Anniversary plans…

We’re gearing up for our  80th anniversary by revealing exciting plans for next year…

Over the coming months a £295,000 revamp will begin on SIX projects on site including new extended homes for our critically endangered yellow-breasted capuchins, snow leopards, parrots, military macaws and cockatoos, as well as a larger farm barn and extended farmyard and a breeding facility for our rainbow lorikeets.

Zoo Director Derek Grove, said: “These improvements will hugely benefit our animals and visitors as we bring older enclosures up to date.”

The first stage of the work, expected to be completed in time for the Easter holidays includes a massive £90,000 revamp of the popular farmyard, as well as a £20,000 rebuild of the outdoor area for the capuchins in the Small Primate House.

We’ll also be demolishing the former Geoffroy’s cat enclosure to make way for a bigger internal den for the Carpathian lynx at a cost of £25,000, which will include climbing frames and a new visitor viewing area.

Meanwhile the three old parrot aviaries adjacent to the otter enclosure will be replaced with one large mixed enclosure, with a glass viewing area for visitors to get closer to the animals. Set to cost £40,000 it is hoped the new aviary will be open for Whitsun.

And in time for the summer holidays, we’ll be unveiling our main project for the year – a £100,000 revamp of the snow leopard enclosure, which we’ve fundraised for throughout the last 12 months. The work will include an extension to the outdoor facilities, new glass viewing areas and platforms for the big cats.

A £20,000 overhaul will also take place on the Queen Mary aviary, which will become a breeding facility for our Rainbow lorikeets.

Derek said: “The coming year holds fresh opportunities for the animal collection as we drive forward with our primary aims of conservation, education and research.

“The projects chosen to complete in 2017 were all mostly built over 30 years ago and are now in need of modernisation.

“The new exhibits will not only be built for purpose, but will provide additional space for the animals as well as improving the experience for our visitors.”