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New entrance helps visitors welcome new arrivals

WOBURN SAFARI PARK

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EARLIER THIS YEAR, ahead of the busy summer season, the entrance to Woburn Safari Park in Bedfordshire underwent a major redevelopment. The extensive construction project saw the old ticket lanes and office building demolished, with modern booths taking their place and a larger admissions office built alongside them. The additional ticket lane booths will speed up entrance to the park for visitors, particularly on busy days such as on bank holidays. The new wooden structures have created a warmer and more inviting welcome, while maintaining the overall safari feel of the park. A dedicated coach lane was also created, enabling a smoother admission process for large groups of visitors. New visitor toilets were also built at the end of the main admissions building, adding to those adjacent to the iconic stone lions at the entrance to the Road Safari.

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The new facility features a curved standing seam roof design made of steel and timber, following the contours of the building. During this project, the contractors also managed to recycle oak from the park. It was used on the oak posts and fascia around the building. Inside the admissions office, staff enjoy larger and brighter working spaces, complete with a spacious reception area, dedicated kitchen and staff toilet. The waiting area is perfect for the park’s ‘VIP Experience’ guests, who can enjoy footage of the park’s animals on the reception video screen while they wait. Speaking of the project, managing director Drew Mullin said: “This project was created with both visitors and staff in mind, and has resulted in a welcoming and pleasant experience for both. We have already received overwhelming positive feedback on the new entrance to the park.” The new buildings were erected by main contractor RPL Construction as a design and build contract. According to RPL’s managing director Nick Lamb: “It was always a challenge to hand back the project in time for the new season, but we managed to achieve that, even with the site staying open for the public and normal work continuing.” Excellent communications between the representatives of the park and the contractors enabled the project to run smoothly in the public areas, while allowing the park to remain open. Said Nick: “We are very pleased how the project has been delivered to the client and the overall look of the building.” The new, modern facility, with its state-of-the art electrics and data cabling, was a timely addition to the park’s offering, with visitors thrilled by a host of births. “The summer baby boom has continued at Woburn Safari Park, with new arrivals popping up all across the safari,” the park announced. The new faces included baby alpacas – known as crias – Asian shortclawed otter pups, scimitar-horned oryx calves and the first ankole calf to be born at Woburn Safari Park in nearly 30 years. q

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