Saturday, July 4, 2009

Think of the consequences of your West Midlands Safari Park trip

Like many Brummies are planning to this summer, I visited the West Midlands Safari Park a few weeks ago, but it was in order to see the activities that they had going on for World Environment Day in their own little World Environment Weekend. The event itself was praiseworthy; I saw children using recycled materials and asking questions about it, using a computer to calculate their carbon footprint and learning how to reduce it.

But I couldn’t help but feel that it is slightly hypocritical of the West Midlands Safari Park to promote such environmental care when I saw how many cars there were riding the four-mile route, many with half empty cars but all trips being wholly unnecessary and purely for entertainment. It’s not exactly a step forward for our carbon awareness, is it?

Since returning I have used one my University tutor’s new project Help Me Investigate, a website where people can ask for investigative journalists, to ask for help in calculating the West Midlands Safari Park’s carbon footprint.

As you can see by visiting here, we were not able to get very far! The Press Office refused to tell us how many people visited the park every year, claiming that they do not release this information to the public, which makes me wonder if it is because they are scared of people seeing how much damage the institution does to the environment?

They do have mini busses but when I enquired about them, they said that they do not run every day and that on the Saturday we went, it was running a scheduled three times. So only three times in a busy day did they push to get people out of their cars and into a larger vehicle to reduce the carbon emissions. Obviously it would be a lot better if it there was more of this opportunity and that they pushed for this alternative method by publicised the times of running. Maybe they could offer a discount as an incentive instead of charging more?

So, what I am saying to you is that if you happen to visit the West Midlands Safari Park, I hope that you too don’t turn a blind eye to the massive oxymoron that is a safari park that conserves the environment.

And a big plus point for the mini busses is that they get much closer to the animals, so you will end up with more close ups of whose beautiful white tigers!

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