Before You Visit

Here’s a few bits of information to help you get organised for your day out…

New Flamingos

You may have heard in the press that our flamingo flock has been joined by four flamingos from London. Please note that all of our flamingos are off show owing to the development of their new home in our Wetland Discovery Area opening later this summer. More details about this area are below.

Coming soon – Wetland Discover Area!

As of Thursday 4th January 2018 visitor access to our Conservation Centre, including our flamingo enclosure, is closed. We are redeveloping these areas to re-home our hugely popular and much-loved flock of Greater Flamingos, whose numbers will almost double in 2018 with new arrivals (in addition to our new London friends). The work also includes developing a brand new pond dipping area, all of which has been 18 months in the making.

The new Wetland Discovery Area is due to open later this summer.

We apologise for any inconvenience as we continue to invest in encouraging the next generation to enjoy the great outdoors.

Reduced access to Wildflower Meadow

Some parts of the Wildflower Meadow are still underwater, due to adverse weather from earlier this year HOWEVER, as of Saturday 17th February, we have re-routed the pathways and opened up an area that is normally only accessible via our Pensthorpe Explorer tour, so that our visitors can walk a loop around the further reaches of our reserve. This route is slightly longer than normal however it is a great opportunity to see different parts and viewpoints of the reserve that you may have not seen, including a beautiful area filled with daffodils, just past the Wildflower Meadow. This is a temporary fix until the flooding has disappeared, so make the most of this new route while it’s open!

4pm Daily Bird Feeds

From Monday 22nd January 2018, following guidelines published by DEFRA, our Daily Bird Feed has been temporarily replaced by an informative 4pm Warden Talk, in our Viewing Gallery.

This is a precautionary measure following advice from Department of the Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) due to the recent reports of Avian Influenza in Warwickshire and Dorset. The 4pm feed encourages wild birds to come in to feed alongside our captive bred birds and increases the chance of spreading the disease, so we are taking this precaution to safeguard the well-being of our birds.

We have also introduced disinfectant foot dips, for all visitors to use, at the main entrances to our Reserve as well as our Wader Aviary.

Please note the risk to public health is very low.

We apologise for any inconvenience & thank you for your understanding.

Opening soon – New Wetland Bird Hide!

We are currently working on opening up a new part of the reserve, including a brand new bird hide overlooking a recently planted reed bed which is already teeming with wildlife. This opens up a new area of Pensthorpe which will offer many new opportunities for observing and photographing waders and wetlands species. Stay up to date with developments by signing up to our newsletter.



Dogs are allowed in our Courtyard Hub and Courtyard Cafe (where they need to be kept on a lead and in the Function Room only). Unfortunately, unless they are assistance dogs, dogs cannot enter the main reserve or adventure play areas. As a nature reserve we need to consider the welfare and well-being of our captive, resident and visiting species.

Our car park does not currently offer any decent shade and it doesn’t take long for a dog to suffer in a car, so please do not leave your dog in the car. Please leave your dog at home, or at a day kennel so you can have cuddles when you’ve returned from your day out with us. Waggtails are just 5 miles away from the Pensthorpe estate and offer boarding for your dog while you visit us. Please contact Fiona Wagg on 01485 528310.

What to wear

We recommend good outdoor clothing and walking shoes to make the most of our nature trails and further afield Wildflower Meadow. Norfolk is one of the driest counties in the UK but that doesn’t stop the odd rainfall here, so bring a pair of wellies and umbrella just in case. You can always leave them in the car for emergency use!

We have a wonderful little stream running through WildRootz, our outdoor play area, which kids love to splash and jump about in. Plenty of children and adults take their shoes and socks off in the summer, but please play safe as this is at your own risk. Why not bring a towel and a spare change of socks and shoes, especially if you have children who like to make a big splash!