Leicester

Twycross Zoo to be transformed by Eden Project designer

People looking at penguins at Twycross Zoo Image copyright PA
Image caption The zoo is open and flat at the moment, but in future it will have "really dense planting that surrounds the visitors"

Twycross Zoo is to be transformed by the landscape architect who designed the masterplan for the Eden Project.

Dominic Cole OBE said he aimed to create "more natural habitats and settings" for the Leicestershire zoo's animals and visitors.

The zoo is renowned for its primates and supplied chimps for the PG Tips television adverts for about 30 years.

Mr Cole has been commissioned as part of a £55m project to transform the zoo over the next 20 years.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Dominic Cole OBE was landscape architect and masterplanner for the Eden Project in Cornwall

He said he would be helping the team to "realise their vision of changing the feel of the zoo, from looking at animals in artificial environments, to creating more natural habitats and settings that feel right for animals and visitors".

The landscaping work will be done piece by piece over the next decade, so the huge 88-acre site can remain open during the work.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Ganesh Vijay, shown here after being named and blessed during a Hindu ceremony, was the first elephant calf born at Twycross Zoo by artificial insemination

Claire Oldham, director of discovery and learning at Twycross Zoo, said she would like to see "really dense planting that surrounds the visitors".

"At the moment we are quite an open, flat site," she said.

"What we are trying to do is bring some height and some different typographies into the site that means it's going to feel much more like a journey of discovery for our visitors if they walk around our animal habitats."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Twycross Zoo is renowned for its primates, including chimps

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