What energy crisis? Dinosaurs light up Yorkshire Wildlife Park

While Brits will know it only too well, overseas readers may be unaware that – due to the knock-on effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – the UK is in the middle of an energy crisis. Prices have gone through the roof, and we are warned that energy rationing, through a rolling programme of power cuts, is a real possibility if there is a prolonged cold snap later this winter.

Everyone is being urged to be energy aware, and to cut down on power consumption if at all possible. But you’d never know that there was any problem at all, if you were basing your opinion on the Festival of Lights and Lanterns at Yorkshire Wildlife Park (YWP).

As I’ve written before, I have some reservations about keeping wild creatures in captivity (don’t we all?), but YWP seems OK. The animals are plainly well cared for, with plenty of space to roam. Importantly, the Park supports a number of conservation initiatives to breed highly endangered species in captivity, and seeks to educate visitors about their plight. But conservation costs money, so managers are happy to embrace initiatives that will attract paying members of the public through the gates. And what better way, at this festive time of year, than to flood the place with countless coloured lights?

We went to last year’s Festival of Lights and Lanterns, and had a great evening. It’s not the most obvious way to celebrate Christmas, but it worked for me and countless others too. Giant, glowing coloured lanterns were distributed throughout the Park, representing some of the critters living there, including polar bears, tigers, giraffes and okapi, and a few others that just wouldn’t feel quite at home, such as whales! There were even a few dinosaurs, poignant reminders of the world we have lost.

The regular critters – tigers, giraffes and the like – were back in force for this winter’s Festival. It was good to see these old friends, and also pleasing to note that last year’s favourites had been recycled and not simply trashed. But the big change, for the 2022/23 season, was in the population of dinosaurs, which seems to have exploded over the last few months!

And don’t the visitors love them, T-Rex and Triceratops, and all their brutish buddies? Children looked on in awe, and adults lapped it up too, a welcome opportunity to escape – if only for an hour or two – the stresses and strains of life in the UK at the end of 2022. Just for a short while it was possible to forget the energy crisis, and bathe irresponsibly in the light of a thousand colourful lanterns. But spare a thought, if you will, for YWP’s Director of Finance…he may be in for a few sleepless night when the Park’s next electricity bill arrives!



  1. Steve Gingold · December 28

    One local city here has a seasonal display called Bright Nights. I have never driven down there and gone through the display but it is quite popular. I think yours would be even moreso. It’s a great way to raise money for the admirable undertakings. We should all try to conserve energy but sometimes wasting a little isn’t a waste at all when it does some good as this does.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Platypus Man · December 29

      The Bright Nights display also looks like a lot of fun…hopefully it survived the atrocious weather you’ve been having recently, though I bet visitor numbers were down a bit!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Steve Gingold · December 29

        I haven’t read anything about attendance this year, it’s usually announced after it is over, but since folks have to stay in their cars (no doubt with the heat on) I bet the cold wasn’t much of a deterrence.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Paddy Tobin · December 28

    A striking display!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Platypus Man · December 29

      Top rate, and unlike another seasonal attraction I’ve written about recently, well worth the entrance fee!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yeah, Another Blogger · December 28

    Really good. Dinos never fail to fascinate us.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Carol Ann Siciliano · December 28

    What a wonderful exhibition! I like the flora and tableaux too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Platypus Man · December 29

      This festival is not ‘high art’, of course, but definitely brings light and colour into the lives of anyone who encounters it. Simply put, it’s a lot of fun, and so is just what the doctor ordered at the end of this difficult year!


  5. tanjabrittonwriter · January 4

    Let’s hope they used the most energy-efficient kind of light sources available! That being said, the displays are indeed splendid and doubtlessly brought cheer into people’s lives. Zoos around the world are really into these holidays lights, ours included, though it’s been a number of years since we went to see them there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Platypus Man · January 4

      I didn’t know that other zoos did this too. The Christmas lights certainly spread a lot of happiness amongst those who went to see them at YWP, so I think we can forgive the extravagant energy consumption on this occasion!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ann Mackay · January 7

    Looks like fun! šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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