Paignton Zoo is currently undertaking a number of significant developments which equate to the biggest changes they have experienced in almost 10 years. Some of these changes have been necessary repairs as a result of the damage caused by Storm Eunice, but the rest are all part of wider plans to transform the zoo ahead of their hundredth anniversary next year.
Part of these plans include the creation of a new entrance pathway and lakeside walk, taking visitors on a journey through the former Brookside Aviary and around the main lake. The pathway will create new perspectives of the zoo and new vantage points to see their big cats.
These changes have been accelerated by the deterioration of their entrance boardwalk which has now been completely removed. The charity has also removed one of their aviary structures, allowing for a much brighter and more accessible path to be created and they are forming a new pathway behind their tigers and lions which will lead all the way up to their gorillas. Along with creating additional vantage points of their exotic animals, this new pathway will highlight important native animal and plant species.
“Our mission is to encourage all of our visitors to live in harmony with nature and this new pathway will highlight the native species that call Paignton Zoo home. The new trees, shrubs and flowers that will be planted alongside the new pathway will also be carefully chosen to create habitats for our native wildlife including many birds and insects,” said Steve Nash, Head of Campaigns and Programmes.
Visitors to the zoo will have noticed that groundwork for the new pathways is well underway, and will be ongoing over the next few weeks. To combat the risk of flooding and subsidence, the ground levels around the main lake will also be raised at one end. The lakeside enclosures are being re-fenced, and a bridge installed over the brook that feeds the moats and lake.
Other plans for Paignton Zoo include renovations to their mandrill enclosure which involves a large new climbing structure for them made from a nearby tree that was recently felled for safety reasons. Their former cusimanse exhibit is being prepared for new arrivals and remedial work has commenced on their Tropical Trails exhibit which suffered extensively from recent storm damage.
Steve Nash continued: “We’re really excited to see these incredible changes taking place in our zoo and to transform the site ahead of our centenary year in 2023. The work around our main entrance should be completed by Easter, and we are extremely grateful for the understanding of our supporters as we make these changes.”