Junior Animal Keeper Experience

Children holding tortoises


Animal Keeper Experience

Come and join our Animal Keepers for a day, working with a huge variety of animals including tortoises, rabbits, guinea pigs, reptiles, birds, meerkats and more. Throughout the day you will work in our arid and tropical biomes, domestic pet area and farm. Activities will include feeding and watering, maintaining the enclosures and learning how to safely handle some of the animals. This day is perfect for any animal lover who would like a chance to work with a wide variety of animals and learn more about them.


Gift vouchers available by contacting [email protected]



£70 per child


Places MUST be booked in advance – (maximum of 12 people per day)


Upcoming sessions



Sunday 23rd January 2022 (6-9 years) – 1 space available 


Sunday 30th January 2022 (10-14 years) –  1 space available 


Sunday 6th February 2022 (6-9 years) – Sold out


Sunday  13th February 2022 (10-14 years) – Spaces available


Saturday 26th February 2022 (6-9 years) – Spaces available


Saturday 5th March 2022 (10-14 years) – Spaces available


Saturday 19th March 2022 (6-9 years)- Spaces available     




If you are interested please complete the enquiry form below and if we have spaces then we will email you a booking form

Terms and Conditions

  • No refunds will be given after booking onto a date. If your booking is cancelled by us we will offer customers an alternative date.
  • We require a one month notice period from customers if they wish to change dates.
  • Participants need to be suitably dressed for the outdoors and please be aware that clothes may get dirty or damage
  • Sturdy footwear should be worn (walking boots or wellingtons are ideal) strictly NO open-toed sandals or flips flops, please
  • We reserve the right to cancel a booking in extreme weather conditions or unforeseen circumstances that may arise (a full refund will be given)
  • Please do not wear any jewellery
  • Photography is allowed however, we ask that the flash is off when taking pictures of the animals. The animal keepers will not take pictures on the day, participants are to bring their own cameras/phones if they wish.
  • You will need to provide a packed lunch and drinks (no nuts please)
  • Long hair must be tied back
  • Sun cream and hats must also be brought and applied (in Summer months)
  • Participants must listen and comply with instructions that are given out by staff
  • Please note that the Junior Keeper days are just for children – there is no provision for parents to stay
  • We are not liable for any personal belongings that are brought along on the day.

Covid-19 Information

  • Face coverings will need to be worn inside the centre during the day so please bring one with you
  • Participants will be encouraged to wash their hands throughout the day and antibacterial gel will be available
  • Participants presenting with COVID-19 related symptoms or have persons within the household with symptoms must not attend

Questions and Answers

What do the Junior Keepers do on the day?

The Junior Keepers will join the Animal Keeping staff for the day looking after our amazing animal collection in the Animal Centre. They will work in various animal areas including the desert biome, tropical biome, husbandry room, domestic area, meerkat enclosure and the farm. In each area they will learn all about the variety of animals we have here at Merrist Wood, including how to handle them, feed them and clean them. Animals vary from goats to meerkats, they will see a huge range of exotic, farm, birds and domestic pets. There will be a set time to have some lunch, so make sure to bring a packed lunch with you.


How long does the event last?

The event starts at 10:00am and finishes at 3:00pm. Parent drop off is 9:45am and parent collection at 3:00pm.


How will payment be taken?

You will be contacted for payment over the phone after we have confirmed your space on the event and sent a booking confirmation. Payment is £70.00 per child which MUST be paid prior to the start date of the course.


Can a parent attend?

The Junior Keeper days are just for children, there is no provision for parents to stay. If you are looking for a family activity, then head over to our Animal Encounters Tour page which is available to anyone who is five years and over.


What animals will the Junior Keepers get to work with?

The Junior Keepers will get to work with a variety of animals, including reptiles, birds, rodents, meerkats, farm stock, domestic pets and exotic animals. The Animal Keepers will get some of our collection out of their enclosures in a controlled way so that the Junior Keepers can see them up close and there will be opportunities to handle some species. The animals they use may vary based on the animal’s temperament on the day.


How many Animal Keeping staff are there for each event?

Two Animal Keepers will be present during the event (including breaks and lunch) and will be supervising the children around the different enclosures.


What does my child need to wear?

You will need to bring suitable outdoor clothing (especially if it is wet) and sturdy boots if you have them (walking boots or wellingtons are acceptable) strictly NO open-toed sandals or flip flops. Please wear clothes you do not mind getting dirty.

No jewellery is allowed and if you have long hair you will need to have something to tie it back when you are around the animals.


What does my child need to bring?

Please bring a water bottle, a packed lunch (no nuts), suitable clothing and any medication that they need to have on them.

In the summer months sun cream and hats must also be brought and applied.

Please note that we are not liable for any personal belongings that are brought along on the day.


Are photographs allowed?

Yes pictures are allowed during the event, however we ask that the flash is turned off when taking pictures of the animals. Participants are liable for any possessions they bring to take pictures e.g. camera or phone.


My child has Special Educational Needs, is this event suitable?

We would recommend contacting us through [email protected] or giving us a call on 07854 274866. We can then advise based on more information if the event is suitable.


I am unable to make the dates advertised, when will you be releasing more?

New dates will be added to our website and announced on our Facebook page ‘Merrist Wood Events’. You can also email us at [email protected] and ask to be sent new dates directly when they are announced, this will also help us gauge interest.

Enquiry Form

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