Express & Star

Flashback to 2004: A new look, new residents and a toddler walk as Dudley Zoo gets busy

Dudley Zoo was a hive of activity as gardeners worked hard to bring a splash of colour to a site garden and a new attraction opened its doors.

Joyce Roberts cuts the ribbon to officially open the new small ape house and enclosures at Dudley Zoo.

Excitement was also building ahead of the Big Toddle fundraising walk and the zoo’s education officer was catching up with a good friend.

Head gardener, Carl Stevens, masterminded a design for a new sensory garden on the former Pets’ Corner area of the zoo.

The new garden included a mix of fragranced flowers, shrubs and herbs in raised beds.

Zoo head gardener Carl Stevens at work in the sensory garden he created

Peter Suddock, the zoo’s chief executive at the time, said: “The former Pets’ Corner area needed a revamp after we transferred our collection of small animals down to our farm section where it is much easier for visitors to have close contact with the various species.

“We decided a sensory garden would be a fantastic idea and Carl and his team set about designing an area that would be suitable for wheelchair access and also appeal to partially sighted and visually impaired visitors.

He added that Carl and his team of gardeners had come up with a mix of plants that would work throughout the seasons and was hoping to add statues to the garden later in the year.

Visitors to the zoo and castle, which opened to the public in May 1937, were also able to check out the newly-built enclosures for the spider monkeys and lemurs.