Last updated 01 July 2020.
We’re preparing to re-open from 13 July 2020 but with limited visitor numbers our recovery will be slow and Winter will be another big challenge. Here are some ways you can continue to support us.
We just wanted to reassure you we’ve been working really hard to secure our future. We have taken on a Development Bank of Wales loan and a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme from our bank HSBC, for which we are very grateful and we received a grant under the Welsh Government’s Economic Resilience Fund. We are hugely grateful to Visit Wales for their advice and continued support and for how much they are fighting for the tourism sector, which has, and will continue to take, a huge hit as a result of the pandemic.
We started the year, as we do every year, already heavily into our overdraft facility and our first opportunity to make a profit was Easter and we were shut. Like most attractions we only make a profit in the school holidays. For most of the rest of the year we’re running at a loss.
Summer trade is always vital for attractions. It’s when we make 50% of our overall turnover which sees us through the Autumn and Winter. We’re a profitable business but we’re often praised for reinvesting this profit with new developments for you all to enjoy each year. 2020 was no exception with investment in a new crocodile enclosure, a huge programme of licensed character events and phase one of our holiday accommodation project.
Without visitors our income drops to almost zero but for us, and other animal attractions across Wales, our costs to look after the animals remain the same. And they are huge. We’d like to say a big, heartfelt thank you to all of you who’ve purchased adoptions, animal experience vouchers, annual passes and tickets whilst we’re closed – this little bit of income is really helping towards the huge ongoing staff, feed, heating and vet costs we face in looking after our animals.
We will be back open from 13 July 2020 – with social distancing measures in place – but with reduced visitor numbers our recovery will be slow and we’ll go into the normally difficult Winter trading period without our usual reserves. We still face a huge challenge but we’re glad to be in a position to keep fighting!
There were many requests from you for us to set up a donation page but as we said from the beginning we didn’t feel comfortable just accepting your money because we worry about the charities that rely on donations all year round.
So, we decided to harness some of this support to help with our cashflow in the short term but to give back to others in the long term.
We launched a GoFundMe page to donate an adult day ticket to Folly Farm for an NHS worker to enjoy a day out when we’re back open. This page raised enough money to donate 385 tickets to our local Hwyel Dda health Board so thank you so much for your support. They were thrilled!
Buy something from us
We’d love it if you purchased something from us. That way we both get something and that makes us feel a lot more comfortable.
You can adopt our animals, there’s 15 animal adoption packs to choose from, and this revenue not only helps us care for our animals now but it also raises funds for our conservation partners and they’re suffering a loss of income now too. Included in the gift pack is an adoption certificate, a fact sheet, a cuddly toy and the recipient has their name on a board by the animal’s enclosure for 12 months. You can even add a day ticket to Folly Farm for a visit to see their adopted animal. We can ship direct to the recipient and add a gift message so you can spread a little joy without leaving the house!
You can buy a gift voucher for an animal experience, we offer four experiences with our penguins, giraffes, lions and rhinos. They’re perfect as a lockdown birthday present as the voucher comes by email for you to print out and pop into a card, or simply forward onto the recipient. They can ring us when we’re back open to book in their experience when we know we can safely deliver them under social distancing measures.
Send our animals (or keepers) a gift
Our keepers set up an Amazon Wish List which includes items for enrichment, feed and tools for their jobs. Many of you have already bought something which is hugely appreciated by our hardworking keepers and the animals!
Thank you so much for your continued support. Stay safe and we’ll see you soon!