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Animal village and discovery centre

If you’ve ever wanted to meet a degu, wondered how to tell the difference between a robin’s egg and a blackbird’s or worried about what you’re taking on when you get a pet, then our animal village, discovery centre and hatchery are a must.

You’ll find rabbits, Guinea pigs, chickens, ferrets, mice and rats as well as those degus (they’re also known as brush-tailed rats and are distantly related to chinchillas) – and if you time your visit right, there will also be eggs and chicks in the hatchery.

Most of the animals were donated by people who could no longer care for them, which is why our rangers always emphasise the importance of thinking ahead during our pet talks. Some larger pets, such as rabbits, can live up to 10 years.

The discovery centre opened in 2011 and the hatchery in 2013 to teach visitors about the pets and wildlife at Sacrewell. Explore our interactive displays and you’ll find out how to identify the footprints of different creatures, have a go at milking our dummy cow and see a bird’s nest up close to discover how they are built. If you’re lucky, you can even watch eggs hatch.

The animal village and discovery centre are often looked after by our volunteers, who help to clean out, feed and water the animals. Their work covers anything from sweeping out the chicken shed to grooming a rabbit. If you’d like to join them, take a look at Join us