It was also hoped that the Lion Park would provide ideal conditions for the establishment of breeding groups, supporting the conservation of threatened species. Lambton Lion Park became a much-loved visitor attraction with many people to this day recounting memories of their visits.
Re-designed in 1975, due its popularity at the time, the renamed Lambton Pleasure Park attracted more visitors and introduced more domesticated animals, children’s funfair, miniature railway and Lambton Airways, a disused aeroplane that children (and adults) could play in. The lions of course were the main attraction, but there were also zebras, giraffes and elephants, amongst many others.
Tales about the animals that occasionally escaped have become local folklore, with a troop of baboons on the A1 and a rhino seen heading towards Fatfield!
Sadly, spiralling costs and the difficult financial climate of the early 80’s lead to the closure of the Lion Park.