Friday, 21 July 2017

Happy Summer Holidays

Hello to all our lovely blog readers,

How are you all? It's Betty the Guinea Pig here again with a little update from my lovely home here at Gypsy Wood Park. 

Since we opened in March we have been REALLY busy - not only making friends with all our lovely visitors but also still working hard behind the scenes too. We've now finished the cafe (if you haven't been then wow, you really need to go, it is absolutely stunning. And the food is pretty good too. Don't tell the animal carers that I nibbled on a bit of cake..... cake is definitely not healthy Guinea Pig food, and I would be in big trouble if they knew. But it was SO delicious!).

And did you hear about the fantastic award we won? We were abolustely thrilled when the lovely people from Great Days Out told us that we won the Great Days Out Commitment to Excellence Award for 2017. Wahoo! It is lovely to be rewarded for all our hard work and commitment to providing our visitors with a wonderful family day out. Debbie told me she'd like to say a BIG thank you to all our hard-working and dedicated staff for helping to make it all happen. 

So, what else is new here at Gypsy Wood Park? Well, we've got some new animals - our adorable new rats (NAMES?) have been settling in well, and the Russian Dwarf Hamsters have too. If you're visiting us this summer, do pop by and say hello to them, and to me of course - I love to meet new friends :) 

Our new undercover play area is coming along nicely too, it's looking great! We've got a new slide in there from Honey Bee Adventures, and I hear it's amazing! I'm not quite a brave enough little Guinea Pig to try it yet, but watch this space! But some of our little guests are having a great time in the new construction play zone too!

And as you're passing through the shop don't forget to look out for the new Gypsy Wood legend story. We've just had beautifully illustrated copies of this lovely tale back from the printers, and the little book is wonderful. It tells the sad, sad story of a beautiful fairy called Rhiannon, who wants to escape from the evil clutches of her nasty step-father. She runs away and creates a new fairy kingdom in a beautiful woodland, although poor Rhiannon is pining for her mother and sisters who didn't manage to escape. There is a happy ending though - but you'll have to read the story for that (I don't want to spoil it for you!!).

So, I'd better be off for now, I can hear all the staff stomping about in the office behind me. We're all getting ready for the mania of the summer holidays - we love seeing everyone, but it can get tiring for a little old guinea pig like me. So, it's time for my daily nap! 

Thanks for reading lovely people, and do come and see us soon. Have a lovely and very happy summer holidays, whatever you get up to.

Bye for now, squeaks and kisses,
Betty x

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Hello 2017 Season!

Wow! Can you believe it? It’s Betty the Guinea Pig here because it’s time to say a BIG hello to all our lovely blog readers and visitors again. We are opening in just 3 days’ time – wow! Did you miss us over the winter months? Because we definitely missed you.

I’d like to say it’s been very quiet and boring here on the park without you all, but sadly it hasn’t. What with all of us animals being treated to a lovely Christmas dinner, and then the sound of Gafyn’s tools banging and hammering away. All the humans have been pretty busy getting some amazing new attractions ready for you all, least of all a brand new café – wow, it’s looking pretty good. And I’ve been assured there’s no baked Guinea Pig on the menu – just lots of lovely cakes, sandwiches, coffees, ice creams and treats. Delicious – I’ll see you all there.

As well as the café we’ve got some fun new play tunnels, a new undercover play area in the old café and the fairy princess has a beautiful new home. We have been busy with lots of new projects, but we’ve also been pretty busy entertaining new guests too. Some of you might have popped to see us just before Christmas so you’ll know that we had a super special visitor – Father Christmas dropped in to stay with us for a few days to meet some of you, and he told me that he absolutely loved it and can’t wait to come back next year! Which is great – it was the first time Gypsy Wood opened for Christmas but we all had loads of fun and it was brilliant to see everyone. And now that FC has said he’ll come back then it’d be rude not to open for him again wouldn’t it!?!

Another beautiful visitor we had were some gorgeous swans on the lake – another first for us here at Gypsy Wood. I didn’t like to get too close to them, as the goats told me they were pretty hungry and looking for some lunch, but I admired them from afar and they were gorgeous. They’ve carried on their long journey by now though – I expect they were looking for some sunshine over the cold winter months (definitely none of that here, haha!).

Well, I’d better get back to it – all the animals are under strict instructions to make their beds nice and tidy ready for opening day, and do you know what, I’m not a very tidy Guinea Pig so it takes me a long time! I do try, but I like my straw all over my hutch that way I can be cosy wherever I go…..

