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Lotherton Hall Bird Sanctuary

Free Photos, Aberford, Leeds, West Yorkshire

Article By: Dave Roberts

First Published: 17 August 2011

Lotherton Hall was part of the Gascoigne family estate until 1968 when it was donated to the care of Leeds City Council by Sir Alvary Gascoigne and his wife, the last of the Gascoigne family tree.

The estate is now operated as a visitor centre where it operates the dirtiest drinks vending machine I have ever come across. NB: To Leeds City Council - my late mother always used a couple of phrases: "Cleanliness in next to Godliness." And: "Soap and water costs almost nawt." Perhaps Leeds City Council's Environmental Health Officers might inspect their own service providers for a change! To my readers - I will make sure that Leeds City Council are made aware of this issue. End of rant.

It's quite some time since I last visited Lotherton Hall, it being mid August and during the school summer holiday's, I expected to find the place packed with folk enjoying picnics. But no, hardly any visitors at all, which to be fair made parking very easy.

It's been many a year since I last visited Lotherton Hall where the bird sanctuary had always been the major attraction, yet here too the lack of vehicles in the car park was reflected by the lack of visitors to the sanctuary. In many respects this turned out to be a good thing, as I was able to linger unhindered in each area of the sanctuary.

There did seem to be much fewer birds, on my last visit there were Wallabies too and even some Monkeys. Although I can't claim any disappointment that there are no longer monkeys housed in small cages, having never been able to accept the idea of caging animals in such small environments, hopefully wherever they were moved to provided much more room for them. And I'm not banging any political drum here, I realise that many of the animals kept in enclosures in the UK are rescued from locations around the world where conditions are not to resplendent. I'm also no expert on the rights and wrongs of animal care.

On the day of my visit, many of the cages were empty and some definitely looked a bit tired or in need of a mucking out... perhaps one of the two members of staff selling me a car parking ticket at the gate might be better used to do a bit of cleaning... just a thought. After all - how many members of staff should it take to sell about 30 car park tickets. If you detect a tinge of disappointment in my report, from someone usually seeking to report the great things to do in Yorkshire, then you have deduced correctly. I'm afraid to report... there are many issues at Lotherton Hall, all of which seem to revolve around cleaning - or the lack of it.

That said, I did have chance to speak with two members of staff during the visit. Both were very friendly.

The birds, although fewer in number and notwithstanding the cleaning issues, were fantastic!

 

 

 

 

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