The Bird Park was created in 1974 by Philip Meigh MA RCA. He was an established cartoonist and artist living locally and had amassed a wonderful private collection of waterfowl, it was moved to the new 10 acre site at Prinknash at this time.
He restored the original monastic fish ponds that had once supplied the City of Gloucester with its fresh fish. His concept for the park was that birds look beautiful in the wild and seldom do in captivity. The vision was to give a superb backdrop to beautiful birds, by incorporating delightful follies, landscaped parkland and a dash of charm supplied by the carefully chosen deer, and pygmy goats.
Philip had a great flair for landscaping on a grand scale creating lovely lakes, ponds and walkways. He then started to integrate, to design and build follies around the park and was forever dreaming up new ones. All these follies were placed with maximum effect, they all have lovely views and can be seen from various vantage points within the park, but none of them overshadow the others, which is an art in itself. However, they come together when the Fallow deer walk past and pose.......or the Peafowl display in late afternoon, this is when you see his work at its best.
Philip Meigh died in 2008 leaving the legacy to be continued by his daughter Melanie Meigh. Melanie shares the same vision and has been carefully adding to the collection with the view to keeping the dream alive.
James Meigh, born in 1963 son of Philip Meigh plays a continual part in the life of the Bird Park, his sheer genius with photography is the face of the Bird Park, with far reaching results. His images of the park such as the illuminations for Christmas events show the park in all its beauty, however to capture these pictures takes time, the latest equipment and of course the knowledge on how to use it.
James works full time for Superdry as Head of Creative Media & Marketing and has had the opportunity to have his work featured in many of the worlds "glossies"and international newspapers, not to mention Nikon camera's own yearly magazine, due to the effects that he achieves with the rare lenses that he uses on his photo shoots. All of these skills have been put to great use at the Bird Park where he has captured the Peacocks, Swans, Fallow and Reindeer, Follies and other fowl within the park. A great number of his images can be seen on our site.
Carol Cole, long term partner of Philip Meigh and family friend has contributed hugely to the park over the last 20 years. Not only does she keep the records for DEFRA but continually rolls up her sleeves to help with the various events held at the Bird Park. Carol helps with the planning of Christmas events using her various grandchildren as fodder for Father Christmas, giving us lots of great feed back so that we can see these events through the eyes of children.
Carol, has instigated many of the lovely parts of the park where the public can sit and enjoy true calm. Whether sitting next to the double aviary where she has created a lovely garden with the back drop of the last aviary designed by Philip and built by her son Alex Cole, or enjoying the Reindeer enclosure where urns are planted with lovely flowers, all can be enjoyed.
Carol can often be found in the summer evenings passing through the enclosure with the fallow deer heading to her borders, tools in hand an no doubt enjoying some peace and quiet. This goes to endorse that whilst there may be one person at the helm the Bird Park is very much a family business and that everyone plays a vital role in why the park is so special.