Win A Copy Of ‘The Cotswold Wildlife Park, A Celebration Of The Gardens’

Yesterday, at their invitation, I drove to The Cotswold Wildlife Park near Burford in Oxfordshire.  I hadn’t been before and only a complete cupcake would say no to an invite for a free lunch, a guided tour by head gardener, Tim Miles, and free access to the Park, its marvellous animals and lovely grounds.

Lunch and tour marked the publication of a new book by Harriet Rycroft and Tim – ‘The Cotswold Wildlife Park, A Celebration of the Gardens.’

Crowned Sifaka

Intriguing.  A Crowned Sifaka

Harriet had invited twenty or so social media and blogging types to the event, and that was another good reason for me to attend.  Seeing bloggers I know, or otherwise putting a face to a blog title or Twitter handle, is always enjoyable – and for the latter, somewhat intriguing.

Cotswold Wildlife Park Planting (4)

After coffee and introductions, we set out into the wilds on an in-depth tour of the grounds.  Since the Park’s foundation in 1970, the aim has been for the gardens to be as integral a part of the visitor experience as the animals are, especially since Tim joined 20 years ago.  The book describes this aim, “to develop planting which gives an immersive experience to the visitors and a sense of security to the animals …. planting must, of course, let the visitors see into the enclosures but we also use plants to blur the lines between visitors, animals and the wider landscape.”  Having visited many zoos, I know too well how their vistas can consist of little else than the odd tree, paving, concrete and steel.

Cotswold Wildlife Park Planting (1)

The gardening team at Burford have met their brief with gusto, flair and, I think, great success.  Yet it’s a tricky goal to score.  The flora mustn’t detract from the main event, the fauna, nor overly compete with it.

White rhino

After all, the majority of visitors come to see rhinos,

Cotswold Wildlife Park Planting (2)

rather than elegant drifts of prairie planting – however stunning the latter might be.

Tim Miles Cotswold Wildlife Park

Tim and his team have created an amazingly rich and varied landscape – which adds a layer of complexity to the place which I certainly don’t remember from Whipsnade, for example.  And if the plants managed to pull this particular animal lover’s eye away from the lions, leopards and red pandas it was as an added bonus rather than a distraction.  There is ambitious container planting, an envy-inducing hot Med courtyard, fascinating cacti and succulent collections, new vegetable beds, tropical planting, a planned arboretum and loads more.

Cotswold Wildlife Park Planting (5)

And now, Harriet and Tim have written a fascinating and beautifully illustrated book about the gardens, with 475 photographs and plenty of detail on the planting.  Each of us lucky ‘Social Media Event’ attendees were presented with a copy.  Jim, who came along too – if not quite believing his luck that I hadn’t left him at home – also picked up a copy.

Ringtailed Lemur (1)

The Zen, or Ringtailed, Lemur

And now I feel bad that we have two copies and you have none.  So, in a rebalancing of karma and shamed into action by The Zen Lemur, I’m offering one of our copies – unopened and without food stains – as a giveaway.  Heck, I’m even going to pay the postage myself.  If that’s not worth a few extra points on the good karma scale, I’ll want to know why.

Cotswold Wildlife Park A Celebration of the Gardens

‘The Cotswold Wildlife Park, A Celebration of the Gardens’ by Harriet Rycroft and Tim Miles is printed by The Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens and available from their WEBSITE for £18 inc p&p.  (Overseas postage varies – please enquire on website).

But if you’d like to win an unstained copy of this beautiful book, a book responsible for the longest post title in history on The Anxious Gardener,  here’s all you need to do:

say you want to enter in the “Any Thoughts” box below


um, that’s it.  No conditions, no trade-off, no pay-back.  Because I for one just say no to bad karma.

Please note that the prize can only be posted to a UK postal address.  My bounty doesn’t extend to worldwide shipping.  Sorry.

The competition will close at midnight on Sunday 16th June 2019.

I’ll draw a name from my prettiest hat, contact the winner by email and add the result to the bottom of this post in a week’s time.

Good Luck!

