While spring means an extra hour of daylight, warmer weather and the chance to update your winter wardrobe, as the new season unfolds, nature welcomes billions of tiny babies that animal lovers just can’t help but coo over.
Gloucestershire is home to an array of wildlife centres, gardens and farms where little and big kids alike can meet a flurry of spring babies, from fluffy chicks to tiny alpacas, and even King Penguins, with 11 of the best featuring in SoGlos’s latest hot list.
Image © Nick Cottrell
The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust HQ has a host of cute animals for guests to fawn over, including miniature harvest mice the size of baked beans, fluffy goslings, and cuddly cygnets. And from Saturday 28 May to Sunday 5 June 2016, visitors also have the opportunity to coo over a newly-hatched batch of downy ducklings, and take a peek into the first few days of their feathery lives at Slimbridge's Downy Duckling Days.
It’s been an exciting time at the Cotswold Wildlife Park this April, with a Chapman’s Zebra foal named Spot joining the animal family at Burford, with the tiny colt now venturing outside and exploring his paddock. Guests can visit the newest arrival at the local attraction, alongside gorgeous Wolverine cubs and baby Ring-tailed lemurs, also roaming around the wildlife park.
Adam Henson’s famous farm park in Guiting Power is the place to go to see hundreds of bleating baby lambs, not to mention fluffy ducklings, hatching chicks, and ridiculously cute Gloucestershire Old Spot piglets playing around outside.
This Bourton-on-the-Water attraction is not only home to the country’s only group of King Penguins, but also some rare Humboldts, which have 5 eggs nestled in Penguin Shore. Other endearing babies include a selection of newborn chicks at the hatchery, and the park’s emu eggs, which are currently being looked after by the male emus.
Longleat Safari Park is home to a brilliant array of animals, including the exciting recent addition of Queenie, Quinnian and Quince, the bactrian camel calves who are ready and waiting to delight visitors this spring. Meanwhile its adorable and playful meerkat pups can be found digging and exploring down at Jungle Kingdom.
Among the host of animal encounters available at Berkeley-based Cattle Country, there’s the chance to bottle feed its baby lambs and fawn over fluffy chicks during April. What's more, its Gloucester Old Spot and Tamworth piglets will also be waiting to melt visitors’ hearts in the animal experience centre.
There have been lots of new additions to the Newent-based attraction, with breeding season already in full swing; endearing baby falcon chicks and eagles are among the most recent hatchings on display for bird-lovers to go wild over.
Bristol’s wildlife park is a haven for the younger generation to fawn over cute and loveable animals, including rabbits, guinea pigs, lambs, and more; and just in time for spring, there have been new arrivals to the park which guests can meet and play with.
Gloucestershire family attraction, Dick Whittington Farm Park not only offers children a play barn to explore and a karting course to test their racing skills, but also the chance to fuss over a host of baby farm animals, including lambs, giddy goats, ducklings and chicks.
If baby farm animals aren’t exciting enough for you, then head to Cotswold Alpacas, 12 acres of greenery in the heart of the Cotswolds, where you can meet the new alpacas on the block. With 12 alpacas due during May and June, it looks like spring with not only be busy for the Cotswold Alpacas, but an ideal time to visit.
St Augustines organic working farm in Arlingham draws in families from far and wide with its baby chicks, lambs and fluffy bunnies, which guests can meet, greet, and get friendly with.
By Kathryn Godfrey
Which baby animals would you like to see this spring? Would you love to cuddle a fluffy duckling, bottle feed a lamb, or take a walk on the wild side with baby rhino, Ian? Have your say by leaving a comment.
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