Harlow’s much-loved family attraction Pets’ Corner, which celebrates its 50th anniversary next year, has reopened (27 October 2015) following major refurbishment. Over 500 people saw the improved facilities within the first hour of opening with an estimated 2000 people visited during the first day.
The Council-run facility has been closed for nine months during construction work for the £2.8m Town Park regeneration project which is part funded with £1.83m from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund. The total cost of the Pets' Corner refurbishment was around £800,000.
The facility has been completely renovated with a new events barn, new shelters for animals, a new bird enclosure and aquarium, a new small animal quarantine room, updated surfacing and drainage and a new duck pond. New cladding and repairs to buildings have been completed throughout giving the facility a new refreshed look. Facilities for staff have also been upgraded and access for all visitors has been improved with a new ramp and hand rails installed.
A new gift shop and reception is being fitted out and will be ready to open in the coming weeks. Two new entrance gates will be completed shortly to improve access for all and some small improvements like putting new turf on the green area will take place this week. Construction work on a new eco-friendly learning centre next to Pets’ Corner continues and once completed will host educational visits to the Town Park and Pets’ Corner.
While Pets' Corner has been closed it has still run education programmes and many of the animals could be visited in the paddocks with the animals cared for by staff who continued to work during the closure to feed and exercise the animals. Just a week before the opening, three piglets were born and were the star attraction!
The first event to be held in the new events barn will be Pets’ Corner’s annual nativity play which will be held on Thursday 17 December 2015.
More photos on the developments at available at: Friends of Pets' Corner Facebook page
About Pets' Corner
Opened in 1966, Pets' Corner is a small friendly open farm located in Harlow Town Park. It has a large selection of traditional farm animals, more exotic animals such as Reindeer, Llamas and Alpacas whilst still keeping with the visitor’s favourites’ of rabbits, guinea pigs and chickens and ducks.
Pets' Corner is free to enter but welcomes donations in the box on site. You can feed some of the animals for 20p a bag, available from feed vending machines.
Pets' Corner is a member of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust and we help their work through having breeds of Red Poll cows, Essex saddleback and Tamworth Pigs,
Shadow a keeper
Fancy looking after your favourite animal for the day, why not shadow one of our keepers and find what’s really involved in caring for our animals. Please contact us to see how you can get close to your favourite animal.
Book a visit from a Reindeer
Why not have a visit from a Reindeer to add the wow factor to your Christmas event or as a novelty to other events. Type of events include Christmas bazaars, switching on Christmas lights, Christmas event at school/nursery or even weddings.
Prices for one Reindeer:
- Harlow area £240.00
- Outside Harlow £295.00 (subject to distance travelling from Harlow)
- Corporate events £500 plus
Due to animal welfare the maximum duration the Reindeer can attend an event is two hours and would need to be preferably an outside location. The Reindeer come self-contained with own pen and handler Insurance/Risk assessments. Pets' Corner complete the movement licence for the Reindeer and provide hand soap.
We offer a range of birthday parties with hands on experience with our animals. Get to meet them and make your party a day to remember. We can offer exclusive use of our classroom, a chance for the children in the party to meet some of our smaller animals (either cute ‘n’ cuddly or creepy crawlies and snakes) along with a trained member of staff to answer questions. There is an option of Pets’ Corner goody bags.
- £7.40 per head - minimum fee of £50 with a £10 non refundable deposit on booking
- £1.50 per goody bag
Please note: Pets’ Corner cannot provide food, beverages or decorations for your party but you are permitted to bring these along, half an hour before the party starts.
School/Nursery group visits
Pets' Corner offers a variety of educational packages for a range of ages, linked to the national curriculum. Comprising of guided tours around the farm, meeting the animals and activities delivered in the Pets' Corner classroom. Group visits are by appointment only.
- Nursery package: one hour visit with a maximum group of 16 nursery children. Includes a 30 minutes guided tour by one of our trained staff around the farm and 30 minutes of meet the animals.
- Nursery package: £22.00 for the group
- Schools package A: 45 minutes guided tour by one of our trained staff around the farm meeting many of our larger animal residents. Groups of over 15 children will be split to ensure that only a maximum of 15 children are on the tour at any one time. Please allow multiples of one hour per group booked.
