Theme park BANS adults entering without children in case they're paedophiles

Matthew Richards was forbidden entry to Puxton Park in Somserset. (SWNS)

A bird enthusiast was turned away from a falconry display at his local park because lone adults are banned over paedophile fears.

Matthew Richards, 54, had previously visited the Puxton Park with his three grandchildren but wanted to return for another look at the birds of prey area.

But he was told the leisure park near Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, didn't admit single men and women on child protection grounds.

When he complained, bosses at the tourist attraction defended the bizarre rule and insisted it is 'in line with other parks'.

The married father-of-three 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 was frankly amazed. I was told the rule applies to single men, and women, for the protection of children.

'We have taken one of our grandchildren there before, and I saw that the falconry was there and thought it would be interesting to go back and see the displays.’

The award-winning Puxton Park is family-orientated leisure attraction which includes zip lines, a play barn, crazy golf and animal enclosures, as well as an owl zone and a falconry centre.

Mr Richards from High Littleton, near Bath, Somerset, had attended the park with his family, and returned on Thursday only intending to watch another falconry display.

He was turned away at the gates by staff, who said that their rule was explained on the website.

The 'prices' section online states: '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.'

Alistair Mead, managing director of the park, said the rule has been in place since the park opened seven years ago.

He added: 'There is a lot in the headlines about paedophiles and things that are going on with children.

'We have done our research and in line with all other parks we don't let single men or women in.

'We make it quite clear that if people want to go to the falconry they have to get a prior appointment, and we would take them down to the falconry centre.

'It is in the leaflet. I think if I did a survey of 100 of our customers they would agree that we are doing the right thing.'

A spokesman for Visit Somerset said: 'It sounds as if Puxton Park needs to publicise this particular rule a bit more prominently.'

Bosses at the park in Somerset say the regulation is stated on their website. (SWNS)
Bird enthusaist Mr Richards made a 25-mile round trip to the park. (SWNS)