Today we’ve been monkeying around at Trentham Monkey Forest, Staffordshire where 140 Barbary Macaque monkeys roam freely.
We arrived just after 10am when the gates open to find ample parking and easy access to the entrance. It was already busy but the queues decreased swiftly. Entry for adults is £8.00 and free for under 3s, which is great for all the toddlers amongst us. It’s clear that the entry fees go towards the up keep of the clean and pleasant parkland. Upon entry to the forest there is a cafe, picnic area and play area for the littler monkey spotters. The changing facilities and toilets are conveniently located and clean.
There is a short walk to the main gates where you are given a brief talk about how to conduct yourself when in the monkey zone. It’s a food free zone for humans so make sure you have a snack before you enter the gated area (should yo need one) so that none of the furry beasts are tempted to join you.
The warden informs you that the monkeys roam freely and are unlikely to bother you. Mrs View From a Daddy’s face suggested disbelief but the warden did reassure us that the monkeys only really approach you or your belongings if you leave them unattended, which proved to be true – there was no monkey business.
The luscious calming forest has a winding path that leads you to a natural ampitheatre where feeding was taking place when we arrived. Dozens of monkeys sat playfully while onlookers wondered around and gazed at the beasts in their natural environment. There were some super cute babies that were guarded closely by their mothers. A whistling warden encouraged the Macaques that dinner time was afoot as they came and surrounded her like we all do in circle time at play group. Feeding occurs hourly at different locations around the forest; information can be gleaned from the friendly wardens who are dotted around the pathway and are very willing to answer any questions.
We received an informative and interactive talk about the life of a Barbary Macaque Monkey and how they are becoming endangered due to the desire of some to house them as pets. The price of your ticket also contributes to conservation work with sister parks in other areas of the world so it’s well worth the money.
After feeding time, we headed around the forest for a gentle walk. There are some steep parts to the path but the pushchair made it around easily. On a beautiful sunny day, this is just the right spot for a lovely walk amongst the wildlife. There are interactive informative posts along the way from which you can gather info. about the natural habitat of the monkeys.
We picnicked in the designated zone outside of the gated monkey area, where there are benches and a play park for older children. Pleasantly shaded, this was a great spot to grab some lunch. Within the main area by the entrance, is an information spot and seated area where informercials provide more details about the forest and the Barbary Macaque Monkeys.
We had a great day out followed by a pop to the nearby Trentham Shops for a stroll before returning home. Trentham Monkey Forest is a great choice for fun and wildlife in the heart of Staffordshire if you are looking to monkey around!
For more information visit the official website www.trentham-monkey-forest.com