- Harlow schools package A: £1.95 per child
- Non Harlow schools package A: £2.60 per child
- Schools package B: One and a half hour visit, which includes a guided tour by one of our trained staff around the farm meeting many of our larger animal residents plus classroom activities, which includes meeting some of our smaller animal residents. Please ask for further details of the many classroom activities we offer. With package B you have the option to use the classroom for packed lunch if required and full use of facilities (Toilets, disabled toilets and baby changing). Groups of over 15 children will be split to ensure that only a maximum of 15 children are on the tour at any one time. Please allow multiples of one hour per group booked.
- Harlow schools package B: £3.85 per child
- Non Harlow schools package B: £4.95 per child
Teachers/nursery staff and helpers will be asked to accompany children on the tour and must ensure that the correct ratio for children to adults are covered by their staff. Please contact us for more information and how we can deliver a wonderful educational day out for your group.
Enjoyed your visit, made a new friend or just looking at gifts for friends then why not sponsor one of our animals. Sponsorship is available to anyone who loves animals, from companies to individual families to schools etc. Company sponsorship will promote the company name and logo on the animal’s pen and the company will receive a mention in any publicity regarding the animal.
Pets' Corner corporate events
Pets' Corner hosts a variety of corporate events, arranging team building days and family petting days. Please contact us to see how an event can be tailored for your business.
Pets' Corner offers many volunteering opportunities including working with the animals, helping with events and in our gift shop. Volunteering can be any day of the week, for a couple of hours or all day, we just ask for enthusiasm and a love of animals as training is given on site. We have many volunteers involved in all aspects of Pets' Corner our eldest is 82! It’s very rewarding caring for the animals and making many new friends. Volunteering at Pets' Corner is for people aged 14 years and over. Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), may be required. Please contact us for details and more information. More volunteering opportunities
The Friends’ aims are to support, promote and develop the work of Pets’ Corner, and to promote for educational, social and therapeutic purposes the welfare and availability of exotic, domestic and livestock animals to the people of Harlow and the surrounding areas. The Friends have been constituted and welcome new members over 18. Please contact the Chair on 07983 573520 or email: email@example.com.
- Our function room can accommodate 30/40 people with an outside break out area. This warm, clean modern room has a small functional kitchen along with disabled toilets and baby changing facilities. It has some IT facilities for conference and teaching/training needs.
- A newly built gift shop with many pocket money items
Pets' Corner does not have a dedicated car park, however the nearest Harlow Council car park is three minutes' walk from Pets' Corner, in School Lane, CM20 2QB (51.777812,0.102078). More information on Harlow Council Town park car parks including charges
- From M11
Exit M11 at junction seven. At the roundabout, exit onto A414 Harlow. Go straight over the roundabout with traffic lights to continue to follow the A414. At the roundabout take the first exit left onto Second Avenue/A1025. At the roundabout, take the third exit onto Howard Way. At the roundabout take first exit onto First Avenue/Mandela Avenue. Turn right onto School Lane. School Lane car park will be on the right.
Take the A414 to Harlow/Chelmsford/Ware (South)/A1170. At the roundabout, take the second exit onto A414. At the roundabout, take the fourth exit and stay on A414. At the roundabout, take the second exit onto Fifth Avenue/A414. Continue to follow Fifth Avenue, going through two roundabouts. At the roundabout, take the first exit onto First Avenue/Mandela Avenue. Go through 1 mini roundabout. Turn left onto School Lane. School Lane car park will be on the right.
- Harlow Train Station
Harlow is served by two train stations: Harlow Town Train Station, which is located North West of the town close to the Town Centre, and Harlow Mill Train Station, which is located North East of the town in Old Harlow. Harlow Town Train station is nearest to Pets' Corner. Pets Corner is ten minutes walk from Harlow Town Train Station.
- 1 November to 31 March, 11am to 4pm
- Christmas Eve 11am to 4pm
- Christmas Day and Boxing Day Pets Corner is CLOSED
- 1 April to 31 October, 11am to 4:45pm
Tel: 01279 422790
Manager: Mr. Justin Hopwood
More information can be found on our Facebook page