All of us here at Gypsy Wood, including our team of new staff, are really excited about the coming season – and excited to see you all again soon! We’ll be open from the 27th March, so don’t forget to come and say hello to Betty and all my friends soon!

Take care, and lots of love and nibbles,
Betty xx

Friday, 9 September 2016

End of Season 2016

Hello everyone! Betty the Guinea Pig here with another blog update for all my lovely friends......
Well, well, well! It's the end of the 2016 season already, where has the time flown to? Our last day of opening will be the 11th September, so only a couple of days to go; can you believe that, my lovely Gypsy Wood friends? And what a fantastic season it's been for me and all my animal and human friends. Debbie and her family have survived their first season here at Gypsy Wood, and I think they've done a brilliant job. High five paws to them!
Our other humans have been doing pretty well too - Gethin passed his driving test (well done Gethin!), and lots and lots of them had great exam results (except for Cai who promises to do better next year). And of course, Darleen, who serves up all the wonderful treats and teas in our cafe, is going back to university this September and we wish her the very best of luck. Good luck Darleen, from me and all your friends here at Gypsy Wood. We'll miss you!
Darleen actually made me laugh and laugh the other day when she was telling me a really funny story - she woke up with a start at 6:30 one morning because she thought she'd forgotten to phone the bakery with the order for that day. So she leapt out of bed to call them with the order. They thought she was going mad, because of course she'd phoned them the day before - it was all in her dreams that she hadn't. Silly billy Darleen, but that did make me laugh. She'll be glad to get back to university for a rest, haha!
And of course there have been lots of great new additions to the park this year - some of the new activities include the trampolines, the tunnels, duck racing, the play sand pit and giant games like chess board, jenga and kaplunk. They've all been really popular too, and it's been great to see you all having so much fun.

There have been animal additions too - we had a new baby canary called Lemon, awwww what a cutie she is. And of course a new human - Witch Mo became a Nain to the gorgeous John Caio. Congratulations Mo! And another one on the way - Alwena is due to give birth to a baby boy in December. We wish her all the very best and we can't wait to meet your little one at the end of the year.
Don't forget to keep and eye out on our Facebook page to find out who will win the Trainspotting Quiz and the Make my Wish Come True competition. The results will be posted very soon.
We've had so many lovely people visiting us this year. A HUGE thank you to everyone who's come to see us. Thanks for your continued support and a big thank you to all the new visitors and lovely reviews you've written for us. We really appreciate it, and it certainly makes all the hard work worthwhile.

And finally, a huge thank you to our team of hardworking and loyal staff who make Gypsy Wood what it is - a magical place to visit and for all of us animals to live. Apparently Debbie and Gafyn are taking us all out on the last day of the season to celebrate, and to show their appreciation to us all. Sorry, what's that - they're not taking us animals? Just the staff and fairies..... oh, well, that's gratitude for you! I better have some extra tasty leaves in my bowl tomorrow instead.
So, that's about all from me for now, but don't forget to stay tuned for exciting updates about next season - there will be plenty going on and lots more fun and games. We can't wait to see you all again soon.
Lots of love,
Betty xx xx

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Happy 2016!

Hello hello hello to all our lovely blog readers! Well, 2016 is here, can you believe it? We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year, and are ready for all the hard work (and fun!) that 2016 is bringing with it!!

Our clever readers will have noticed that it's not Bobby blogging this time....... Hello everyone, I'm Betty the Guinea Pig! Bobby handed over the blogging reigns last year, after sadly he decided to retire from Gypsy Wood. Life in the spotlight just wasn't for him; he's a shy little chicken really.... But, I'm happy to say that he's loving his retirement so far - both Bobby and Mini-Bobby are enjoying a free-range life with all the corn they can eat. 

So, the name's Betty! And don't forget it (don't worry, I won't let you!). And sadly, Bobby isn't the only one to retire from Gypsy Wood either.... Chris, who founded this beautiful place back in 2004 and gave all of us lucky animals a lovely home has also decided it's time for a well-earned rest. Chris told me that she's loved every single minute of her time at Gypsy Wood, but it's time to hand it over to the younger generation as we say a big welcome to Chris' niece Debbie and her husband Gafyn. Chris wishes you both all the luck in the world (not that you'll need it with us lively bunch of animals, of course....) and hopes you both have as much fun as she has done over the years.

