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Nowton Estate's first zoo trail is a hit with hundreds of visitors




Visiting a zoo may seem a distant dream at the moment, so one Bury St Edmunds community joined together to bring exotic animals to front gardens at the weekend.

Pandas, fish, bears and penguins of the toy variety were joined by a real-life pony and even rarer specimens – dinosaurs and unicorns – on the Nowton Estate for its first Zoo Trail.

Resident Jessica Rudd organised the event, after the idea generated huge interest on Facebook.

Animal magic: Front gardens transformed over the bank Holiday weekend on the Nowton Estate Zoo Trail. Denna Ewing finds a Yeti in her Nowton Road garden PICTURE: Andy Abbott (35286921)
Animal magic: Front gardens transformed over the bank Holiday weekend on the Nowton Estate Zoo Trail. Denna Ewing finds a Yeti in her Nowton Road garden PICTURE: Andy Abbott (35286921)

Over the bank holiday weekend 24 roads, walks and closes and more than 50 homes took part in the animal extravaganza.

A zoo map, children’s activity sheet and strict instructions not to enter enclosures or touch the animals made it an adventure, with hundreds of visitors touring the estate.

Jessica said she was ‘blown away’ by the response.

Animal magic: Front gardens transformed over the bank Holiday weekend on the Nowton Estate Zoo Trail. Seven year old Molly Adcook with her Winnie the Pooh front garden in Fallowfield Walk PICTURE: Andy Abbott (35286872)
Animal magic: Front gardens transformed over the bank Holiday weekend on the Nowton Estate Zoo Trail. Seven year old Molly Adcook with her Winnie the Pooh front garden in Fallowfield Walk PICTURE: Andy Abbott (35286872)

“The idea came from seeing Ixworth holding a zoo trail a few weeks back. I thought it was a great idea to get children and adults out doing something different while abiding by the current social distancing rules,” said Jessica.

“I used to be a children’s nanny so also understand how hard it can be to keep children entertained and find free events to attend, let alone during a world pandemic.

“Quite a few families have said they incorporated the zoo trail into their home schooling this week.”

Jessica said she was considering making it an annual event thanks to so much positive feedback.

Mark and Nikki Graham, of Caie Walk, showed Diva the real-life pony as part of the trail.

Diva is loaned from the Horse Rescue Fund, in Beccles, which rehomes ponies in need of loving families.

Tomorrow, their daughter Sofia is taking Diva for a sponsored five-mile hack in aid of the fund.

To sponsor them, go to justgiving.com/crowdfunding/SofiaAndDiva/

For more pictures, see Friday's Bury Free Press