Water Fowl Sanctuary and Children's Farm

Water Fowl Sanctuary and Children's Farm, Banbury: Address, Phone Number, Water Fowl Sanctuary and Children's Farm Reviews: 4/5

Water Fowl Sanctuary and Children's Farm

Water Fowl Sanctuary and Children's Farm
4
Nature & Wildlife Areas • Playgrounds
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1-2 hours
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4.0
87 reviews
Excellent
36
Very good
25
Average
12
Poor
1
Terrible
13

Hyeung1
2 contributions
Admirable!
May 2021 • Family
We were not sure if it was open today as it was a Bank Holiday Monday and the weather was not so great, so I rang and left a message that morning. A woman called Mabel rang me back to say yes it was and she looked forward to seeing us. Our four year old daughter was so excited about seeing all the animals as was I!

Upon arrival, we were the only people there however we were greeted warmly by Mabel who we discovered was the owner and she explained the set up. This is an Animal Sanctuary. no frills, no gimmicks and no profit making......entrance fee donations (cash only) are purely for the upkeep of the sanctuary and the welfare of the animals.

We were given some animal feed and were shown the direction to go. First stop we saw chickens, roosters, some were loose, wandering around which thrilled my daughter. A white little duck waddled happily up to us and we gave it some feed. The goats were next, very eager to get in on the food action. They were in a lovely big enclosure with an area for them to climb. We saw Gineau pigs and rabbits, ducks, geese, donkeys, shetland ponies and an ostrich, all very much cared for. There is a kids play area and benches dotted around and when the weather is better would be great for kids to burn of energy and enjoy a picnic.

When we had had enough of the wind and rain and our animal feed had been depleted, we headed back to the main indoor entrance area where there was a small bird enclosed and chipmunks. We had to wait for a few moments as Mabel was in another enclosure feeding some animals ( yes she hands on!) But the highlight was being able to handle one day old chicks. My daughter was in her element and we spent at least half an hour petting them and listening to Mabel’s story. She is an amazing women, recently turned 90 years young!..... and her animal Sanctuary is her dream come true, she always wanted to care for animals and give children the opportunity to see and pet them.

Never having been here before and having read some of the reviews pre visit I had my reservations but having met Mabel and seen how well the animals are cared for, you have to admire her strength of character and determination and with the help of her son have kept it going through the recent tough times. It is real, it is not sugar coated for visitors, it’s a bit shabby around the edges but it is as it is and we loved it and will definitely be going again and will keep on going.

Please go and support this amazing woman and her family business which are doing a great job of caring for these animals and giving us the privilege of meeting them.

Written 3 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

mazza53_12
Warwickshire5 contributions
The Complainers Won
Nov 2019
Well, those of you who made comments on here regarding the Sanctuary I hope you are pleased with yourselves, and those who called the Council and complained, because now thanks to you and the Council none of us can go back and enjoy the animals because they've closed it down.

So you got stung by a nettle, no one was going to die, they didn't serve food they weren't going to poison anyone, no one was in any danger from the animals, you pay a small entry fee and yet expect so much, they were just a small family unit giving homes to animals no longer wanted as well educating and helping young children get up close and personal to animals, a huge loss to the area.
As for the animals I doubt all will be rehomed due to their ages so will have to go to slaughter. But you didnt think about that when you complained, just the me me me attitude.
Written 3 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

e_organ123
17 contributions
Lovely happy animals
Nov 2019 • Couples
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit, it's a lovely peaceful place and the cuddle corner is fabulous! We really enjoyed stroking the animals and the owners were very friendly and took the time to talk to us and let us meet the animals - very relaxed and no time limits! The animals are all very lively, happy, and well loved - a big difference to a lot of the more commercial farms we've visited. We highly recommend a visit.
Written 15 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

cbigs
Leicester, UK31 contributions
A fun afternokn
Oct 2019 • Family
We had a lovely afternoon stroking rabbits and guinea pigs in the sunshine! The little park is fun for the children to play on and the cheeky goats made us all smile. Thank you for a lovely day.
Written 29 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Melissa F
1 contribution
Arranging a visits for a dementia group
Sep 2019
I have been left feeling quite upset today after an unpleasant conversation with presumably the owners. I called in at 16.35 simply to ask whether I could have a quick look at the site to check out its viability for visits with a dementia group. The people I spoke to immediately said I couldn’t visit as it was after 4.30. I explained that there was a misunderstanding...I didn't want to visit, but just to have a very quick look at the site. I suggested twice that 5 minutes would be enough but this was ignored. The site closes at 5.00pm so it is hard to see how this was a problem. The man’s tone of voice was very rude, the woman less so - she gave me a leaflet for a nearby place which might suit the group however its some kind of fantasy/fairytale venue designed for children and totally inappropriate for people with dementia. However she did launch into a lecture about the man being up at 6.30 in the morning feeding the birds all on his own, at which point I chose to leave rather than continue being told off. The Water Foul Sanctuary would have been perfect but it is their loss in terms of income as we would have been regular visitors at times when business is bound to be poor - during weekdays and in the winter.
Written 14 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Zoom121
2 contributions
Dated but fun
Sep 2019 • Family
On arriving we were the only ones there not a good sign!
It was sad to see everywhere so tired and run down but the animals seemed well looked after. My 3 year old grandson loved being able to get so close to pet and feed the animals, he didn't notice the need for some maintenance!
Overall I hope they get some help to bring the place up to date as it's worth it for the little ones.
Written 7 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Sam_j00009
4 contributions
It's a breeding/hobby farm
Sep 2019 • Family
I have mixed feelings. One one hand, they took in our cockeral in our hour of need. I am certain he will be well loved and cared for (this lead to us visiting). After visiting, I wouldn't go back as a paying customer. That's not to say I wouldn't buy a pet from them.

