The Chestnut Conservation Centre, Otter & Owl and Wildlife Park was founded in 1984 by the Heap family who also own and operate
Forest Wildlife Park in Marchwood, Hampshire and the World famous
Battersea Park Children's Zoo in London.
Our Wildlife Park is unique in the UK because it has Europe's largest groups of multi-specied otters, owls and other indigenous wildlife.
Otters and owls were first of interest to
our family when we had Asian short-clawed otters in our garden which, fortunately, had a running stream. Otters Kizzie and Ferdie proved to be the start of a life-long passion for otters and completely changed the direction of our lives.
Although our emphasis is on otters and owls which together form the bulk of our collection, you can see a wide variety of animals including pine martens, polecats, red foxes, Scottish wildcats and deer.
A great deal of our work also involves the conservation and the caring for orphaned otters including the rehabilitation of the Eurasian Otter.
We also provide full care facilities for injured or orphaned wild animals especially otters, most of whom are eventually returned to the wild.