16 Oct 2019 | Posted In Community, Projects

The North West Civil Engineering team at Harry Fairclough has completed one of its most unique projects yet; the build of an expansive new habitat to support the preservation of endangered Asiatic Lions at Chester Zoo.

The specially designed enclosure is inspired by the Gir National Park region of India, which is home to the last surviving wild population of fewer than 500 Asiatic Lions. The state-of-the-art new lion habitat features hill-top viewing points for the lions to survey their savannah, as well as heated rocks, a water hole and sandy beach area. The multi-million-pound investment in new animal habitats is part of a major long-term plan to transform the zoo into spectacular zones, inspired by the global regions where the zoo’s conservationists work.

The Harry Fairclough team was appointed as Principal Contractor on the project and works began to construct the new enclosure in January 2019. The scope of works involved the installation of a 4000m2 paddock, new lion building, and associated area including keeper facilities, a separate education building, and public access and viewing areas tied into the existing zoo facilities.

Dan Sparks, Project Manager at Harry Fairclough comments: “We are proud to have been involved in this major conservation project for Chester Zoo and to have played a part in securing a future for this endangered species. As Principal Contractor on site it was our job to plan, manage and co-ordinate all work during the construction phase and ensure that any hazards were identified and risks controlled. We liaised closely with all other contractors and the consultant design team on a daily basis, enabling us to keep the client constantly updated with progress on-site. It’s not every day you get to build a Lion’s Den and for us as a business it’s a very exciting project for us to be a part of.”

The Asiatic Lions are currently settling in to their new surroundings and the enclosure will open to the public later this month. See BBC Breakfast’s report on what the impact of the new enclosure will be HERE.