Thursday, 7 January 2016

Happy 2016!

Hello hello hello to all our lovely blog readers! Well, 2016 is here, can you believe it? We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year, and are ready for all the hard work (and fun!) that 2016 is bringing with it!!



Our clever readers will have noticed that it's not Bobby blogging this time....... Hello everyone, I'm Betty the Guinea Pig! Bobby handed over the blogging reigns last year, after sadly he decided to retire from Gypsy Wood. Life in the spotlight just wasn't for him; he's a shy little chicken really.... But, I'm happy to say that he's loving his retirement so far - both Bobby and Mini-Bobby are enjoying a free-range life with all the corn they can eat. 

So, the name's Betty! And don't forget it (don't worry, I won't let you!). And sadly, Bobby isn't the only one to retire from Gypsy Wood either.... Chris, who founded this beautiful place back in 2004 and gave all of us lucky animals a lovely home has also decided it's time for a well-earned rest. Chris told me that she's loved every single minute of her time at Gypsy Wood, but it's time to hand it over to the younger generation as we say a big welcome to Chris' niece Debbie and her husband Gafyn. Chris wishes you both all the luck in the world (not that you'll need it with us lively bunch of animals, of course....) and hopes you both have as much fun as she has done over the years.

Chris will be sorely missed, for her warmth and generosity towards all of us animals, and her capers with the staff. Just the other day I watched as she and Mo decided to share the only pair of welly boots in the office to hop across some flood water to see to the animals. They got there ok, but soon discovered that it was very difficult to hop and push a wheelbarrow at the same time. Well, I laughed like a lunatic, and they got very wet feet. Silly billies!

And here are some pictures of some of the flood water we've had here at Gypsy Wood over the last couple of weeks. Phew, we've had a lot of rain. And we all know that this little Guinea Pig doesn't like the rain.... roll on Spring is what I say!





Now, in other news... all the staff are at the park getting ready for our 2016 opening. Not long to go now, and I for one can't wait. I'm so excited to see some new faces and have some cuddles with some new friends. We open on March 21st, so put the date in your diary friends!

We've also got some new attractions for this coming year. I am absolutely sworn to secrecy (although I do accept carrot-shaped bribes....) so you'll just have to watch this space, and we'll keep you updated. 

And did you know, best news of all, that our resident Witch Mo is about to become a Nain (or grandmother for our non-Welsh speaking friends)? Big congratulations to Mo and her family - we hope you bring in the new addition to see us for big Betty cuddles.

Well, that's all from me for now. It's been lovely to meet you all and share our Gypsy Wood news. I'll be back in touch soon with more news, events and information for you all, so keep your eyes peeled. I can't wait to see you soon, lots of love, Betty xx xx

Monday, 9 March 2015

Spring into opening

Hello to all our lovely blog readers!

Well, would you believe that it's March already? Mini-Bobby and I can't barely believe our feathers that time is flying by so fast.  It's nearly time for us to open our gates to you all, and do you know, after a long and cold winter, we are pretty excited about the Springtime coming. The daffodils and snowdrops are blooming here at Gypsy Wood Park and Mini-Bobby and I have to be careful not to trample on them while we're practicing our new chicken boogie moves. They are so pretty.

And of course we've got a new addition to our little chicken gang! We are very giddy to introduce you to Frizzles. Isn't she gorgeous? Don't worry - Mini-Bobby and I will be showing her the chicken ropes, don't you worry. She's already learnt some brilliant boogie moves, and we've taken her all around the park to introduce her to the other animals.


We've got plenty of other new things going on too here at Gypsy Wood Park. The most exciting is the sheep racing! We've been having lots of fun with the training, and the sheep are doing really well, because it was so new to them. But I told them they just have to do it the Bobby way - all feathers, no fuss and a bit of a boogie in between. It's going to be great fun, and the sheep are excited to do something a bit different and stretch their little legs. And that's not all! We've also got a brilliant new pretend fishing pond where you catch little magnetic fish - there's one for toddlers and one for older kids. How many will you catch?

Our train expert Pete has been really busy putting in new interactive tracks and buttons on our model outdoor garden railway. He's just finished the final touches, so it's all ready for a busy summer ahead. And, can you guess which member of staff this is - busy doing some park maintenance? It was a really chilly winter morning, but we didn't half laugh our feathers off when we saw them all wrapped up, hehe!!