This farm is a breeding/hobby farm, trying to make money to keep the hobby going. This isn't so bad as the animals are loved. The struggle the owner has, is dealing with customers. It's £5 per adult and £4 per child to enter.

There are unnecessary signs on everything and it starts in the car park. We had a lovely walk around and saw/fed some animals with a bucket of feed purchased on entry for an extra £1.

There was a good amount of space to run around in the park area and lots of floor space to sit.

We couldn't have spent more than an hour there overall without a picnic.
We left the petting corner (cuddle corner) until last. There were lots of small furries available to cuddle.

When my daughter was cuddling a bunny, one of the other bunnies hopped on top of their cage and ventured behind the lid of the cage and looked to be stuck. When my daughter mentioned it to the elder lady, she was shouted at. "He is NOT stuck! If he was stuck I'd help him!! NONE of my animals here suffer!!!".
I was shocked! There was no reason to raise her voice and my daughter was scared.
The lady knows a lot about the animals but lacks greatly in pleasantries. It's a shame as this ruined the entire experience. The gentleman that works there is a lovely, lovely man.

Some animals are for sale. Rabbits, chickens. Maybe more if you were to enquire. You'd be getting a well handled and healthy animal. But perhaps they should change to a pet shop rather than a place to enjoy and spend the day. That way the rules and rudeness would be somewhat understandable.
Written 5 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

mazza53_12
Warwickshire5 contributions
A must for children, a real opportunity to get close to animals.
Aug 2019
My husband and I have been going to the sanctuary for nearly all the 30 years or so it has been open, and we are deeply sadden to read the comments that the snowflakes are leaving, it is not some posh profit making organisation, it is a Mother and son who have been running it and they have given refuge to thousands of animals over the years. For young children it is a fab place they can sit and have a chick in their lap or a rabbit or Guinea pig and stroke them, get to know these types of animals, all good stimulation for children and education on how to treat animals. Yes there are lots of nettles, actually some animals do like to peck at them or even eat them, yes there could be fewer but you don't actually go into their enclosures so the nettles are not a real problem, and again yes you will see some animal poo, this is something animals do and you can never really time when they are going to do it, but what you wont find is a sick neglected suffering animal. So please don't listen to the negative comments, this place is about animals and animal lovers, we love walking around hand feeding the animals, and would hate to see anything happen to this place just because it doesn't live up to some peoples expectations.
Written 5 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Oxyfish1
Deddington, UK105 contributions
It’s a farm
Aug 2019 • Family
You have to take this review in context. The place is a bit small and rugged. It is different to a larger farm park, that is commercial and well set up. This is a farm, that has made good use of land. The main feature is a small walk that has geese, ducks, donkeys, emus and goats. We had lots of fun seeing these animals and the bunny shed. You can buy a bucket of fees for £1 and it was good value. There is a playground with old but sound play equipment. Here you can picnic on a few benches. It is a good place for people from the surrounding areas to make use of. In my view it is a good for a few hours out and a bit of fun. The price is £4 per child and £5 per adult. This is lower than the big farm parks, but it is up to you if this represents good value for a few hours entertainment. Me and my boy really enjoyed it, so I would go again, but I have the convenience of it being on my doorstep.
Written 31 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

liz r
7 contributions
Time warp in the 80's, this place needs modernising !
Aug 2019
I took our grandchildren here, aged 3 years old and 22 months. Our 'welcome' was from a grumpy elderly lady, so not a great start. Entrance fee of £5 each and £4 for the children seemed a bit expensive. We looked at goats and the rabbits, then went to the play area. This was a large field with random bits of play equipment all very old. The animals are well cared for, but all the animal pens were surrounded by stinging nettles as high as the children, so the children got stung a lot. There are a variety of ducks which we could feed with the seed, a bucket costs a £1. We could cuddle the rabbits and guinea pigs. We thought it was expensive compared to other places. It seems it hasn't changed in 30 years as an acquaintance told me she had a similar experience with her son!
Written 28 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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