….. Warm wellies – melting the hearts of wildlife keepers
With the worst of the winter weather still to come, the Warm Welly Company has donated Warm Wellies to the Keepers at the Lake District Wildlife Park. The wellies were handed over at the weekend giving the keepers chance to test them on the park ahead of the busy half term holiday.
Simon Wood, owner of the Warm Welly Company, knows only too well how hard it is to be working with outdoor animals in the midst of winter.
When his children were younger, Simon took his family for a day out to the wildlife park. His children stayed warm in their neoprene lined Warm Wellies, but Simon remembered thinking the Keepers would benefit from wearing his adult Warm Wellies.
The Warm Welly Company has been growing rapidly in the last couple of years and following a very busy Christmas, Simon decided to donate a set of Warm Wellies to the Keepers and contacted the park.
In exchange for Warm Wellies, the keepers will provide feedback on their level of durability, warmth and comfort – and share picture updates of their wildlife adventures on social media.
The wellies were delivered to the Lake District Wildlife Park just ahead of Storm Ciara. Handing over the wellies to Park Manager Richard Robinson and his team, Simon said “We have lots of farming and outdoor loving customer’s, so we have confidence in our wellies, but we’re always looking for ways to improve them.
“The team at the park are very practical and very willing to give honest road test feedback. So far, we’ve had good reports on the fit and warmth of our wellies and recommendations on extending the sizes we stock. The true test comes when the bad weather really hits, and the wellies have been in daily use throughout the season.
Whilst at the Park, Simon had chance to meet some of the animals firsthand. “It was great to be able to enjoy a special animal experience, meeting the Tapirs and some of the Lemurs. It’s very evident that the team know their stuff and really love their animals too. I can see why experiences are popular with visitors. We took lots of pictures and we’re looking forward to getting some unusual action shots during the year and following up on some animal enrichment ideas the team highlighted.
When the wellies were unpacked the boxes took on another life. Richard Robinson the Park Manager said “We’re always looking for new ways of providing animal enrichment. The Welly boxes are cardboard and are great for increasing sensory stimulation. The boxes can be used to encourage foraging for treats or as toys and is something different to their everyday routine.
“I also discussed with Simon the opportunity to use faulty wellies as a way of providing treats – that could result in some very quirky pictures so it’s a win win for us both. We’re looking forward to seeing how the wellies perform – both on our feet and as enrichment toys.”
The Lake District Wildlife Park has numerous keeper talks throughout the day and especially for the half term holiday, visitors can become Animal Detectives discovering fur, feathers and paw prints and learning about the animals.
The Warm Welly Company sells direct to consumers via their website and also works with numerous forest schools and outdoor kindergartens across the UK.