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Avon Valley History

Avon Valley Adventure & Wildlife Park has been in the Douglas family since 1976 when John Douglas purchased the farm that stretched across 200 acres.  Previously it had been a mixed dairy, beef, pig and corn farm run by the West family.

The original farm dates back to the 15th century, when the local people from the small town of Keynsham used to graze their cattle and sheep beyond the safety of the city walls on the lush land adjacent to the river. One of the herders took a chance on building a small house on a spot where his cattle most liked to graze and so the first proper farm in the area was established.

In 1978 Mr Douglas developed a fruit enterprise on the farm which ended up being the largest self-pick fruit farm in the West Country.  The fruit farm was closed in 2003 to allow for the growth of the adventure and wildlife side of the park.

In 1987, with his business partner Jack Jenkins, Mr Douglas turned the lower fields, parallel to the River Avon, into the Avon Valley Country Park. Their vision?  To make nature more accessible to the city dwellers of Bath, Bristol and beyond.

This vision has been the driving force behind the park since then and now, with the next generation of the Douglas family at the helm, the park is looking to the future and the development of this vision.  In April 2014, John's son Doug, who served for 10 years in the 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh, decided to leave the army to take over the park.  He married Hannah in 2012 on the farm and they had their first child in May 2014.