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17th July 2018

Signing in at the Owl Barn


The Suffolk Owl Sanctuary’s beautiful owls, other birds of prey and pretty grounds have become a favourite destination for a huge diversity of visitors. Children, students, parents, teenagers and the elderly all find elements of the centre appealing.

The sanctuary is constantly striving to ensure that all areas of the site are interesting and accessible to everyone. To that end facilities are constantly evolving for the ease of everyone who wishes to enjoy the beautiful birds, red squirrels, ferrets and meerkats.

Paths are level and tarmac throughout the site for the ease of buggies and wheelchairs; picnic tables are specially designed to accommodate visitors in wheelchairs; Braille interpretations of all information boards are available; a ramped observation area has been installed around the meerkat enclosure affording great views of the animals for visitors in wheelchairs; the children’s play area contains a double width slide enabling use by children requiring assistance from a carer, a wheelchair accessible roundabout, a large circular swing to accommodate children and carers and talking tubes situated at wheelchair height and the “touch and smell” herb garden is also built at a height allowing close proximity for visitors in wheelchairs. 

On selected dates throughout the year, the sanctuary also hosts BSL signing days on which a qualified and experienced BSL signer interprets both the meerkat feeding commentary and the flying display narration. The next signing day on the owl sanctuary calendar is on Thursday 30th. August and although the sanctuary staff look forward to welcoming deaf visitors at all times, they hope that many will take this particular opportunity to enjoy the birds and experience them flying free and close with a little extra assistance through signing. Admission on this day is free of charge for all deaf visitors and their carers/support workers.

As well as the incredible flying displays, visitors can enjoy the pretty Woodland Walk with red squirrels, wildlife pond, bug hotel, ladybird houses, butterfly feeders and hedgehog tee pee.

The tranquil sensory garden offers space and time for relaxation amongst the tactile sculptural seating, wind chimes, water feature, herb garden and bee and butterfly friendly borders. The challenging mini maze is situated close to the children’s play area and there is plenty of room throughout the sanctuary grounds for a picnic.

The indoor Discovery Centre offers interactive information on British wildlife in general and owls and other raptors in particular and the unique owlie gift shop is full of interesting souvenirs.

Groups intending to visit are advised to telephone in advance to discuss any assistance they may require and to take advantage of a group booking  price discount.

The sanctuary is always happy to organise BSL signing days on request for individual deaf clubs or groups or school UHIs. Please telephone 0345 680 7897 for details or talk to the admin team when you next visit.

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