Chris will be sorely missed, for her warmth and generosity towards all of us animals, and her capers with the staff. Just the other day I watched as she and Mo decided to share the only pair of welly boots in the office to hop across some flood water to see to the animals. They got there ok, but soon discovered that it was very difficult to hop and push a wheelbarrow at the same time. Well, I laughed like a lunatic, and they got very wet feet. Silly billies!

And here are some pictures of some of the flood water we've had here at Gypsy Wood over the last couple of weeks. Phew, we've had a lot of rain. And we all know that this little Guinea Pig doesn't like the rain.... roll on Spring is what I say!

Now, in other news... all the staff are at the park getting ready for our 2016 opening. Not long to go now, and I for one can't wait. I'm so excited to see some new faces and have some cuddles with some new friends. We open on March 21st, so put the date in your diary friends!

We've also got some new attractions for this coming year. I am absolutely sworn to secrecy (although I do accept carrot-shaped bribes....) so you'll just have to watch this space, and we'll keep you updated. 

And did you know, best news of all, that our resident Witch Mo is about to become a Nain (or grandmother for our non-Welsh speaking friends)? Big congratulations to Mo and her family - we hope you bring in the new addition to see us for big Betty cuddles.

Well, that's all from me for now. It's been lovely to meet you all and share our Gypsy Wood news. I'll be back in touch soon with more news, events and information for you all, so keep your eyes peeled. I can't wait to see you soon, lots of love, Betty xx xx

Monday, 9 March 2015

Spring into opening

Hello to all our lovely blog readers!

Well, would you believe that it's March already? Mini-Bobby and I can't barely believe our feathers that time is flying by so fast.  It's nearly time for us to open our gates to you all, and do you know, after a long and cold winter, we are pretty excited about the Springtime coming. The daffodils and snowdrops are blooming here at Gypsy Wood Park and Mini-Bobby and I have to be careful not to trample on them while we're practicing our new chicken boogie moves. They are so pretty.

And of course we've got a new addition to our little chicken gang! We are very giddy to introduce you to Frizzles. Isn't she gorgeous? Don't worry - Mini-Bobby and I will be showing her the chicken ropes, don't you worry. She's already learnt some brilliant boogie moves, and we've taken her all around the park to introduce her to the other animals.

We've got plenty of other new things going on too here at Gypsy Wood Park. The most exciting is the sheep racing! We've been having lots of fun with the training, and the sheep are doing really well, because it was so new to them. But I told them they just have to do it the Bobby way - all feathers, no fuss and a bit of a boogie in between. It's going to be great fun, and the sheep are excited to do something a bit different and stretch their little legs. And that's not all! We've also got a brilliant new pretend fishing pond where you catch little magnetic fish - there's one for toddlers and one for older kids. How many will you catch?

Our train expert Pete has been really busy putting in new interactive tracks and buttons on our model outdoor garden railway. He's just finished the final touches, so it's all ready for a busy summer ahead. And, can you guess which member of staff this is - busy doing some park maintenance? It was a really chilly winter morning, but we didn't half laugh our feathers off when we saw them all wrapped up, hehe!!

Sadly, we've had a couple of illnesses over winter, although nothing too bad thankfully. Our pig Bluebell had a foot abscess, poor thing, and the donkey Babycham had a sarcoid on her wither (painful!). But, thanks to our lovely carers and some medicine from the vet we are all well now for opening, and all the animals are excited about meeting you all again!

And this weekend, Woody's train will be having a final shine and polish, and Mini-Bobby, Frizzle and I will be having a lovely long bubble bath, to make sure we're looking our best when we go back to work. Our feathers will be preened and fluffy and looking perfect.

Of course, we're hoping for another beautiful sunny Welsh summer (maybe then I can get rid of my woolly scarf!) but come rain or shine, we'll be excited to see old and new customers!

See you all soon, here at Gypsy Wood Park.
Lots of love, from Bobby, Mini-Bobby, and baby Frizzle xx xx

P.S don't forget to look out for the dates of our brilliant Easter Egg hunt. Loads of fun for big and little kids alike!

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Gypsy Wood History

On our website, you'll find a story about some of the history of Gypsy Wood Park, and just how it came to get its unusual name.... (click here for the story) but recently, one of Uriah's family members got in touch with us, to give us more information about this enigmatic Man of the Tent....

