The Living Rainforest

The Living Rainforest

The Living Rainforest is home to over 850 species of plants and animals. It is run by the Trust For Sustainable Living. This is a charity that works hard to educate thousands of school children around the world on sustainability. They welcome over 100,000 visitors through the door every year including 25,000 children on school trips. My children have visited here on a school trip themselves and we are now season pass holders.

As you walk in the entrance there are some display cabinets with various moths and insects to look at. There are also a number of childrens trail sheets on clipboards to chose from. This came in really handy as it tied in perfectly with my son’s school topic of rainforests.

The highlight of any trip to The Living Rainforest is spotting Cinnamon the sloth. Cinnamon likes to sleep high up in the tree tops but visitors are often lucky enough to see her moving around and coming down for food. I liked Luigi who is a yellow-knobbed curassow, a South American bird. Luigi wanders around freely in the Amazonica glasshouse.

Other animals you can find at The Living Rainforest include armadillos, toucans, an iguana, Goeldi’s monkeys, snakes and pygmy marmoset monkeys. Most recently they have welcomed some dwarf caimans into their new habitat. We can’t wait to go back and see them.

As well as lots of animals to see there are lots of different amazing plants. One of the most impressive is the Giant Taro. It’s leaves can grow up to 2 metres long and 1 metre wide. It’s huge!

huge leaf on the Giant Taro plant

There is an education zone where you can use touch screens to learn more about the environment and sustainability. The Living Rainforest regularly hosts special events at weekends and school holidays. You can get to know he animals better and find out more about the charity’s work. There are guided tours available or you can even book a keeper experience.

Asa with hand on tank of Amazon piranha fish

The site has a gift shop, cafe and outdoor play area with picnic benches. There are plenty of toilets and handwashing basins. When you purchase your ticket this can be used to visit as many times as you like for a whole year. It’s lovely to go on different days as you always spot something new. The events are usually included as well so you can try out different activities each time you visit.

The Verdict

We really enjoyed our visit to The Living Rainforest and found it really interesting to learn so much. The facilities are well kept and the staff are really friendly. I love being able to go back whenever we like using our annual pass tickets. This makes it great value for money. Be warned it does get very busy on rainy days as it’s an indoor attraction. It’s best to visit later in the afternoon if you can to avoid the crowds. The glasshouses simulate a real rainforest so are very warm and humid. Please dress accordingly for your visit.

Facilities Checklist

  • Toilets / Disabled Toilet Yes
  • Pushchair / Wheelchair Friendly Yes
  • Disabled Access Blue badge parking bays near entrance.
  • Dog Friendly No dogs. Assistance dogs are welcome in the garden but not inside due to free-roaming animals.
  • Refreshments available Yes cafe serving lunch, snacks and drinks
  • Car Park Yes free parking on site
  • Gift Shop Yes
  • Baby facilities Baby changing unit. Highchairs in cafe.

Address: Hampstead Norreys, Berkshire, RG18 0TN

Price Band: ££


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