At Orange Roofs, we feel it's important to share what we know about the local area, places to visit and things to do while on your holidays to Cornwall. If you book a holiday cottage in St Ives or West Cornwall, you will be very close to Paradise Park in Hayle.
Paradise Park is a charity wildlife sanctuary which welcomes locals and tourists all year round to enjoy its animals and indoor play area. The Park is family-run and home to Operation Chough since 1987, and the World Parrot Trust registered charity from 1989.
Firstly, what is Operation Chough?
Operation Chough is a conservation project at Paradise Park, in Hayle, Cornwall since 1987. The initial aim was to see the chough back and living on the cliffs of Cornwall again. A shortage in the feeding habitat is thought to be the main reason for the loss of the chough from England. Well-grazed pastures along the coast were ploughed for arable crops or overgrown with scrub. Cornwall was once a stronghold for Choughs, in fact, it is the symbol of Cornwall being on the Coast of Arms. Operation Chough works to ensure that its return is permanent and sustainable and that those who have returned to Cornwall are able to maintain a healthy population into the future. See our blog on St. Piran’s Day where I and Ross saw not just one but four and caught them and their cries on video.
Where is Paradise Park?
It is tucked away where you would never expect to find a wildlife sanctuary! Take the road out of Hayle, past the Mill Ponds on the left and in the direction of Helston and you will pass the sign for Hayle Hospital. Take the turning right following the brown sign for Paradise Park and then you will be directed to turn right again into its own private car park – which is free to park at!
Did you know that on/ in the Mill Ponds at Foundry Square in Hayle you will find turtles and terrapins? The story goes that they were introduced in 1895 from Holland, and were either European pond turtles, or Caspian turtles.
What is Paradise Park?
It is a wildlife sanctuary with 14 acres which have recommended walk route signs that will lead you to a Victorian walled garden, shady jungle walks, the Fun Farm, past Glanmor House to the picnic lawn and play areas. The paths are well-laid and so accessible for pushchairs and wheelchairs. It has toilets on site as well as a cafe and an indoor soft play area which we know from experience is invaluable to our local friends and families needing to entertain their energetic young ones on wet days! There is a large gift shop too so if you wanted a small memento of your outing or need some birthday or Christmas gift ideas, buy and support this wonderful charity.
There is a large outdoor play area too called Paradise Island with climbing frames and adventure-filled obstacles (just past the red panda enclosure) so your children can let their imagination run riot while you take a moment to recover from seeing the cutest little bears ever.
‘The Tropics’ is a new range of aviaries designed for colourful parrot species from the world’s tropical regions which is the latest development at Paradise Park where you’re guided through a Tropics Walk featuring birds such as Edward’s Pheasant, the Hooded Parrot, Palawan Peacock-Pheasant and the Red-crested Touraco. Sadly, on the day we visited, because of the risk of Avian Flu, the Tropics Walk was closed but there are plenty of other incredible birds along the Woodland walk we were able to go up to and say hi.
The sanctuary is home to penguins, red pandas, all sorts of exotic birds, a Golden Eagle, miniature donkeys, guinea pigs, goats, sheep and even mice!
How much is it to get in?
It is £15.95 per adult and £12 for children aged between 3 years old and 15 years old. Children under the age of 3 years old go free! Anyone over the age of 60 years old pays £14.95. There is a saver ticket for 2 adults and 2 children that is £52.50. We know this sounds on the pricey side but believe us, once you go in and see the animals and how well loved they are (Archie, the penguin keeper absolutely adores his penguins) as well as nourished then it really does make you feel your money goes a long way to helping the charity sanctuary stay afloat. All profits are returned back into the sanctuary as well as supporting other charities in protecting vulnerable species across the world.