A Conversation for Derbyshire's Wallabies

peak district wallabies

Post 1


The Peak District wallabies were to be found in Staffordshire, not Derbyshire. They - and other animals - were taken there in the 1930s when Courtney Brocklehurst, a member of the London Zoological Society, established a small out-station of Whipsnade Zoo on his estate at The Roches in the Staffordshire Moorlands. The idea was to create small reserve collections of animals to prevent the entire stock of London Zoo being wiped out in the event of disease. When the second world war began the harmless animals were turned loose. Brocklehurst returned to Army service and died on active service in Burma. The wallabies became a naturalised specieis but are believed to have died out. As they are shy animals the opening of the Roches estate to the public may have contibuted to their decline.


peak district wallabies

Post 2

Danny B

If you can let me know which Entry to correct I can make the changes.

smiley - cheers

peak district wallabies

Post 3


This is the item - hope the ref is the right one. Plus the text created Aug 2 2002

Derbyshire's Wallabies
Driving through the Peak District in Derbyshire, you may be rather surprised to see what looks like a small kangaroo hop across the road. Should this happen, relax, this is not an apparition, you haven't imbibed too freely at a local hostelry1, you have in fact just seen one of Derbyshire's small colony of Macropus rufogriseus banksianus, the red-necked wallaby.

The wallabies are descended from a small group which escaped from a private zoo at Leek, Staffordshire in the 1930s, along with a number of deer and one yak (the yak was recaptured). Strange as it seems that wallabies could survive in the Peak District, in their native environments of Tasmania, New South Wales and Victoria, Australia, they live at up to 4000ft, so snow and frost are not unusual conditions for them to encounter. The harsh winter of 1962 to 1963 nearly killed them off though- it is believed that only six or so of the creatures survived, and population regrowth was slow. The numbers were reported to rise as high as between 50 and 60 in the 1970s. There have been no confirmed sightings of the wallabies since 2000 though, and it is believed they may have died out, it is possible the colony has simply drifted to more remote areas, however. Wallaby sightings have been reported as far south as Barton-Under-Needwood, Staffordshire in 2002. It would be a shame if they have died out, as their presence has brought much tourist interest to the area, and the sight of one has brightened many a local's day.

The Peak District is not the only place wallaby colonies exist in the UK; Scotland has some at Lady Arran, on one of Loch Lomonds' islands, and there are a few in Ashdown Forest, Sussex.

peak district wallabies

Post 4

Danny B

It looks like this may need a bit more than a small update and, and is therefore outside the Curators' remit, I'm afraid smiley - erm

Would an Italic like to comment on this one..?

Thread Moved

Post 5

h2g2 auto-messages

Editorial Note: This conversation has been moved from 'h2g2 Feedback - Editorial Feedback' to 'Derbyshire's Wallabies'.

Thread Moved

Post 6

Kerr_Avon - hunting stray apostrophes and gutting poorly parsed sentences

I agree they were released in Staffordshire - that's noted in the entry. The colony however was established in both Staffordshire and Derbyshire.

smiley - ale

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