Frequently Asked Questions
These are our most frequently asked questions, but please do feel free to get in touch if yours hasn't been covered here yet!
When do we open?
We open at Easter and close just before Christmas. During this period we are open from 10 am - 5 pm (last entry 4 pm), 7 days a week - including bank holidays!
We do occasionally have to close in the event of bad weather, but we will update our website to reflect this. Do feel free to get in touch if you are not sure before setting out.
Why aren't we open all year round?
We regret that we cannot remain open all year round, but currently, the bad weather hits us hard and causes so much damage to paddocks and pathways that we sadly can't. We are currently working hard on fixing old and broken pipes, and trying to correct some of the poor drainage that causes so much damage. Unfortunately, we have clay soil, and this certainly doesn't help either!
Our downtime also gives us a chance to get 'all hands on deck' in the bad weather, to make sure that all of the animals are warm and comfortable. It also gives us an excellent opportunity for much-needed maintenance, without getting in your way!
Is the site wheelchair accessible?
Brockswood is situated at the head of a shallow valley and we do have some sloped hardcore paths around the site that may be difficult for some of our disabled visitors, as they are a little uneven in some places. We do have ramps in all areas where there are steps, as well as a disabled toilet, and disabled parking spots close to the entrance; so wheelchair access is possible though not 100% ideal currently.
Please feel free to get in touch if you would like more information about getting around Brockswood, and how we can help you.
Admission used to be FREE; why do we have to pay now?
Cotwall End Nature Centre was council owned and run, and did not need to charge admission fees. Over the years this site has had several incarnations as others have taken over and changed each time. We are not Council run or funded; in fact it costs us thousands of pounds a year to lease the site from the Council. As well as the very high costs of caring for our animals, these bills mean that we can only exist with the money raised through Donations and the small admission fee. We keep our prices as low as possible, but without this fee, we simply could not pay the bills, leaving our animals homeless!
Are our animals all rescued?
While a handful of our animals had been left behind by the previous owners; most of them have been rescued, or animals that were in need of a new Forever Home. We have animals brought to us by the Police, the RSPCA, and others in need of help.
Some of our animals are special and may not look how you would expect. For example Auntie the Sheep was born with a large growth on her back - it doesn't give her any discomfort and she is otherwise no different to a normal sheep. In fact, she is a happy, very friendly Ewe and loves attention! We wouldn't judge a book by its cover, nor would we an animal - we hope that you will do the same.
Can we take in your unwanted animals?
We do occasionally have space for new animals, but for the welfare of your animals, and our own, we refuse to take in animals that we don't have space for. We wish we had the enclosure space for them all and absolutely hate turning animals away.
When we have space, we can take in Field Animals, Small Mammals, Birds, and some Exotics. We, unfortunately, cannot offer a home to Cats and Dogs.
For Reptiles, please get in touch with our sister sanctuary, Proteus Reptile Trust, as they may be able to help you.
Some organisations operate on a 'last in, first out' rule, where animals will be euthanized to make room for new ones - this is absolutely NOT a policy of ours, and we will NEVER put a healthy animal to sleep. This is a Forever Home!
Will our farm animals be used for meat?
No. All of rescued our animals will remain with us for the rest of their natural lives.
We do sell eggs laid on the farm by our Ducks, Chickens and Turkeys, but none of these birds are kept for laying. Laying is a natural behaviour for these birds, and as we don't breed our animals, these are simply by-products, such as our sheep fleeces after their annual Summer shear.
Money raised from the sales of eggs, sheep fleeces etc goes directly back into caring for those animals, and is a great way to support our work with them!
Do we provide Work Experience placements?
Unfortunately, due to insurance limitations, we are currently unable to allow anybody under the age of 18 to work at the sanctuary - this is something that we are hoping to change in the future, but until then we cannot allow younger people to work here. We are very sorry for the disappointment!