More details have been released of extensive new facilities at the Wolds Wildlife Park in Horncastle - including jungle-like canopies, glass walkways, elevated viewing galleries and even a ‘Yoga with the Bears’ enclosure.
The expansion project - which received planning permission in August - sees Park owners Andrew Riddel and Tracy Walters working with AM2 Architects in conjunction with Louth-based For-Ward Planning Consultancy and East Lindsey District Council to develop the master plan for the park.
The improvements should enable the park to accommodate a larger variety and number of animals.
The announcement comes as a leading district councillor confirmed the authority is continuing to work with Mr Riddel and Ms Walters to secure an all-important zoo licence.
That will enable the park to fully open to the public.
Work on the new facilities is expected to be completed by 2022.
Ms Walters and Mr Riddel said: “Since the beginning of the project, we have been overwhelmed with local community support which has really given us the drive to work around the clock to put Horncastle back on the map.
“It is our aim to work with local businesses, schools and colleges to support the area, and create new job opportunities, educational facilities for learning and a place for those with long-term illnesses to visit and enjoy.
“We feel we have the best team on board to make our dream a reality, and it is a pleasure to work alongside AM2 Architects – they have amazing ideas for the park and we could not do this without them.”
The expansion project will bring to life the couple’s dream of taking the park to the next phase – creating a complete zoological experience.
AM2 Architects say they have drawn on inspiration from leading wildlife parks around the world to develop the concept design, which includes a giraffe enclosure with an elevated viewing gallery - giving visitors the chance to see eye to eye with the world’s tallest mammals - and leopard and lion enclosures separated by glass walkways to allow big cat lovers to walk straight into the ‘lion’s den.’
The ‘Yoga with the Bears’ idea will offer individuals the chance to practice yoga just a few steps away from the enclosure of the bears.
Bears are known to love interaction with the public.
Jnathan Metcalfe, director at AM2 Architects, said: “We’re very proud to be working on such an exciting and unusual development.
“ By listening to Tracy and Andrew’s incredible vision, we believe we have created something very special.”
“We are looking forward to the journey of bringing Andrew and Tracy’s vision to life – creating a place of wonder and learning for generations to come”.
ELDC’s Portfolio Holder for Market Towns and Rural Economy, Councillor Adam Grist, said: “This is an exciting project and an excellent opportunity for growth in the local economy.
“East Lindsey District Council is pleased to continue its work with Mr Riddel and Ms Walters towards obtaining a zoo licence in the future.”