Longleat Forest sponsors red panda

Staff with red panda

17 September 2021

Longleat Forest sponsors red panda

Our story started towards the beginning of 2020, when sadly, like many businesses, we temporarily closed our doors. Our villages were left with a lot of leftover stock, including fruit and vegetables from the Food, Beverage, and Retail venues. Longleat Forest, being neighbours with Longleat Safari Park, decided to gift their food to the Safari Park. After all, whilst their doors were closed, they still had lots of hungry animals to feed!

This led us to look at additional ways to support the Safari Park with their ongoing conservation projects at the park, especially given their opportunities had been limited whilst closed during the pandemic. This is where the idea to sponsor an animal came from. Having been given a list of animals we could sponsor, we picked red pandas mainly due to the hard work Longleat is doing for their breeding programme – and they are really cute!

In the last few weeks, Sarah Deverill, Deputy Village Director, and Emma Ledbury, On Village Marketing Coordinator at Longleat Forest were invited by Graeme Dick, Head of Animal Adventure to meet with him and Samantha Allworthy, Red Panda Keeper, to Longleat Safari Park.

We visited Maya, our sponsored red panda, and the other two male pandas at the Safari Park to find out more about the endangered species in the wild and how the team at Longleat is helping with a red panda breeding programme.

Samantha said “Currently we house three red pandas at Longleat Safari, Maya, Koda, and Lionel. All of whom are members of the European endangered species breeding program and will each have their own part to play in the survival of the species.

 Since having red pandas at Longleat Safari we have also developed a close relationship with The Red Panda Network, a charity that works in Nepal to help wild red pandas by employing local people to become forest guardians that monitor the habitat and record vital data on red panda behaviour.

Having red pandas at Longleat means that the individual animals we have, act as ambassadors for their species in the wild. And by seeing them and learning about them our guests become inspired to help their wild cousins and make a difference to the future of a very special species.”

Center Parcs Longleat Forest and Longleat Safari Park share the same forest and it’s great to see how we can work together for such a great cause.


Book your Longleat Forest break today.



Close up of red panda
Staff with red pandas
Red pandas

Emma Ledbury

I have worked at Center Parcs for well over 10 years, and I can honestly say I love my job. My current role in On Village Marketing is exciting and no two days at work are ever the same.

Emma Ledbury