Wildly attractive buy as zoo goes on the market

PUBLISHED: 12:29 28 July 2006 | UPDATED: 22:00 28 May 2010

Owner Peter Worth chats with one of the water buffalo at the Butterfly and Wildlife Park

Owner Peter Worth chats with one of the water buffalo at the Butterfly and Wildlife Park

IT is not every day you get the chance to own your own zoo complete with crocodiles, water buffaloes and even wallabies. But that is what is on offer to anyone who is able to find the £1.25million asking price for a Fenland visitor attraction which has ju

IT is not every day you get the chance to own your own zoo complete with crocodiles, water buffaloes and even wallabies.

But that is what is on offer to anyone who is able to find the £1.25million asking price for a Fenland visitor attraction which has just gone on the market.

Almost 20 years since it first opened, the family-run Butterfly and Wildlife Park at Long Sutton is up for sale by owner Peter Worth who is planning to retire.

And the unusual attraction comes complete with all the animals, reptiles, birds of prey and one of Britain's largest tropical houses.

It has been a big decision for Mr Worth, 59, to sell up but he and his wife Julie say they want to retire and spend more time with their family.

Mr Worth said: "We both just felt it was the right time to retire. We have both worked here for 20 years and it is jolly hard work and we haven't had a summer holiday for 20 years.

"The park needs someone else to come in and to take it to the next stage.

"The sale includes the whole park, all the animals and buildings and we want the staff to continue on as well."

It all began after Mr Worth realised the potential business opportunity in running a tourist venue. The land was being used as a farm, but the farm shop was proving very profitable and he decided to build on its success.

It was after working with a team who ran a butterfly park in Shropshire that he and his wife decided to diversify and open a tropical butterfly house at the farm in 1987. They expected about 30,000 visitors during the first season but achieved this figure in only three months.

It grew and each year they invested in more animals and facilities. Then the 37-acre park was named Lincolnshire family attraction of the year 2003 by the Good Britain Guide. It now attracts more than 56,000 visitors every year.

The wildlife enclosures contain a wide variety of animals, including Asian water buffalo, African sheep, llamas, goats and wallabies.

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