Exotics and Nocturnals

Our Nocturnals and Exotics House opened in 2020 and offers the opportunity to meet some fascinating exotic and nocturnal creatures, many of which you can’t see anywhere else in Essex. Find out more about our fruit bats, sugar guilders, skunk, tenrec, hedgehogs, snakes, tree frogs, chameleon, lizards, toads, turtles and more. Join the daily talks for up close encounters, click here for timings.

Fruit Bats

We have a colony of nine male and female bats that are breeding.  They spend most of their time hanging out together eating fruit and cleaning each other.  They are a must see when coming to Barleylands Farm Park.


We have a beautiful American Striped Skunk called Primrose.  She is a very friendly young skunk who loves food and long naps using her tail as a blanket. A skunk’s forefeet are armed with five long, curved claws adapted for digging.

Sugar Gliders

We have a female called Lilo and a male called Stitch who are an adorable couple.  They love tucking into fruit, veg and bugs. You can find them snuggling together on a branch or running on their wheel. Sugar Gliders are characterised by a pair of gliding membranes, which extend from their forelegs to its hindlegs. They use them to glide to reach food and escape predators.

Our pair of sugar gliders recently had two babies, a male and a female!


We have a male Jerboa called Jerry who shares his environment with the fruit bats.  He has full range of the floor with hides, bushes and dishes of his favourite food – kale. He is a speedy little character and can run at up to 15 mph.


We have a female Tenrec called Marge, she is a hairy mammal with a very powerful sense of smell and especially sensitive whiskers.  She is a team favourite and can be often found having a snooze with a full belly of grubs.

Long-Eared Hedgehog

Sonic is our male Long Eared Hedgehog who is very nimble and has a fluffy chest.  He loves hiding in his environment but can be tempted out with a bug or two. His long ears are not only very handsome, they are also used for heat radiation in the desert and to listen for food and predators.


We have wide range of wonderful lizards such as frilled lizards who are called Richard and David, two Casque-Headed Iguanas, two Egyptian Spiny-tailed lizards and two Madagascan day geckos.  The team have designed each of their environments to reflect their natural habitats, this turns spotting them into a game.


We have four breeds of snake living in the Exotic Area, including an African House Snake called Neils, Green Tree Pythons called Qwen and Gareth, two Boa Constrictors called Neville and Lune, and a Dwarf Reticulated Python called Banana.


Our fascinating frogs include Borneo Eared Frogs, Boris and Belinda, an African Bull Frog called Barry, a White Tree Frog called Tim and Copes Grey Tree Frogs.  The frogs come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, some are only as big as your finger nail.


We have a Mellers Chameleon called Craig, he the star of the show and had amazing accuracy when having a locus snack.  His eyes can move separately and change his skin colour to reflect his surroundings.

Blue-Tongued Skink

We have a Blue-Tongued Skink called Bert – and yes he does have a blue tongue! His large blue tongue can be shown as a bluff-warning to potential enemies. Blue-Tongued Skinks are relatively shy in comparison with other lizards, and also significantly slower due to their short legs.

Colorado River Toad

We currently have a Colorado River toad called Carl, he loves his grubs and a warm moist hide to nap in. His primary defense system against predators are glands that produce a poison that may be potent enough to kill animals as large as a dog.


See what you can spot from Giant African Land Snails to a tail-less whip scorpion, Madagascan hissing cockroaches, Asian forest scorpion and giant African millipedes.


We have an Axolotl called Arnold and a Tiger Salamander called Randle, they are very interesting creatures with skin that feels gummy.