Monkey Forest Team Watch Sir David Attenborough’s Documentary IN AMONGST primates inside woodland inhabited by featured Barbary macaque monkey

On the 1st March, our primate conservationists at Trentham Monkey Forest were treated to an unusual training programme, as they watched a David Attenborough documentary focused on the endangered primate they help to protect, INSIDE THE MONKEY FOREST ITSELF!


Monkeys could be seen swinging from branch to branch whilst the park guides looked on and listened to Sir David Attenborough’s iconic narration centred around the primate we know and love here at Trentham Monkey Forest.


Ever since we opened in 2005 we have been preserving the natural behaviours of the Barbary macaques. The park raises mass awareness for the species and also works alongside BMAC (Barbary macaque Awareness & Conservation) and PSGB (Primate Society of Great Britain) to support primates struggling in the wild.  Around 140-free roaming Barbary macaque monkeys live freely inside our beautiful 60-acre Staffordshire woodland, so the screening was truly an immersive monkey cinematic experience for our team!


In late December, Sir David Attenborough aired a fascinating BBC Dynasties II Series Episode on Barbary macaque monkeys due to their rapid decline in wild populations.  There are currently less than 8,000 Barbary macaques in the wild, and the population has decreased by more than 50% in the last 40 years.


The BBC documentary was and is absolutely huge for Barbary macaques. The feature underlined the importance of further protecting the rapidly declining wild Barbary macaque populations whilst emphasising the fascinating behaviours of the primate.


The Monkey Forest team were filled with joy to hear that the species was to be focused on by Sir David, as it marked a small yet important victory for the primate. Park Director Matt Lovatt wanted to host a screening in the park for staff to celebrate but to also refresh the Barbary macaque memories of the monkey guides ahead of the full re-opening of the forest in April.


Park Director Matt Lovatt said

“It’s great to celebrate with the team that Sir David Attenborough has shed light on the devastating circumstances affecting the wild Barbary macaque. It does feel like a small but important victory for the species. Around 80% of what is known about Barbary macaques derives from research conducted within our parks in the UK, France and Germany. So, it is important that we as a group watch these fascinating projects. We re-open fully in April and every year we hold refresher sessions for our knowledgeable guides, so hopefully, this year’s one has been a bit more interactive! ”


Monkey Forest just re-opened for the February half term and is open at weekends in March and fully open from 1st April.


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