Dominic Cole commissioned for Twycross Zoo landscape revamp

Twycross Zoo has commissioned Dominic Cole to re-design the zoo's landscape using a variety of techniques such as structural planting and topographical changes, to improve the environment for zoo residents and visitors alike.

A landscaped area at the zoo. Image: Twycross Zoo
A landscaped area at the zoo. Image: Twycross Zoo

Cole, best-known for his designs at the Eden Project and the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall and who was given an OBE in 2015 for services to landscape conservation, is working on a new vision for the 36-hectare garden in Leicestershire, which attracts around 500,000 visitors a year.

Although animals are the star attraction for visitors to Twycross Zoo, planting also plays an important role in creating a welcoming environment. Plants serve a range of functions at the zoo, from those grown as food, enrichment or bedding for the animals, to those which help recreate native habitat, to those that provide a pleasant backdrop for visitors to enjoy.

Cole said: "It is great to be working with the enthusiastic team at Twycross Zoo to help them 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."

Director of discovery and learning Claire Oldham said the Twycross team recognised that some of the zoo’s infrastructure, such as the landscaping, needed a refresh.

"We are delighted to be working with Dominic to make some of those improvements."

The landscaping plans are part of Twcycross Zoo’s £55 million masterplan, revealed in 2015, which aims to transform the zoo between now and 2035 into one of the region’s, and the UK’s, leading visitor attractions. Since then, new habitats Giraffe Savannah and Gibbon Forest have opened to the public.  Additional renovations and new exhibits include Lorikeet Landing, a Lemur walk-through and the Butterfly House, all of which offer visitors an immersive experience with the animals.

The zoo cares for around 150 species of animals and is home to one of the largest primate collections in Europe. It is the only place in the UK to see all four types of Great Ape: Gorilla, Orang-utan, Chimpanzee and Bonobo and a wide collection of gibbons.

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