High pods are set to open up a new market for hilltop zoo

EIGHT “luxury camping pods” are being planned at Whipsnade Zoo as charity chiefs aim to make it a year-round attraction.

The Lookout Lodge pods are set to open up a new market for the 80 year-old hilltop attraction.

“Everything we do has mission overlay,” said Zoological Society of London (ZSL) director David Field. He explained that the zoo wants to give visitors experiences that turn them into champions of Whipsnade and to reconnect people with nature.

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Mr Field became a champion of nature at a very young age and wants other people to have experiences that do the same for them.

ZSL aims to put 10 per cent of its turnover into conservation efforts around the world. In a good year that can add up to £10million.

Also on the cards this year are a sophisticated indoor play area and refurbishment of the sealion enclosure as the zoo aims to give visitors more of what they want from a day out in the Chilterns.

Last year, some 500,000 people went through the zoo’s gates, with more than ever during the warmer than average winter months.

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“We want to encourage people to visit the zoo throughout the year, not just during bank holidays in August,” said Mr Field. He added that by encouraging people to make repeat visits, its conservation efforts can continue into the long term.

> See our video interview with David Field at www.hemeltoday.co.uk/news/business