'We're ready to open - but they won't let us' - Bridlington birds and animal park owner

Frustration has been voiced by the owner of a Bridlington visitor attraction at not knowing when it will be allowed to open again

Monday, 8th June 2020, 9:05 am
Updated Monday, 8th June 2020, 12:49 pm
Paul Woodward

Paul Woodward, who runs Bridlington Birds of Prey and Animal Park, has spent £1,000 on social distancing and extra cleaning measures, expecting that attractions like his would be reopening very soon.

But last week he and other zoo licence holders across the country received an email which stressed they should stay shut.

“We were wanting to open but we've had an email from Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) saying we can not open and they're not going to give us a date when we can open,” said Mr Woodward.

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“We can't furlough staff because we need them to feed the animals so money is going out and we can see it going out, but we can't see a date for when it will start coming in."

With people now being allowed to meet outside in small groups and shops starting to re-open, Mr Woodward said he had thought the go-ahead for wildlife parks to reopen would be imminent.

“So we spent a fortune that we haven’t really got on signage, counter guards and sanitiser as well as the time to put it all into place,” he said.

“We can easily manage visitor numbers and cleaning regimes - do they not realise that we do this for a living? Our vets manage contagious diseases on a daily basis.”

The email from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairssaid:: “While individual venues may be made safer, upon reopening each will have a marginal impact on increasing transmission, and the Government needs to consider the cumulative impact very carefully.

“We will continue to keep the situation under review.”

Anyone who would like to support the park can find out more by visiting www.bridlingtonanimalpark.co.uk .