Access Statement

This access statement does not contain personal opinions as to our suitability for those with access needs, but aims to accurately describe the facilities and services that we offer all our guests/visitors.

Access Statement for Tropical Wings Zoo

Introduction

Tropical Wings Zoo is one of the best interactive zoo attractions in Essex. We have one of the finest tropical houses in the UK, an oasis where you can experience a tropical feel on any day of the year and get up close and personal with our free flying butterflies and birds. There’s fun for all ages with our interactive daily encounter programme of keeper talks and animal feeds. With an indoor soft play and outdoor activity play area there is something for everyone.

We are approximately 9 acres situated on flat land.

We welcome guests with disabilities together with their helpers and carers. A limited number of manual wheelchairs are available to hire for free although a small deposit is required. Phone ahead on 01245 425394 if you’d like us to reserve one for you.

All our toilets have accessible cubicles and we are soon to have a Changing Places toilet facility with radar key access.

Assistance dogs are welcome.

We look forward to welcoming you. If you have any queries or require any assistance please phone 01245 425394 or email using the form at the bottom of this page.

Pre-Arrival

  • For full details on how to find us please see the ‘Where we are‘ section under Your Visit on our website www.tropicalwings.co.uk
  • The nearest railway station is South Woodham Ferrers which is just over a mile away.
  • CM3 Cars operate a local taxi service and can be contacted on 01245 328818
  • Bus Services: South Woodham Ferrers is served by bus services to Chelmsford, Maldon, Basildon, Burnham-on-Crouch, Bradwell & Tillingham. For the times of the next bus (or train) or route details you may require, call the ESSEX TRAVELINE on 0871 200 2233 (calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras), which is open from 07:00 – 22:00 daily.

Car Parking Facilities and Arrival

  • There are parking areas for those with a Blue Badge. These are all gravel.
  • We can also provide a drop off point if required – please call us on 01245 425394 if this is required.
  • There are no steps to the entrance and there are several rails and benches to rest.
  • The entrance doors are double width.
  • All admission desks are suitable for wheelchair users even though they are at the standard height.
  • We offer complementary entry for one carer per paying disabled guest.
  • There is wheelchair hire available at the entrance. There is a refundable deposit.
  • The car park surface varies from gravel to grass.
  • There is no lighting in the car park.

Nature Trails

  • The natural landscape over the Zoo is flat however the paths are gravel.
  • You will receive a map upon entrance that contains information about the zoo and animals.
  • There are currently no audio tours or Braille available. We are investing in training staff to be competent at sign language.
  • Throughout the day there are animal talks and different feeding times.
  • Signs located around the park are clear, colourful, informative and easy to read.
  • There is some quiet background noise around the park. There are no flashing lights.
  • There are a few doors in the Zoo but these are easily opened. There is one bridge in the tropical house that cannot be accessed by wheelchair but there are alternate routes around the tropical house.
  • Many benches can be found located around the grounds and there are two catering outlets with lots of seating all on one level. Indoor picnic areas are available but they are barked.
  • Most exhibits are lit by daylight.
  • The widths of the paths vary.

Viewing Facilities

  • Most raised wooden walkways are suitable for wheelchairs but the majority use an anti-slip surface which may cause a bumpy ride!
  • Most exhibits have low glass or mesh viewing areas.

Public Toilets

  • The accessible toilets are located in Main Reception, at the Café, and within the Zoo near the Display Lawn.
  • We are shortly to open a ‘Changing Places’ toilet. This will be located near the Display Lawn and is accessible with a Radar key.
  • There is an emergency cord in the accessible toilet in the Reception area.
  • There are vertical and horizontal grab rails located in all of the accessible toilets.
  • The type of tap used are lever taps, easily turned on and off.

Catering

  • At the Zoo there are Macawbers Café and a Snack Shack outlet.
  • Macawbers Café is the main catering restaurant. It has completely step free access.
  • The entrance doors are very wide.
  • The layout is level throughout and there are no ramps or steps.
  • The area outside is concreted.
  • Upon entering the café the visitor is free to choose a table and then approach the till area to order their drinks and/or food. The visitor will need to collect their cutlery and condiments from an area to the side of the till.
  • The food and drinks are brought to your table by a member of the team.
  • There is one large print menu located on the outside wall of the Café and one on the inside.

Shop

  • The location of the gift shop is by the entrance to the Zoo. There are various exits back into the shop once the visitor is in the Zoo.
  • There are large spaces in the gift shop for wheelchairs and pushchairs.
  • Music is played quietly in the gift shop.
  • The display racks are of different heights but staff are always on hand to assist where necessary.
  • There is no induction loop system.

Education Centre / Classrooms

  • There are three rooms that are currently used as classrooms when we have school visits. These are the Jungle Room, Activity Room and the Discovery Kingdom. There are double doors in the Jungle Room and Discovery Kingdom. The Activity Room has a reasonably wide entrance via Reception but can be accessed via a double side door if required.
  • There is step free, level access throughout.
  • Furniture can be rearranged giving ample room within the areas for a large wheelchair to manoeuvre and turn.

Picnic Area

  • We have various picnic areas around the Zoo, some undercover, some not undercover. We have some areas that are barked, some on grass with picnic benches but we also have areas with tables and chairs.

Additional Information

  • As stated previously we are investing in members of staff being trained in British Sign Language.

Contact Information

Address (Inc postcode):Tropical Wings Zoo, Wickford Road South Woodham Ferrers CM3 5QZ
Telephone:01245 425394
Website:www.tropicalwings.co.uk
Hours Of Operation:see Opening times

Contact Us - General Enquiries

For general enquiries about the Zoo, Group bookings and school visits etc. Please use this form.

Let us know how to get back to you.