Sadly, we've had a couple of illnesses over winter, although nothing too bad thankfully. Our pig Bluebell had a foot abscess, poor thing, and the donkey Babycham had a sarcoid on her wither (painful!). But, thanks to our lovely carers and some medicine from the vet we are all well now for opening, and all the animals are excited about meeting you all again!

And this weekend, Woody's train will be having a final shine and polish, and Mini-Bobby, Frizzle and I will be having a lovely long bubble bath, to make sure we're looking our best when we go back to work. Our feathers will be preened and fluffy and looking perfect.

Of course, we're hoping for another beautiful sunny Welsh summer (maybe then I can get rid of my woolly scarf!) but come rain or shine, we'll be excited to see old and new customers!

See you all soon, here at Gypsy Wood Park.
Lots of love, from Bobby, Mini-Bobby, and baby Frizzle xx xx


P.S don't forget to look out for the dates of our brilliant Easter Egg hunt. Loads of fun for big and little kids alike!



Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Gypsy Wood History

On our website, you'll find a story about some of the history of Gypsy Wood Park, and just how it came to get its unusual name.... (click here for the story) but recently, one of Uriah's family members got in touch with us, to give us more information about this enigmatic Man of the Tent....



By: Charmaine

“The Man of the Tent”, Uriah Lovell was my great-grandfather (on my father William’s side), so here is a bit more to add to the story.

Uriah Lovell had two great loves in his life. One was his passion for his life as a Romany Gypsy, and the second was a girl called Rebecca Scamp. Uriah and Rebecca met when they were young, got married and had 6 children – 3 girls and 3 boys. And although their love story is an unusual one because they didn’t live together or travel together, Rebecca was the love of Uriah’s life.

When their children were young, they travelled up and down through England and Wales with their father, setting up camps and meeting other Romany Gypsies along the way. Uriah made a living making baskets and pegs and selling them in the villages and towns they visited. When Rebecca decided to return to Ireland when their children had grown up, Uriah never forgot her, and travelled there to see his estranged wife and son Ruben, just three months before he died. In a tragic twist, Rebecca died just three months after Uriah. We often wonder if she died from a broken heart.

Uriah and Rebecca’s son Ruby stayed in Ireland and his children are still there (including my own father William Uriah Lovell) but Ruby’s siblings stayed in Wales and made their lives here, just like their father Uriah.

And my father William (who’s nickname is “Cockaboy”) remembers Uriah as a strong and fit man, even in his old age. And his secret to a long and healthy life? Every morning, come rain, hale or snow, he would strip down to his waist and bathe in ice cold water. This, he told my father, would keep him young! There certainly would have been plenty of icy cold water for Uriah in Wales!




Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Happy Christmas!

Well, well, well! Hello everybody! Who can believe that it's Christmas already? Mini-Bobby and I can't, that's for sure! We've been really, really, really good this year so I've asked Santa for a big stocking full of yummy chicken treats. I just hope he remembers to stop in our winter digs this year. We're all warm and cosy in our stable and there's loads of room for us to practice our festive chicken boogies, but we do miss all our fans, so we'll be really excited to start the season again next year. Not many sleeps!

Anyway, Mini-Bobby told me (he's got a very good memory you know, not like my little old chicken brain) that there's lots of things I've got to tell you about today, so I better crack on hadn't I?!

Did you know that our very own Mr Gobble was the fantastic (and well deserved) winner of First Prize at the National Poultry Show in Telford earlier this winter? And not only that, he was awarded the Best Bronze Turkey! Brilliant news Mr Gobble, we are very proud of you. 



And what's next Mini-Bobby? Oh yes, I remember now! I am very excited to be able to announce some very special news here from Gypsy Wood. Earlier in the year we ran a competition for the best picture posted onto our Facebook page. Well, the winner is............ James Donkin, with this beautiful photo of a busy little bumble bee in mid-flight. We try our best here at Gypsy Wood Park to make it a great environment for all sorts of insects but especially the humble bumble bee because they are in need of good homes! We love this picture, so well done James. You win a fabulous family ticket for next year.



And time for another winner! This year's wish winner is Morgan Parry of Anglesey, who wished for a day with the animals. Your wish is our command Morgan, congratulations.

