Richard Hopper always had a keen interest in birds. At the age of just 11 he sold his drum kit to buy his first blue and gold macaw. Over joyed with his new companion he was determined to save every penny to extend his parrot collection.


Richards parents retired and bought the bungalow with 6 acres of land. With help from his dad and money from the sale of chicks he bred, The collection grew.


Richard decides to change his hobby into a business by opening his bird collection to the public.  After an initial struggle with the council, Birdland opened its doors to visitors in 1984.

1984 – early 1990’s

Further aviaries were built and rare species of birds introduced.  Hand rearing the offspring of more common species and breeding of endangered species became the main goal

Early 1990s

Tropical Birdland struggle with breeding due to burglaries, vermin and disease problems. With time, dedication and money, these problems were controlled and the breeding continues.


A successful free flying programme was put into place allowing some parrots the freedom like the wild. it was Richards original Blue and gold, Jackie that was the first ever free flyer. Over the next couple of years a large variety of parrots were trained for free flight.


Defra tries to ban free flying after complaints to environmental health. With the possibility of losing our zoo licence we decided to fight for the freedom of our birds. After a long struggle we provided enough evidence that non of our birds were breeding in the wild, that we had full control over the birds and they came back to their sleeping quarters, under lock and key every night.


Tropical Birdland helped a private breeding program with the hand rearing of a highly endangered species of parrot (The Hyacinth Macaw). After a couple of years all the hard work pays off, As a thank you we received our first Hyacinth, Darwin. With borrowed and donated money we were able to give Darwin a female companion.


We received a grant of £5,000 to help with the refurbishment  for a new café. Going from a grotty port-a cabin to a more modern family tea rooms, re-branded as ‘The Real Macaw’


Introduction of the first Halloween and Christmas Events started to create a vital winter income to ensure we could provide for our birds. This is now a standing fixture and a huge success.


Outdoor picnic area was refurbished with permanent gazebos providing further undercover area  for seating and events


By Popular demand Tropical birdland decides to build the new outdoor Children’s play area, which to date is proving to be a great success. Other construction work that was completed in 2013 included the refurbishment of the ‘Walkthrough Aviary’ doubling it in size.