Animal-lovers could soon be able to stay overnight in a safari lodge and wake up to see giraffes and other animals roaming freely.
This is because, according to reports by CheshireLive, Chester Zoo has this week unveiled and resubmitted exciting plans to build a range of safari-style lodges and tents on a plot of land that is currently owned by the zoo, but not actively-used.
The zoo was originally given planning permission to build 28 lodges and 14 tents in September 2019, but the COVID-19 pandemic meant the project had to be put on hold.
But now, bosses at the UK’s biggest charity zoo have expanded and resubmitted proposals for their ‘Natural Vision’ masterplan to a total of 63 lodges around “a large body of water”, which aims to turn the popular tourist attraction into a Savannah habitat with an African street, a restaurant and bar, and a welcome building.
According to the planning documents, the 63 lodges – which would be built around a lake – would all be of varying styles and sizes, with 54 built initially, with the option to build a further nine in future.
They would either be four or six-bed lodges, including a king size bed and bunk beds, and zoo bosses say they are designed to blend into the landscape.
To maintain this habitat, trees appropriate for the African Savannah landscape will be sporadically-planted, while a denser and greener ‘islands zone’ will be created to provide greater species diversity for wildlife.
The Grasslands centrepiece will be home to multiple rare and endangered species – including Rothschild’s giraffe, Grevy’s zebra, ostrich, and antelope – all living alongside one another, and there will also be two giraffe feeding stations next to the Bachelor Giraffe Paddock too, with one reserved exclusively for guests of two of the lodges.
An ‘island’ in the centre of the lake would be used as an events space.
The on-site restaurant is set to seat up to 120 people, who can all tuck into freshly-prepared breakfasts, lunches, and dinner services – with the first-floor views overlooking the lake and the giraffe enclosure.
Jamie Christon – Chief Operating Officer at Chester Zoo – said of the proposals back in 2019: “Grasslands will be a phenomenal experience and will cement Chester Zoo’s standing as one of the world’s very best attractions.
“Featuring state-of-the-art conservation breeding facilities for a range of threatened African species, Grasslands will yet again see the zoo push the boundaries of world-class animal care.
“Crucially, it will bring our vital, global conservation work to life for visitors, while boosting the zoo’s charitable income to further help achieve our mission to prevent extinction, here in the UK and around the world.”
Chester Zoo says it aims to open the lodges sometime in mid-2023.
Featured Image – Chester Zoo
Police appeal for information regarding ‘serious assault’ around Old Trafford before United game in October
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) are appealing for fresh information on a “serious assault” committed around the Old Trafford area earlier this year.
GMP issued a press release on Friday, 9 December, asking for members of the public to come forward and share any details they might have on the attack carried along Seymour Grove in Trafford around 1:30pm on 16 October 2022.
They go on to explain that “a man in his 20s was assaulted by a group of unknown males” on the way to the game at Old Trafford, adding that “it is believed that the suspects were also attending the Manchester United vs Newcastle United match.”
It remains unclear whether or not the assailants were travelling fans in town to support the away side but GMP are looking to speak to the men pictured as they may be able to help with enquiries.
As detailed in the statement, “the victim suffered a severely broken jaw, a broken nose, numerous cuts to the face, and damage to the nerves of four teeth which he is likely to need further medical treatment for.” Terrible stuff.
The authorities are continuing to investigate the Seymour Grove assault after having followed up on a number of lines of enquiry since the incident took place and are now asking for the public’s help.
Anyone with information, or anyone who may have footage/images, or can identify the men in the photos, can contact Greater Manchester Police on 101, quoting log number 1589 on 16/10/22; or, alternatively use the Live Chat service HERE.
Alternatively, information can be shared anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Featured Image — Greater Manchester Police/David Dixon (via Geograph)
Football fans call out ‘tone-deaf’ FA TikTok for mocking ‘life-threatening’ head injury
Football fans are calling out the official FA Cup TikTok account for mocking a serious head injury suffered by a Stockport County player earlier this week.
The Hatters beat Charlton Athletic in fine fashion with a 3-1 victory on Wednesday, 7 December, with Will Collar’s hattrick (the club’s first since 2019) sending them through to the next round of the cup.
However, another notable moment from the night was right back Macauley Southam-Hales’ collision with advertising hoarders after a shove from Charlton captain George Dobson.
As the likes of County fan Joel Ward wrote on Twitter, many online were quick to slam the clip for joking about an injury that hospitalised the player, the consensus being that it isn’t a “great look” for the FA.
While many reacting in the comments recognised that Dobson didn’t intend to hurt Southam-Hales by shepherding the ball out of play, the Stockport defender does hit the predominantly metal structure with some force and was left in clear discomfort following the smash.
The video itself has since been removed from the official account following the backlash but people are still reacting as the clip continues to be reshared on social media.
The clip was branded as everything from “disgusting” and “disgraceful” to “simply unbelievable”.
What’s most concerning is that despite the recent push to promote awareness surrounding concussions, brain trauma and even heading the ball – which, historically, haven’t been properly monitored in football – whoever posted the video on behalf of the FA didn’t consider the very serious nature of the incident.
As alluded to above, perhaps what makes the post even more shocking and tone-deaf is that it comes just weeks after Bath City player forward Alex Fletcher was placed in intensive care following an almost identical accident.
The 23-year-old underwent life-saving brain surgery and although he has since been discharged from the hospital, he is said to have a “long road to recovery ahead of him”.
County confirmed that despite being the all-clear pitchside, Southam-Hales was taken to the hospital as a precaution after he suffered significant swelling around the neck area. Nevertheless, as we know all too well, it could have been much worse.
As for the FA, they have now apologised for the inappropriate attempt at humour, confirming that they have removed the video from all official accounts, admitting that “it should never have been published and assuring that they will “review [their] processes to ensure this never happens again.”
You can watch the full highlights from Stockport County vs Charlton Athletic HERE but we’d recommend you watch Alan Shearer reminding everyone who plays football to be more vigilant when it comes to head injuries.