Yorkshire Wildlife Park

I love the Yorkshire Wildlife Park. The conservation approach, the layout, the variety of animals, but essentially the reason I really love it is because it’s the living embodiment of Zoo Tycoon.

In the beginning they had limited resources so they had a couple of big names, celebrities from the animal kingdom, but mostly it was full of, well let’s just say it as it is, crapper animals. I mean goats are lovely but they aren’t exactly what you would call wildlife. Unless you live on a mountain in Spain I suppose.

So people came to see the lions and just like in Zoo Tycoon they were disgruntled about cost and walked about with little clouds over their heads. But people kept on coming. Because it’s a flipping long way to Chester if you live in Doncaster. And so money increased and the park has changed accordingly.

If you’ve never played the game this probably won’t make much sense but it’s so true to it it’s remarkable. The paths got longer. More enclosures arrived. Goats were moved to make way for bigger names like tigers and giraffes. Soft play got more impressive. The shops got bigger and bigger and are now a village apparently. And there are infinitely more litter bins.

I love it. It’s been like watching a computer game but in better resolution.

I am being a bit daft of course. It is essentially a thoughtfully designed evolving wildlife park and if you haven’t been then you should. Because yes it’s expensive but it is without doubt one of the best days out in the North. Not just because they have a spiny anteater.

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