We'll be in touch with our winners to confirm all the details soon!

And we'd also like to say a HUGE thank you to the very special and talented Sharon who paints the mural in our wonderful toilets for us every year. She really is a legend, and makes it possible for us to keep winning the Loo of the Year awards (we were lucky enough to be the winner of the Tourist Attractions category for Wales again this year!). And thanks to all our staff for their hard work in keeping it clean and sparkling and looking tip-top!



In other news (thanks for reminding me Mini-Bobby, but you can stop nudging me in the ribs now thanks....) we are all pretty busy getting the park ready for next season. Haha, well I say we're busy - what I mean is our humans are busy, we're just chillin' out resting our hooves and feet. Well, we did work VERY hard this year. Here's a funny picture of our Pete, literally up to his elbows, making sure our Outdoor Garden Railway is running smoothly! Good ol' Pete.


And just one more bit of excitement - we are hard at work putting up advertising boards at Woody's Railway Station. These twinkly adverts are for local businesses of all types and my humans tell me that thousands of people will see them every year as they jump onto Woody's Train, so it's a smart business move. If you want to advertise your business with us, then give us a shout (contact us at gypsywoodpark@btinternet.com for more details). 

And so, finally, we would just like to wish all our lovely friends and visitors a VERY happy Christmas and a jolly New Year. We hope you have a brilliant time celebrating and that your festive wishes come true. From all of us animals, staff and fairy's at Gypsy Wood Park. 



Friday, 8 August 2014

Summer's Here

Hello to all our lovely blog readers!



How are you? I hope you're all enjoying the summer. Isn't this weather amazing?! I am scorching hot and my feathers are in a fluster trying to keep cool but I'm not complaining. Hot feathers are better than soggy feathers, don't you agree?




Well, we've had a very exciting month here at Gypsy Wood Park. All of us animals and our friends have had the chance to be film stars for the day, can you believe it? We've had the brilliant Owain Llyr here with us to film and produce a virtual tour of the park, and working on a film set is so much fun. I'd like to say a huge thank you and a big shout out to Owain Llyr for producing the brilliant virtual tour. You can have a sneak preview below..... 






Apart from being film stars, we've been busy with all our lovely visitors. All of us animals have loved meeting lots of new friends and faces. Woody's train is well and truly up and running and we've heard that everyone has really enjoyed it, with lots of people excited about the new ride. 



                                    


And I've been having lots of fun with all the lovely visitors on the castle play-fort and zip wire. Who knew a little chicken like me could have so much fun, and it's so great to meet lots of new friends!



Sadly, one of our little pigs, Bluebell, has been a bit under the weather with a poorly leg. Poor Bluebell... but thankfully our lovely vet has been looking after her, and she will be on the mend soon.

Mini-Bobby and I have also been doing a lot of county shows and fairs, always entered into the poultry category. We love getting out and about on adventures, so it's brilliant to get to do exciting things like that! We do a special chicken boogie for good luck before we leave for each show. We'll keep you updated on our next win - it's bound to be soon, hehehe.

And just one other exciting bit of news for you - Mr Islwyn Jones from the fantastic Pen y Bryn Falconry will be with us on the 16th August from 12-3.30pm. This amazing falconry display will show the incredible control between man and bird, and there will be lots of opportunities to get involved. Here's a sneak preview......







It'd be great to have a good crowd to cheer on Islwyn and his beautiful creatures, so spread the word and come and join us! You won't want to miss it!

That's it from me Bobby and him Mini-Bobby! Don't forget to come down and see us soon. This year we'll be closing on the 14th September, so that's just 40 little days away. Boohoo, I don't want to think about closing already - still way to much fun to be had and boogying to be done before then.

See you sooooooooooooooooooon,
Lots of love
Bobby xx

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Holidays are comin'!

Hello, hello, hello to all our lovely blog readers!
How are you all? I've missed you recently, but I've been so busy getting all the animals ready and prepared that time has just been zooming past so quickly. I haven't had a second to sit down and write to you but I was getting my feathers in such a twist this morning so I thought to myself, "You know what you need to do Bobby, you need to sit down and write a Bobby-blog, that'll make you feel better....." And so that's exactly what I'm doing. And yes, do you know what, I feel chicken boogie-better already.