Ringtailed Lemur (2)

There, there

And for those of you who don’t win, here’s some lemur consolation.

Black-tailed Prairie Dog

And a photo of a baby black-tailed prairie dog … just, well, just because.

This competition is now closed.  Thank you to everyone for taking part … and the winner is Kate (kateandpaulgetmarried).  Congratulations.

74 thoughts on “Win A Copy Of ‘The Cotswold Wildlife Park, A Celebration Of The Gardens’

  1. I love the Cotswold Wildlife park. Many happy memories including a wonderful video of my daughter (aged 17) going mad on the swings and channelling her inner child. She is now a third generation ( amateur) gardener and animal lover so we did something right!
    I love the gardens and Rhinos so would love a copy please.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! I was there last summer with Harriet and Tim for a tour around the place. Lots of beauty indeed! I’ll throw my hat into the ring since I’ll be over next month on the off chance I should win I can pick it up from a friend.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Haven’t been here for a long time, since my children were small. I enjoy the planting and the animals. The only thing that made me sad about this place was seeing a lonely capybara – next time we went he was part of a family, with a baby capybara. I would love to win a copy of this lovely book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good luck to you in the draw. The only thing that Jim, me, and some new friends found concerning was the size of the Asiatic lion enclosure. But it may be that it has to be of a certain size for a reason? I don’t know. Otherwise, we thought the enclosures generous and all of the animals looked content and healthy. Given the state of their natural habitat, esp the Asiatic lion, and the state of our planet, I don’t think the old “I’d rather see them in the wild” argument against zoos necessarily holds up any more. D

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’d like to enter the competition to win ‘The Cotswold Wildlife Park, A Celebration of the Gardens’ by Harriet Rycroft and Tim Miles to win the book. I have been on multiple visits to the park and often end up taking the same amount of photos of the flowers as I do of the animals!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think I got lost at Chester Zoo. I was about 4. I remember a very nice policeman talking to me through my tears but can’t recall either lemurs or planting. Perhaps it’s time I returned. Good luck in the draw. D


  5. They really are great photos Dave, and you got ‘the angle’ absolutely right 🤗. It was a lovely place and day. I am definitely singing it’s praises and will return. I love thumbing through the book! p.s. I don’t need to into the draw!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hello David, thank you for a lovely blog post with wonderful photos, I hope you’ll both come again before too long. I can certify that many visits are required, I’ve been there regularly for over four years and still haven’t seen everything! It’s very kind of you to offer your spare copy – but please don’t put me in the draw as I know the book off by heart!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Harriet. It was lovely to see you again and I hope it won’t be as long this time before we meet again. I’d certainly like to revisit the CWP. I’ll let you know when we get over. Dx


  7. I am a huge fan of prairie planting. I love the sense of movement in the grasses with the pops of colour. Thankyou for the chance to win a copy of the book and I might think about taking my grandchildren to see the animals too

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the movement of the Stipa was amazing. I do have a video …. which I forgot to include. Duh. Wait until the grandchildren are older? Then you can demand what you want to see. It’ll be payback time. D


  8. Really great photos = after being so many weeks behind you, it’s nice to see Alliums, at least. blooming at the same time! So sorry to hear about the shortfall in your bounty – Zen Lemur, I’m sure, understands!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I couldnt help but laugh at the image I now have of The Zen Lemur.! Great photos ,as always . Keep wanting to visit the Cotswolds and the Wildlife Park,the gardens look lovely. Yes please I would love to win your copy of this visually stunning book.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Beautiful photos as always from you. I went there many years ago when it wasn’t so good so it’s time for a repeat visit, and hopefully a book to read as well. XX

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hello David, I,would,like to enter please!
    (I feel a bit embarrassed and pushy doing so …!)
    Your blog has reinforced that we must go. It’s a possible rendezvous point for us (Sussex when not in France) and our Somerset GrandBoys and looks like a perfect spot for all ages to enjoy. Thankyou!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sounds like the most wonderful combination, exotic animals and fabulous plants. Need to get that on the visit list pronto! The book would be an excellent taster …

    Liked by 1 person

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