For my birthday in May we headed towards Trentham Monkey Forest, 60 acres of woodland which is home to 140 Barbary macaques who are free to move around the woodland as they wish. It was a fantastic morning out and so great to see that many monkeys enjoying themselves in such a lovely environment.
Opened in 2005 the Monkey Forest was a great chance to learn more about these monkeys (do stop and listen to one of the feeding talks that take place throughout the day) and in my case of course, take lots of photos!
Barbary macaques are an endangered species with less than 8,000 living in the wild. The Monkey Forest has helped re-introduced 600 to Morocco. They are from North Africa, and live at high altitudes where the climate is similar to our own.
At the Monkey Forest 6-10 babies are born each year and it was great to be able to see them up close, and to see first hand the hierarchy of the two groups that made up the Forest’s inhabitants – there was quite a bit of jostling for dominance and grooming on display when we visited.
It takes about an hour to walk through the forest, though you can of course stay for longer. At only £8 for adults it;s definitely a bargain for any animal lover, though we actually purchased a joint ticket for Trentham Gardens as well (which are next to the Monkey Forest and will be the focus of my next blog post).
The Monkey Forest is a really excellent day out – you can find more of my photos here.