Animal parks and zoos in Kent are closed for January lockdown including Howletts and Wingham

Animal parks which had rearranged opening times for the month ahead have now been forced to close their gates once again to visitors.

Howletts Wild Animal Park near Canterbury confirmed only a few days ago that it would continue to open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays to enable families looking to enjoy an outdoor space to visit whilst Kent was under Tier 4 restrictions this winter.

Howletts had hoped to remain open on select days in January but new government rules have forced it to close
Howletts had hoped to remain open on select days in January but new government rules have forced it to close

Alongside work to cut down the opening dates and times to just a few days each week, owners The Aspinall Foundation also took the decision to close its sister site Port Lympne for the rest of the month.

But following Boris Johnson's announcement on Monday evening, and a second full lockdown now in place, all wildlife parks and animal-related attractions have been asked to close their doors for the foreseeable future.

Alongside an appeal for financial support to help meet the costs of caring for its hundreds of special of animal, a message on the Howletts website reads: "In light of the recent government announcement placing the UK under alert level 5 and the reinstatement of a nationwide lockdown, we have closed Howletts Wild Animal Park and Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve to the public.

"We are awaiting further government guidance and will work to reopen the both parks to guests as soon as it is appropriate to do so."

Howletts and Port Lympne won't reopen during the current January lockdown
Howletts and Port Lympne won't reopen during the current January lockdown

The new closure of animal attractions by the government also now affects other Kent places of interest including Wingham Wild Animal Park, the Rare Breeds Centre in Woodchurch and Wildwood near Herne Bay.

For suggestions of things to do with the children during the current lockdown visit www.mykentfamily.co.uk

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© KM Group Saturday, Jan 16 2021