An animal park has been told it cannot re-route an ancient footpath which runs between wild animal enclosures.
The ancient footpath runs between animal enclosures at Howletts
Howletts had been given permission by Canterbury City Council to re-route the path round the 95-acre Kent zoo park.
But a planning inquiry was held after objections from the Ramblers' Association and inspector Helen Slade overturned the diversion order.
"The proposed diversion would present several serious disadvantages to the public," her judgement said.
Inconvenient for Howletts
Ms Slade said re-routing the path would be inconvenient for walkers, as well as spoiling enjoyment and raising health and safety issues.
"I am aware that failing to confirm the order may be inconvenient for Howletts," she said.
"I nevertheless consider that the loss and disadvantage to the public... outweigh the advantages of implementing the permission."
A spokesman for the Ramblers' Association said the footpath dated from at least the 6th Century.