BCA Zoo and Education Centre
The Berkshire College of Agriculture (BCA) is situated in Burchetts Green, Maidenhead. The campus sits on 400 acres of land and offers a range of courses for students, including Animal Management. It is the only agricultural college in Berkshire.
BCA Zoo is formally known as the Animal Management Centre at the college, and is primarily for students studying Animal Management and Care. However in 2015, it was awarded a zoo licence and is open to the public for tours and experiences.
BCA also supports a number of conservation projects which protect endangered species in the world.
There are a wide range of mammals and reptiles at BCA Zoo, with over 100 different species. Inside there is a reptile house with reptiles and spiders, plus a darkened nocturnal room with armadillo and a spotted genet (which looks a lot like a wild cat).
Out in the courtyard, there are exotic birds, meerkats, primates and otters.
You can book a 45 minute guided tour which is suitable for all ages. You can learn about the different types of animals at the zoo with interesting facts.
For a longer visit, family zoo days last for 3 hours, and you can explore at your own pace.
For slightly older children (or grown ups), there is a range of encounters and experiences. You can get close up to some of the animals in their enclosures.
Take a look at the website for more details on experiences and tours. Plus information about animal adoption and also gifts vouchers for an educational day out.
About BCA Zoo
You offer zoo tours for families and experiences for slightly older children. Do you ever get requests for birthday parties?
We don’t advertise Birthday Packages as being around animals doesn’t suit most childrens parties. There are long periods where they need to be calm and respectful around the animals which can be a struggle, when seeing them up close can be very exciting.
We can take bookings for up to 15 people to do a tour which some people book in for their children and their friends as a Birthday treat.
Do you have many rare animals or breeds at the zoo?
We have a lot of rare animals here at BCA Zoo with 9 Critically Endangered Species and lots more that fall into the Endangered or Vulnerable category. The rarest animal we house is our Bali Starling whose numbers fell to just 6 in the Wild back in the 1990’s.
How often do you get or rescue new animals/reptiles at BCA Zoo?
We very rarely have an empty Quarantine building which is where we house all our new arrivals. When a new animal comes to the Zoo they have to spend a few weeks on their own to make sure they aren’t bringing in any new diseases. Once they have been here a few weeks we collect a poo sample that gets sent off to the lab to check they are healthy before meeting their new friends.
Our most recent additions this year include a new Pygmy Slow Loris called Chuck, two new boy Giant Asian River Toads to meet our female and most exciting 6 baby Peruvian Bush Anoles who were hatched at the Zoo and are the first to be born in this country!