Devon firms are providing the creativity and innovation to keep visitors to Paignton Zoo happy. Playline Design of Newton Abbot have constructed a new play area, while Ottery St Mary firm Chunk is supplying ethical food.

The Zoo is not all about animals and plants – people are the other vital ingredient. Visitors need the occasional pit-stop - which is why the charity has built a new play area and upgraded the nearby food outlet.

Nicolas Legendre, Food Production Manager: “We recognise that children need to play and adults need to sit down and refuel. We aim to provide strategically-placed areas like motorway service stations around the Zoo.”

The new Baboon Rock play area was created by Playline Design of Newton Abbot. It was designed off-site using computer modelling and built in their factory using FSC sustainable timber. It took three weeks to install.

The key feature is great access – there are ramps for wheelchairs and pushchairs. The play area, which has a footprint of 12 metres by 17, features three large linked platforms, solid and wobbly bridges, slides and a covered observation platform. From here you can see baboons and giant tortoises in one direction, the Ranch in another and Crocodile Swamp up the hill.

Meanwhile, the Baboon Rock kiosk sells quality handmade pasties and sausage rolls from Chunk of Ottery St Mary. They use locally-sourced meat and vegetables and have developed a palm oil-free pastry, which is important to Paignton Zoo, as palm oil plantations are destroying the habitat of orang utans and other species. Also available are Marshfield scoop ice cream made near Bath using organic milk, impulse ice creams made with coconut oil not palm oil and Ethical Addictions Rain Forest Village coffee.

There are four play areas around Paignton Zoo, including one indoors. The aim is to provide hot food where people want to stop. Nick: “We aim to create a food map that encourages visitors to stop in different parts of the park. We are theming outlets so that we offer something different in each. Soon we’ll be offering gourmet burgers at Treetops. Each stop is an oasis of rest on the road of discovery…!”

Quotes An awesome experience. The amount of free space given to the animals was very impressive Quotes