Reindeer learn the ropes!

The reindeer herd are enjoying their daily visits to the 11th century castle courtyard as part of our Winter Wonderland grotto.

And for the first time, our 2017 youngsters, Ivy, Doreen and Basil have been learning the ropes so they too can join Santa.

Trainee Keeper, Ellis Robinson, has been working with the herd over the last few weeks reintroducing them all to their halters and harnesses as well as familiarising them with the route from the reindeer den to the cobbled courtyard.

Ellis, said: “Training has gone really well again this year and I always make sure I walk a youngster with their mum and another older adult, so they are comfortable being brought out of their paddock.

“ I’m really pleased with them all and they’re proving to be really popular with grotto visitors and of course they need to be safely harnessed for the all-important sleigh-pulling duties on Christmas Eve.”

Pictured are Trainee Keeper Ellis Robinson, Senior Keeper Sam Grove and Trainee Keeper Josh Luxton with Blizzard, Maggie and Ivy.