By: Charmaine

“The Man of the Tent”, Uriah Lovell was my great-grandfather (on my father William’s side), so here is a bit more to add to the story.

Uriah Lovell had two great loves in his life. One was his passion for his life as a Romany Gypsy, and the second was a girl called Rebecca Scamp. Uriah and Rebecca met when they were young, got married and had 6 children – 3 girls and 3 boys. And although their love story is an unusual one because they didn’t live together or travel together, Rebecca was the love of Uriah’s life.

When their children were young, they travelled up and down through England and Wales with their father, setting up camps and meeting other Romany Gypsies along the way. Uriah made a living making baskets and pegs and selling them in the villages and towns they visited. When Rebecca decided to return to Ireland when their children had grown up, Uriah never forgot her, and travelled there to see his estranged wife and son Ruben, just three months before he died. In a tragic twist, Rebecca died just three months after Uriah. We often wonder if she died from a broken heart.

Uriah and Rebecca’s son Ruby stayed in Ireland and his children are still there (including my own father William Uriah Lovell) but Ruby’s siblings stayed in Wales and made their lives here, just like their father Uriah.

And my father William (who’s nickname is “Cockaboy”) remembers Uriah as a strong and fit man, even in his old age. And his secret to a long and healthy life? Every morning, come rain, hale or snow, he would strip down to his waist and bathe in ice cold water. This, he told my father, would keep him young! There certainly would have been plenty of icy cold water for Uriah in Wales!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Happy Christmas!

Well, well, well! Hello everybody! Who can believe that it's Christmas already? Mini-Bobby and I can't, that's for sure! We've been really, really, really good this year so I've asked Santa for a big stocking full of yummy chicken treats. I just hope he remembers to stop in our winter digs this year. We're all warm and cosy in our stable and there's loads of room for us to practice our festive chicken boogies, but we do miss all our fans, so we'll be really excited to start the season again next year. Not many sleeps!

Anyway, Mini-Bobby told me (he's got a very good memory you know, not like my little old chicken brain) that there's lots of things I've got to tell you about today, so I better crack on hadn't I?!

Did you know that our very own Mr Gobble was the fantastic (and well deserved) winner of First Prize at the National Poultry Show in Telford earlier this winter? And not only that, he was awarded the Best Bronze Turkey! Brilliant news Mr Gobble, we are very proud of you. 

And what's next Mini-Bobby? Oh yes, I remember now! I am very excited to be able to announce some very special news here from Gypsy Wood. Earlier in the year we ran a competition for the best picture posted onto our Facebook page. Well, the winner is............ James Donkin, with this beautiful photo of a busy little bumble bee in mid-flight. We try our best here at Gypsy Wood Park to make it a great environment for all sorts of insects but especially the humble bumble bee because they are in need of good homes! We love this picture, so well done James. You win a fabulous family ticket for next year.

And time for another winner! This year's wish winner is Morgan Parry of Anglesey, who wished for a day with the animals. Your wish is our command Morgan, congratulations.

We'll be in touch with our winners to confirm all the details soon!

And we'd also like to say a HUGE thank you to the very special and talented Sharon who paints the mural in our wonderful toilets for us every year. She really is a legend, and makes it possible for us to keep winning the Loo of the Year awards (we were lucky enough to be the winner of the Tourist Attractions category for Wales again this year!). And thanks to all our staff for their hard work in keeping it clean and sparkling and looking tip-top!

In other news (thanks for reminding me Mini-Bobby, but you can stop nudging me in the ribs now thanks....) we are all pretty busy getting the park ready for next season. Haha, well I say we're busy - what I mean is our humans are busy, we're just chillin' out resting our hooves and feet. Well, we did work VERY hard this year. Here's a funny picture of our Pete, literally up to his elbows, making sure our Outdoor Garden Railway is running smoothly! Good ol' Pete.

And just one more bit of excitement - we are hard at work putting up advertising boards at Woody's Railway Station. These twinkly adverts are for local businesses of all types and my humans tell me that thousands of people will see them every year as they jump onto Woody's Train, so it's a smart business move. If you want to advertise your business with us, then give us a shout (contact us at for more details). 

And so, finally, we would just like to wish all our lovely friends and visitors a VERY happy Christmas and a jolly New Year. We hope you have a brilliant time celebrating and that your festive wishes come true. From all of us animals, staff and fairy's at Gypsy Wood Park.