Theme park bans single adults over paedophile fears as granddad turned away

Bird enthusiast grandfather turned away after visiting on his own

Updated: 
Theme park bans single adults over paedophile fears as granddad turned away

A bird-enthusiast grandfather has told how he was left baffled when he was turned away from a UK theme park - over paedophile fears because he was on his own.

Matthew Richards, 54, had previously visited Puxton Park, near Weston-super-Mare, with his three grandchildren.

He decided to return last Thursday for another look at the birds of prey area, but was told single adults were not permitted entry on child protection grounds.

Speaking to the Western Morning News, he said: "I almost feel discriminated against.

"I could understand it if it was for the attractions that young children only enjoy, but the falconry is of interest to all.

"I couldn't see anything about the rule on the brochure which I picked up at another attraction.

"They are advertising adult memberships as gifts so I can't understand it."

The paper adds that the 'prices' section online does state: "We are sorry but we are unable to let single MEN OR WOMEN without children into the park.

"If you are here to meet someone let one of our reception staff know and they will happily do a tannoy announcement asking them to come and meet you."

According to the Independent, the rule has been in place since the park opened seven years ago.

A statement from Alistair Mead, Managing Director of Puxton Park, placed on Puxton Park's website, reads: "The main aspect not being reported is that Puxton Park is predominantly an attraction for children aged 0 years to 7 years with 90% of the park dedicated fully to child's play, which is not suitable for lone adults.

"Some adults may be interested in our falconry department and we offer falconry experience days which are open to all. We have not set out to discriminate against single adults but we take child protection extremely seriously.

"We would rather be over zealous when unaccompanied adults visit us armed with cameras than put children at any potential risk. Even schools follow similar policies with regards to the photography of children.

"Our members fully support our decisions and we have received nothing but praise for our policy including positive feedback from a Child Protection Specialist, who commended us for our child protection principals.

"Within seven years we have only had one complaint about this policy from the gentlemen last week.

"In light of this coverage we will look at what other parks are doing with their admissions policy, speak to our customers and review."

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