10th May 2021

An article published on Friday reported that plans to develop a beautiful green space in Rochdale into zoo fallen into disarray, but is this really the end of the awful Manchester Zoo project?

Planning consultancy firm Barton Willmore has been unable to contact the person proposing the new zoo, Johnpaul Houston, and has since filed a winding-up petition against Manchester Zoo Commercial, the company set up to manage the zoo. Houston's absence has reportedly been ongoing for over a year.

Freedom for Animals understands that the planned 100-acre site is located near to Hopwood Hall, bordering the busy M62. It is not yet known whether the site includes the Hopwood Woods Nature Reserve, which consists of a number of small woodlands located around Hopwood Hall. Of these, Lord’s Wood is an ancient woodland, as well as being a Grade A Site of Biological Importance.

Freedom for Animals' Director, Sam Threadgill commented:

I sincerely hope that this news does mark the end for this absurd plan to incarcerate wild animals in Greater Manchester. Freedom for Animals will be keeping a close eye on any developments and will oppose any plans to construct a new zoo.