THE South Lakes Safari Zoo has announced that they will be making 'a formal complaint' to Barrow Borough Council after the animal park was ordered to close its wooden walkways on safety grounds.

In a statement issued on their Facebook page, the zoo claims that the council has used a 'heavy-handed approach'.

The zoo, which is due to close its doors to the public on January 9, was served with a Directive Order from the council to repair several wooden walkways within 28 days or face legal action.


But a recent statement from the zoo's management committee says: "We had all the wooden walkways inspected by two surveyors/structural engineers on Monday, December 21.

"They confirmed verbally that all walkways were safe, they had no immediate issues and they were built to the correct standards applied by the engineers who structurally designed and assessed them previously. 

"There will be a report produced highlighting that newer standards are now in operation since they were built and a few of the walkways may need to be strengthened to comply with that particular newer standard. 

"However we stress the old standard is an extremely high loading standard.

"We are very happy to report this as we did not have any concerns about the structures.

"There were no grounds to close the structures or issue Directive Orders to the zoo. It could all have been done amicably and in defined time frames. 

"This is why we are lodging a formal complaint to the council regarding the heavy-handed approach and the underlying reasons for continuing use of legal orders instead of working together to achieve joint aims."

Despite the zoo's impending closure, bosses have issued a further statement saying anybody who has bought a Keeper for the Day experience or other animal experiences will still be able to fulfil their purchase.

The statement went on to say: "There is no change to the management's decision to close. A strategy plan to place all the animals is taking shape and we should be able to re home most of the animals within six months."