The story of Gypsy Wood all starts with a special little horse called Simba.
In 1997, John and Christine – animal lovers who had spent most of their working (and married) life in the licensing trade – adopted a glum little horse called Simba, who had been born with damaged forelegs and couldn’t walk properly. They enlisted the help of their local vet Dewi, who told John and Christine that although he could help them make Simba’s legs better, the 30 or so years of commitment needed to care for this special little pony was up to them! But this was no obstacle for John and Christine, who decided to try and give Simba a happy life, be it long or short.
Dewi the vet operated on Simba’s legs and it wasn’t long before Simba was happily running around the lush green fields. Simba’s mighty character soon began to emerge. He may be small, but he is certainly tough, as each day he gained more and more strength and his unique personality began to shine through. John and Christine were on a steep learning curve as they learned to look after Simba but most days were filled with smiles and happy times. And Simba showed his true personality when Edwin the local farrier came to trim his hooves. Simba, being as stubborn as a mule and mischievous with it, was having none of it and John often found himself on his knees, holding little Simba’s legs so that Edwin could get the job done!
Simba soon became one of the family and it wasn’t long before John and Christine decided that Simba needed some company. A couple of miniature Shetland ponies joined Simba, and they became the best of friends, chasing each other across the fields. Simba was smaller than all of them but managed to keep up, despite his crooked legs.
John and Christine’s collection of horses, ponies, and other animals soon grew and grew. By 2004 Christine had struck upon the idea that she wanted to show Simba and his friends to the world, and so, Gypsy Wood Park was born. The park first opened its gates in 2004, and since then, John and Christine, along with their dedicated team have worked hard to expand and develop the park. It is now one of the best loved adventure and animal parks in North Wales. But, the story all started with a special little pony called Simba.
Simba still lives at Gypsy Wood Park, so do pop over and say hello when you visit. After all, if it wasn’t for Simba, there would be no Gypsy Wood Park!
Christine Evans, Founder of Gypsy Wood Park back in 2004 and gave all the lucky animals a lovely home, but after twelve years of dedication to Gypsy Wood, she decided that it was finally time for a well-earned rest. So, at the beginning of 2016 she handed over the reins to her niece Debbie. Along with her husband Gafyn and young family. Debbie joined the team in 2007 after Chris asked her to help out one day a week, years later and Debbie is still at Gypsy Wood, and more excited than ever about continuing the magic and inspiring the next generation of animal lovers and Gypsy Wood fans.
Chris will be sorely missed, not least for her fun, inspiration, warmth and generosity.
Gypsy Wood Park is… a true Romany Gypsy legend
John and Christine struggled to think of a suitable name for the park when it first opened, but a neighbour told them that according to legend, the woodland was known locally as Gypsy Wood because it was where the last true Romany Gypsy lived in the village. Mr Lovell lived for many years in a small camp by the river on the site opposite Gypsy Wood Park, but used the river which runs through the park.
Gypsy Wood Park is… inspiring
At Gypsy Wood, we aim to spread a little happiness and enchantment. Our success is not measured by pounds and pennies but by the hearts we have touched.
"With love, commitment and knowledge from others, anything is possible.”