Seaview Wildlife Encounter: We speak to owner as the public expresses sadness

Owners of Seaview Wildlife Encounter say the legislation and regulations governing the wildlife park are ‘crippling and suffocating’.

meerkat at seaview wildlife encounter

One of the owners of Seaview Wildlife Encounter has this morning spoken to OnTheWight about the “crippling and suffocating” regulations and legislation governing wildlife parks in the UK.

Lorraine Adams said the family were devastated at having to make the decision to close the wildlife park that has been running for 44 years.

‘Heartbreaking’ decision
Her father passed away last year and her 82 year old mother, who works seven days a week, would like to retire soon. This has left Lorraine and her brother with the difficult decision of what to do next.

The introduction of auto-pensions and the living wage, rising overheads, health and safety regulations, the rise of the compensation culture and declining visitor numbers have all led to the decision to close the park.

Closure plan underway
Lorraine explained she would now start working on an official closure plan, that would need to be agreed by the Isle of Wight council and DEFRA.

All the exotic animals would go to licensed collection.

Condolences from supporters
There’s has been an outpouring of condolences on social media over the last 16 hours with Islanders and visitors sharing their thoughts.

The closure announcement on their Facebook page has attracted over 1,200 comments from visitors to the park.

Lorraine told OnTheWight they’d had an amazing team of staff this year, who have helped maintain the high standard of care of the animals in the park.

Here’s a small selection of comments left through OnTheWight’s Facebook page …

Image: © Seaview Wildlife Encounter

Monday, 2nd November, 2015 9:39am



Filed under: Business, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Seaview, Top story

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11 Comments on "Seaview Wildlife Encounter: We speak to owner as the public expresses sadness"

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legislation and regulations governing the wildlife park are ‘crippling and suffocating’.

declining visitor numbers

As I suspected.

Such a shame. It was a really excellent day out. Petty bureaucracy has struck again. They can’t leave anyone alone for five minutes.

I understand the issues with legislation, but other similar attractions on the IW (and elsewhere) seem to manage. Has the option of selling or franchising to another operator been explored (Amazon World, Vectis Ventures, Owl and Monkey Haven, IW Zoo). It is interesting that most of the legislation that is being cited as the park’s reason for closure has nothing to do with animal husbandry and more… Read more »
The problem, in most cases, is legislation which add to the costs of the business but do nothing to improve the situation. Speaking to a builder some time back. His men were building a dwarf wall (2ft high)and 100 yards away from the actual building site. In the height of summer they had to swelter in high viz jackets and helmets otherwise if an inspector saw them… Read more »

Are there not regulations about high – viz in the work place or on the public highway.
I agree there are occasions when hard hats are a hindrance especially in this case away from the main site with minimal risk of dropped items from scaffolding causing injury and subsequent legal ‘nasties’.

All depends on the risk assessment and can it be defended or justified if there are reportable incidents.


I do think to close without any warning was wrong. If the announcement had come last week I know I’d have visited for one last time over the weekend.

The Ancient Matelot
As sad as it is to see this marvellous attraction go, I find it equally sad that there have numerous people making comments here and on other sites about what should have been done and, even worse, speculating on the possibility that the park has been closed to make money by selling to speculators and yet totally ignored the fact that there have been family problems which… Read more »
Two comments in your report stand out. 1 “crippling and suffocating” regulations and legislation 2 her 82 year old mother, who works seven days a week, would like to retire soon This venue like many others is not one of the big profit ventures and only survives on the good will and extreme amount of hard work of the owners, who deserve a bit of time to… Read more »
Paul Smith
Many, many thanks to this marvellous attraction which has welcomed children from those areas of Ukraine and Belarus affected by the Chernobyl nuclear accident for many years. This kindness was heartfelt and no admission charge was ever made. Mrs . Adams even raised money from customers to bring the children over to the Island. Our best wishes to you all for the future, Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline, I.O.W..
The Sciolist
Sad but unsurprising news. The powers that be have no real grasp of running a business. Families all working too many hours, usually well in to old age, they use the children, work while pregnant or ill, the list goes on, we all know how it works. No minimum wage for the self employed. Add in the endless legislation and cost, it’s a wonder any business survives.… Read more »

How does the Owl and Monkey Haven manage? This is a sad day, I hope the animals will go to good homes :(

Michael Cox
The news of the closure is so very sad about the news of this closure,been 44yrs of real joy to children and adults alike.As quoted goverment rules/regulations/health &safety are involved in the closure.As it is a family run park it cannot be easy to run.But really do wish them all well.But we can only pray that a saviour may come involved and just bring a magical wand… Read more »