Almost business as usual at Studley Grange

By Barrie Hudson - 26 July 2021

  • The meerkats are among the most popular attractions

    The meerkats are among the most popular attractions

Studley Grange Garden and Leisure Park says it is back to near-normal operation.

The new Dexter cattle

Like many destinations the venue, near Wroughton, has endured lockdowns, partial lockdowns and constantly changing plans because of the covid pandemic.

However, the Studley Grange team say they have enforced closures to good use by making improvements.

During the first lockdown, managing director Tony Miller saw the opportunity to move the soft play facility into its new purpose-built building, and it has been extended and had air conditioning and a fresh air system installed.

In January a new and larger restaurant was added, and retail director Chris Wilde said: "In some ways covid has been helpful in forcing us to shut the restaurant.

"We had planned to build the new facility while operating the existing one. However, with hindsight that would have been really difficult.  We are really happy with the result, there has been lots of great feedback from customers and we are looking forward to being able to welcome back groups of friends to enjoy a coffee and cake together”. 

Last week saw the arrival of some new Dexter cattle to join the collection at Butterfly World and Farm Park. 

Director Jackie Guscott said: "These lovely animals will allow us to start our project to increase the biodiversity of the former landfill site and therefore increase the wildlife on site.  

"They will help with conservation grazing of marginal land that has become overgrown.  In time a variety of our livestock, including some of our goats and pigs graze back these areas allowing wildflowers space to grow, attracting mini beasts and other wildlife into the area.  

"An area will also be identified where chalk will be placed, to attract English native butterflies.”

With becoming more sustainable a high priority, the latest project at Studley Grange was the installation last week of an additional 104 solar panels.  

This is the third such installation, and will eventually feed a battery system which will allow more of the electricity generated to be stored on site and be used to supply the various business entities. 

Studley Grange says it was fortunate that the garden centre was among the first of the businesses at the site allowed to reopen during May of last year. Since then trade has surpassed all expectations.  With many people spending more time at home, demand for gardening products has been at a high.  

Studley Grange says the range and quality of products on offer has changed significantly since Tony Miller took the garden centre back into independent ownership in the later part of 2019.  

Future plans include a transformation of the plant area and a new space for additional gardening products being added in time for spring 2022. 

Studley Grange is open every day. Its website is 

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