled chair.
Even though we have spent many hours compacting these stones, the extreme dry weather we experienced just before we re-opened in April unfortunately broke all of the tarplanings up and the new paths we laid are very loose now. This is also being impacted on by the amount of footfall they experience every day.
What we would Recommend currently:
- Use pushchairs with bigger, outdoor/off-road pneumatic tyres, they cope much better than the small plastic wheels.
- Don't bring a pushchair if you can manage without! Child backpacks or pouches that you can carry are even better.
- Wheelchair users - chairs with larger, outdoor and pneumatic tyres cope better on our paths currently.
We appreciate that these paths are not ideal for any one using pushchairs or wheelchairs, but this is why we want to ensure that you are aware before you visit the zoo. We want you to enjoy your day out and visit with us, not be frustrated with getting around the zoo.
What are we doing about it?
As of the week of the 7th June, the first phase of tarmacking will be taking place. This means that the sections of the zoos paths will be completely covered in fresh smooth tarmac which is very hard, making it very easy to push wheeled vehicles.
There are 2 particular stretches of path that we are concentrating on first:
- The stretch in front of the new Snow Leopard Exhibit, reaching down to Lemur Woods Entrance
- From the top of the Arctic Fox hill, down and around the bottom of the Bird of Prey aviaries
We understand how important it is to make the zoo accessible for all of our visitors, howver, this is quite an investment and we have to do it in small sections at a time.
It has been an incredibly difficult year for us so we will be completing additional stretches of pathways with Tarmac as time goes on and as we can afford it.
We apologise for any inconvenience and we hope to see you soon.
Northumberland Zoo Team