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Animals, toboggans, boating lake and play areas proposed for zoo's move to near Stratford

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FURTHER plans have been revealed which could allow a major zoo attraction to be built a few miles from Stratford.

All Things Wild has ambitions to expand its operation, moving from Honeybourne to Willicote Farm and Equestrian Centre near Clifford Chambers.

The plans for the overall site.
The plans for the overall site.

As reported by the Herald in March, the family attraction has been looking for a suitable site for years and has submitted a hybrid planning application to Stratford District Council for the 32-hectare site.

The latest documents show more details about the five-year plan for the zoo, which would be developed in phases, eventually creating an attraction with six geographical zones: Arctic Adventure, Africa, Americas, Australia, Asia and Great Britain.

There would also be a central zone featuring a dinosaur exhibit, boating lake, as well as an area for car parking with 396 spaces, 51 disabled spaces and an overflow area.

The car park, staff areas and central zone, where there would be a play barn and café, would be phase one of the plans along with the animal zones for the Arctic Adventure and Australia.

Arctic Adventure zone.
Arctic Adventure zone.

The other zones, which would include 45 accommodation units (tents and lodges) in the Africa zone would be phase two of the build. Africa would also be home to the largest buildings – one for giraffes and the other for the Savannah Restaurant.

In the planning documents, owners Nigel Ford and Becky Harris explain that they have outgrown their current site, adding: “Whilst it’s not about visitor numbers, having a larger site enables us to create an even stronger message [about nature] and to be able to bring that message to a wider audience.”

They continue: “A key aspect of our desire to relocate All Things Wild is our respect and love for the animals in our care. The new site will give us the opportunity to develop larger, more naturalistic enclosures and in turn bring in some truly iconic species.”

The Australia Zone.
The Australia Zone.

Some of the animals in the first phase would include lynx, wolverine and reindeer in the Arctic zone where there would also be two toboggan slopes and a seasonal ice rink.

Wallabies, kangaroos, kookaburras and emus would be in the Australia area along with an exhibit to discover what it’s like to be a flying vet.

The whole site would be enclosed a 2.5-high boundary fence and access would be via a new road, off Campden Road.

The proposed central area.
The proposed central area.

Following consultations, the impact of traffic visiting the site was raised as one of the chief concerns about the proposals. Indeed, Weston on Avon Parish Council has objected the scheme because 'of the increase of traffic on a already busy road'.

Figures supplied in the planning documents show All Things Wild currently gets around 100,000 visitors a year and, at peak times, 300-350 cars a day.

The estimates for years 1-3 at Willicote Farm suggest that peak number would be up to 531 cars a day with 1,592 visitors. After year three the predictions get higher – 707 cars a day during the peak season, around 2,122 people heading to the zoo. Annual visitor numbers are expected to be 200,000 plus.

Noise, air quality and visual impact have also been raised as concerns.

A decision on the application is due by 19th August.

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