So, why have I been so busy, I hear you shout! Well, I've been getting everyone ready for the super school holidays! They are sniffingly close, and I am really excited. Go on, you know you are too! There'll be loads of fun to be had at Gypsy Wood Park. I've been busy testing out all the new additions at the park like the fab mini-digger, the diddy cars, the colourful play caravans and I can report that they are all BRILLIANT fun!



And like I said, I've been super busy making sure all my buddies are ready for the busy holidays. You can see me trying to gee-up Toby and Ollie, and they told me that they are pretty excited about doing all the donkey rides this summer. They love to see lots of smiles! 



So what else is going on? We've got all the usual animal activities, like donkey grooming, we've got our amazing new train to ride on, we've got face painting* and don't forget that our beautiful Fairy Queen or Princess will be here most days (but check before you come if you really want to see her!). AND you'll have the chance to meet the stars of our blog, yours truly Bobby, and our hero Simba the horse.
Oooooo I was so excited about everything that is going to be happening during the holidays, that I nearly forgot to tell you about my new friend Mr Frizzle! Isn't he cuuuuuute? He's got a lot to learn, but I reckon we'll be great mates!



And one other exciting piece of news is that last week we passed our Visit Wales tourism assessment, again, yay! So we are all celebrating with a boogie tonight!



Right friends, I must dash. We've got two birthdays this month - Socks and Sangria, the ponies - and I'm practicing a special birthday boogie just for them so I better get rehearsing. Most people just make a cake, but hey, most people aren't Bobby.
Love and boogies to you all my fabulous friends. Don't forget to come and see us all here soooooooooooon.
Bobby xx xx
*(could be an additional charge as are run by independent operators) 


Friday, 23 May 2014

Gypsy Wood Park's new train!

Hello to all our lovely blog readers!

Well, what a busy month it's been for Mini-Bobby and I. We've had our fair share of sunny days so we've been out and about exploring the park again and making new friends. Today though, the rain's coming down and the wind is whistling up in the trees so we're staying warm and cosy inside - at least it gives me a chance to write this blog.

Firstly I must tell you how proud I am of Mini-Bobby. The little one only went and won a brilliant prize at the a local show in nearby Nefyn at the beginning of the month, winning third prize! Awwwww, well done Mini-Bobby; I've taught you well! And yes, we did have a little celebratory chicken boogie when Mini-Bobby got home.....



And we've got lots of other things to tell you about - I musn't forget to write about them, or I'll be in trouble. But it is hard for a little chicken to remember all these things..... Anyway, here goes!

First thing's first is the news about our fantastic new railway. You'll be able to ride on Woody's Train on the Gypsy Wood Railway through part of the park! We're so excited about the new railway and we think you'll love it too. 

The Gypsy Wood Railway is a 10 1/4 " gauge tear drop railway track that runs for almost 1/2 km, starting from our custom built engine shed and station. You'll be able to hop aboard Woody's train, which is powered by a very green and pollution free electric motor. It really is a magical ride, so don't miss it. 

Also, don't forget that our BEST PHOTO competition is now open! Post your best picture from your visit to the park on our Facebook Page and at the end of the season we'll choose a winner. Don't forget that Mini-Bobby and I love having our picture taken so don't forget to snap us!! The winner of the competition will be sent a fabulous family ticket (2 adults and 2 children) for next year. 

And finally (I think!) just to let you all know that this season we will be welcoming some new donkeys to the park! They will be providing donkey rides to our lovely visitors, but don't forget that the donkey rides are run independently of the park (so additional costs might apply). Our lovely donkey handler will be here with her donkeys on many days throughout the holidays (weather permitting - soggy donkeys aren't happy donkeys....). You can contact us to check the days in advance if you want. The donkey rides aren't one to miss boys and girls, cos it is so much fun! Our little donkey Dylan lets me jump on his back for a spin around the field if I'm nice to him and I love it!

Anyway, that's all the news from me and Mini-Bobby I think! The rain has promised to disappear for the weekend so we can get out and do some dancing again - I can't wait! Do pop down and see us at Gypsy Wood Park, we can't wait to meet you.

See you soon, lots of love
Bobby (and Mini-Bobby) xx xx