The Living Rainforest
Hampstead Norreys Berkshire RG18 0TN
This small, charity-run eco-centre gives a good flavour of rainforest life and is popular with kids and school groups. Don't go expecting the Eden Project: the 'jungle' is housed in greenhouses formerly used for rearing orchids, rather than purpose-built biomes, and the general feel is educational rather than awe-inspiring. But it;s a worthy attempt: walkways lead through over 700 species of plants and animals, including a West African dwarf crocodile called Courtney, a sloth named Cinnamon, and a troop of Goeldi's monkeys that is part of an international breeding programme. Tropical flora loop and snarl everwhere – including many medicinal plants – and butterflies flit through it all. Outside the humid greenhouse, there's a ‘Human Impact’ exploration space, a children’s play area, café and shop.