What happens at Folly Farm when we're closed?

We just put our feet up right? Wrong! Winter is as busy as the Summer…

We caught up with our operations manager, Royston Badham, to find out what goes on over the Winter months when we’re closed.

So Royston, we’ve changed to our Winter hours and are only open on weekends. What exactly goes on when the park’s closed to the public?

“Over the winter it’s non-stop. The last few weeks it’s all been about getting into the festive spirit and putting up the Christmas decorations. We also spend a lot of time carrying out ride maintenance and have external inspectors on site. Other jobs involve implementing any projects, upgrading facilities and general maintenance tasks ready for the new season.”

The operations team have been working really hard to get the attraction ready for our Winter Weekends.

What’s your main focus within health and safety during closed periods?

“As well as working with external inspectors to assess the rides, which is a big job in itself, we take time to review our policies, procedures and risk assessments. We conduct an audit and work with specialised health and safety advisers to ensure best practice. Training is also a key focus over the Winter months and in the next few weeks I’ll be attending the BALPPA (British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions) webinar, to learn about key challenges and changes within the sector and share ideas and information with others. I’m sure COVID-19 will be high on the agenda this year.”

Do you miss being open daily?

“I do miss the routine of being open but it’s a very important time for us to focus on improving practice. Winter is just as busy as Summer – if not busier some years, especially if we have big projects to undertake.”

Royston Badham with Emma Beynon, our other operations manager, on his favourite ride the Big Wheel!

What’s your favourite attraction at Folly Farm?

“Oh that would be the big wheel!”