Monday, 30 July 2012

Dr Zigs Bubble Competition

We've gone bubble crazy here at Gypsy Wood Park this week! We're all excited about a brilliant new competition by the fabulous Doctor Zigs.

Doctor Zigs are a fun-filled local company, producing and supplying giant bubble kits, for hours of fun, bundles of bubbles and loads of silly smiles!

This summer, Doctor Zigs are launching a fantastic new competition, open to all! They want your bubbly-snaps....

All you need to do is visit one of the ten "Bubble Stop" locations, that are scattered around Snowdonia National Park (check the Facebook page here for more details of the locations), then take yourself and your bubbles for a day out anywhere in Snowdonia and snap a picture of your bubbly day! The details are below:



1. Go to one of the ‘Bubble Stops’ in and around the National Park
2. Pick up your Giant Bubble Kit (£10 refundable deposit)
3. Take the Bubbles out and about in Snowdonia for the day.
4. Take pictures of your Giant Bubbles in Snowdonia.
5. Upload your pictures to our Bubble Snowdonia FB page, or email them to bubblesnowdonia@gmail.com
6. Dahdah!! You’re IN!! If you want to can go online to our fb page and vote on your favourite pics – and encourage your friends to vote on your pics!
7. Come and see if you've won a prize at the Snowdonia Arts Festival from 5th-7th October 2012!
 8: Closing date for the competition is 30th September 2012. You can enter up to 5 photographs. There will be several categories: Under 11’s, Under 18’s, Popular vote (most votes gained online), Best Bubble-in-Landscape, and Best Landscape-in-Bubble.

Why not pop over to Gypsy Wood Park for a day out with your bubbles - we'd love to see you here; our pretty park and friendly animals make the perfect backdrop for a prize-winning picture!

Image by Brockenn Inaglory on wikicommons


Thursday, 26 July 2012

Alpaca Love

Here at Gypsy Wood Park we're really proud of all of the different animals that live here. It's an honour to be able to work with so many unique characters and funny animals. They all have their own personalities and quirks, and it's always a lot of fun getting to know them.

Some of our cuddliest animals at Gypsy Wood are the pretty Alpacas. They've been with us now for a couple of years, and their thick woolly coats seem to keep them nice and warm in the chilly Welsh weather!

Alpacas are native to Southern American countries like Peru, Chille and Bolivia. Over there they are used mostly for their furry coats -  Alpaca wool is used like Sheep's wool is here in Wales, to make things like coats, blankets, jumpers, socks, scarves and quilts. There are 16 different colours of natural Alpaca wool, but of course, it can be died to make many more!

Alpaca Wool
image by Damast on wiki commons

Alpacas are related to the llama family, but unlike llamas, they are too small to be used as pack animals for carrying heavy loads.

Our Alpacas love to munch on grass and leaves, and they absolutely love their daily walks and feed times.


 
Come over to Gypsy Wood Park and make friends with our lovely Alpacas!



Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Animal Olympics

Here at Gypsy Wood Park, we love all creatures great and small! Our animals are at the heart of our park and we wouldn't be without them.

So, with the London 2012 Olympics drawing ever closer, we thought we'd celebrate our animal adoration with some Alternative Animal Olympics - the wackiest animal races you've ever heard of! Many animal sports are controversial because they are often deemed cruel or inhumane, but our favourites are all bonkers without being barbaric!

Tell us your favourite (cruelty free) animal sport - leave a comment in the box below. 

  • Pig Olympics - wow! A whole Olympic games dedicated to cute little piggies! Competitions include piggy-swimming, piggy-football and pig-racing over an obstacle course. The last Pig Olympics were held in 2009 in St Louis, Missouri, and the contest is run by the Sport-Pig Federation, who promise that none of the piggy competitors are bacon afterwards - they're all bred for the next generation of sporting piggy Olympians.
image by jannbr on scx.hu

  • Rabbit Showjumping - possibly the cutest animal sport ever invented! Specially trained bunny rabbits jump over a variety of obstacles and fences. The sport first became popular in Sweden in the 1970s, but there are now competitions all over the world.
image by sv:User:Wikkie on wiki commons

