The aviary was a major attraction of Pickering Park for many years. There is probably not a child that grew up in Hull that didn't come at some time to visit the birds and, indeed, other animals over the years. Unfortunately, in 2016 Hull City Council took the decision to remove the remaining birds and close the property. Over the next four years the building fell into a terrible state of disrepair, overrun with vermin and vandals and the whole site developed into a real eyesore.
Since the forced closure, The Friends of Pickering Park has continually campaigned for its reinstatement. As with everything when politics is involved it has been a long road. There have been promises of funding, costly surveys and many disagreements over what sort of facility should be built. Eventually it was agreed that a Small Animal Centre containing a classroom and office for the Park Rangers would be created, utilising a very similar footprint to the existing building.
We had hoped that a cafe could be incorporated into the plans but lengthy red tape stopped that from happening unfortunately.
The new Small Animal Centre was completed in September 2021 and is due to open shortly.
The fountain presented to the City of Hull by George Rowntree in memory of his wife Elizabeth Ann dates back to 1912. The inscription is topped with a relief portrait of the lady in bronze.
The fountain was removed during the building works but has been fully refurbished and returned to the aviary.