Page last updated at 10:02 GMT, Thursday, 17 July 2008 11:02 UK

Zoo submits 70m park proposals

British ancient woodland. Picture courtesy Bristol Zoo Gardens
The gardens would be on the outskirts of Bristol. Picture courtesy Bristol Zoo Gardens

Bristol Zoo Gardens is planning a 70m world wildlife reserve to be sited in the city's outskirts.

The proposed 55 hectare National Wildlife Conservation Park (NWCP), will be the first conservation-led park in the UK.

The park has been designed to link ecosystems and conservation programmes from across the world.

Bristol Zoo Gardens director Dr Jo Gipps said once plans were submitted it had a major fundraising task ahead.

He said : "We are going to launch a campaign with organisations, corporations and rich individuals who will want to buy into this notion.

"[Visitors] stepping through the gates of the park will be transported from the normality of the [South} Gloucestershire countryside to an amazing world of wildlife," he said.

"The park will aim to make the children of today, the conservationists of tomorrow."

The NWCP will be divided into exhibit areas of Congo Tropical Forest, Sumatra Rainforest, British Ancient Woodland and Indian Ocean Coral Reef and will be home to tigers, black tip sharks, bonobos, chimpanzees and brown bears.

The first phase of the Park would be scheduled to open in 2012.

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