  • Ferret Legging - this competition's open only to men who think they're tough enough! The idea is to put a ferret in their trousers (belted at the top and tied at the ankles) and the one who can stand the jiggling and wiggling the longest is the winner! (PS rules state that no underwear is to be worn.....)
Image by goomomyuko on sxc.hu


  • Elephant Polo - a variation on the classic game of Polo, where riders use elephants instead of horses to move around the polo field. It's popular in the Asian countries of Nepal, Thailand and Sri Lanka.
image by doc on sxc.hu
  •  Pigeon Racing - one of the more well known wacky animal races, but no less remarkable. Pigeons are released thousands of miles away from their home, and the clever bird who gets back the quickest wins the race. These ingenious birds are meticulously trained by their owners to brave storms and predators, and navigate their way back home. Pigeons have a natural homing instinct, but scientists still aren't sure exactly why....
Image by Jarrr on sxc.hu


  • Snail racing - the classic wacky animal race! Snail racing is popular across the world and usually features the common garden species of snail. The snail who gets around a marked track the quickest is the winner! Best not to be in a hurry for this one - all good things come to those who wait.....
image by minotaurus on sxc.hu



Friday, 20 July 2012

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Gypsy Wood's Fairy Godmothers

One of the highlights for a lot of visitors to Gypsy Wood Park is the chance to meet our beautiful Fairy Queen and Princess.

Our resident Fairy Queen and Fairy Princess love to meet new friends, and hear your wishes; if you whisper them quietly, they'll try their best to make them come true!


Our beautiful Fairy Queen

Did you know?
The Fairy Queen's favourite colour is pink!
The Fairy Queen and the Fairy Princess look after all the little fairies in Gypsy Wood Park; they make sure they're all happy and safe.
The Fairy Princess's favourite thing to eat is cake, yum!
The Fairy Queen and Princess always eat their vegetables and make sure they get lots of sleep to make sure they stay beautiful!

We think our Fairy Godmothers are pretty special, so see if you can find their woodland hide-away and come and say hello - it's among the Gypsy Wood trees!




Due to a hectic schedule, the Gypsy Wood Park Fairy Godmothers aren't here every single day.  They are here on weekend days, and a few days during the week. If you are visiting especially to meet them, then please telephone to confirm the days she'll be present.


Monday, 16 July 2012

Woody's Fancy Dress Party 2012

We've got some super exciting news for all our lovely Gypsy Wood Park blog readers! And you are the first to know...... about plans for this year's Woody Day!

Woody’s Annual Fancy Dress Party will be held on the 27th August (Summer Bank Holiday Monday). Woody's Day is one of the highlights here at Gypsy Wood, and this year will be an extravaganza for the whole family!

There'll be loads of fun activities like face painting and a bouncy castle, as well as the chance to meet our beautiful Fairy Godmother and a special sing along with Woody's Wizard! Woody will also be on the look-out for the best dressed teddy bear, so start thinking about your bears' outfits now!

Here's some of Woody's team from last year's party!



Woody's pretty busy at the moment, planning and organising everything; but as soon as he has a quiet minute he'll pop up and tell you more about his special day!

So, don't miss it! Be there or be very square indeed!

Gypsy Wood Park Woody's Fancy Dress Party. August 27th 2012
Gypsy Wood Park, Bontnewydd, Caernarfon



Thursday, 12 July 2012

Our Gypsy Wood

What's in a name? Well, Gypsy Wood Park is so called because the woodland here is said locally to be one of the last places where Romany Gypsies lived in the village, hence it's name as Gypsy Wood.

When John and Christine first opened Gypsy Wood Park in 2004, they learnt about the last remaining Romany gypsy here, Mr Lovell, who camped in the field opposite and used the river that ran through the site.

The woodland's rich history is what inspired Gypsy Wood Park's enchanting and ethereal theme. Today, the wood is home to fairies, elves and a generous sprinkling of magic. You can discover them all on our Gypsy Wood trail and Wetland Walk.

Finding fairies at Gypsy Wood


Do you have memories of the history of Gypsy Wood and the people who lived here? We'd love to hear about them if you do! Tell us using the comments box below.

Did you know?
Gypsy Wood Park is in the pretty village of Bontnewydd, just outside Caernarfon, Gwynedd.

Bontnewydd is the Welsh word for "new bridge".




Tuesday, 10 July 2012

A Winning Loo

Here at Gypsy Wood Park, we're very proud indeed of our fabulous loo! So imagine how pleased we were last year when we were awarded a prize by the official Loo of the Year team.

We scooped up the award for Best Loo in the category of Visitor Attraction in Wales in 2011. This year is the 25th anniversary of the Loo of the Year awards and the competition is hotter than ever!

Since it began in 1987 the inspectors have visited literally hundreds of different loos across the country. The criteria is strict, and loos are judged on a whole host of things from signage to cleanliness and from air quality to the type of toilet tissue.

You can see our listing here along with the other category winners.

Why not come along and check out Gypsy Wood's prize winning loo! We're pretty proud of it, and hope you agree it's certainly worthy of the much coveted award. It certainly is unique; we've never seen another like it!


Gypsy Wood loo!


The beautiful wall mural was started in 2004 by brilliant artist Sharon Wilson. She adds a little bit more every year!


Got a favourite loo? Tell us about it by leaving a comment below!

Friday, 6 July 2012

Simba's Story

Hello to all our lovely new Gypsy Wood Park blog readers!

Christine told me she's really excited about the new Gypsy Wood blog, and when she asked me to introduce myself, I've been really thinking hard about what to tell you all.

But I think some of you might already know me! I'm Simba the pony and I've been living here at Gypsy Wood Park for a long time; as long as I can remember anyway. I was born 15 years ago (Christine says that time flies, but I don't know about that. I do know that I can munch through a buckets of carrot pretty quickly, but they don't usually fly...) and when I was born my little legs wouldn't work properly.

Christine and John agreed to adopt me and give me a happy home. I remember a nice vet called Dewi came to look at my legs and he fixed them for me so that I could run around the field so the farrier couldn't catch me. I wasn't keen on having my hooves trimed, and I told Christine that I'd only chat to the farrier if he had some carrots - they're my absolute favourite. Now I love seeing him, because he's always got a full bucket of munchy carrot sticks for me.

Christine and John soon brought me some friends to play with. They were bigger than me but I could still keep up with them when we were all playing in the field. My collection of playmates got bigger and bigger, and so Christine and John decided to open their fields up to show us off to the world.

And that, Christine tells me, is how Gypsy Wood Park was born, back in 2004. She says it all started with me! That makes me pretty special, don't you think?

I've got loads and loads of friends now like alpacas, pigs, rabbits and goats, and the beautiful fairy godmothers. 

Why don't you come down to the woods today to see who you can spot? Look out for me at Gypsy Wood Park because I love to make new friends!

See you soon,

love and carrots

Simba



Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Farewell to Lonesome George

It was a sad day here at Gypsy Wood when we learned of the death of one of the rarest animals of its kind in the world. Lonesome George was a sub-species of the giant tortoise who lived on the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador, some 6,000 miles from Gypsy Wood Park.

Phew, it's a long way away, but we can't help thinking that little old George was adorable! He was nicknamed Lonesome George not only because he was the last of his species, but because he was such a shy creature and liked nothing more than to while away his time on his own.

Lonesome George became famous in Ecuador, and is a symbol of conservation and an icon of evolutionary studies. He appeared on their bank notes and was a major tourist attraction.

But, George had a good long life; it's hard for his keepers to determine exactly how old he was, but he was thought to be over 100 years old when he died last week.

Although George's sub-species of tortoise (known as the Pinta Island Tortoise) is now extinct, there are many other types of giant tortoise. Nevertheless, his death and the loss of his sub-species is extrtemely sad for conservationists across the world.

You can find out more about Lonesome George here and about the work of the Charles Darwin Research Centre on the Galapagos Islands here

Lonesome Geroge at home
image by Mike Weston on wikicommons