Welcome to Suffolk’s newest pop-up zoo

A hippo and children outside Sophie Allen's house in Long Melford.Picture: SOPHIE ALLEN

A hippo and children outside Sophie Allen's house in Long Melford.Picture: SOPHIE ALLEN - Credit: Archant

Colchester Zoo has been desperately struggling to fund the feeding and care of its animals during the coronavirus crisis - so a village has created its own pop-up attraction to raise money.

Long Melford in Suffolk is now home to a sprawling map of zoo ‘animals’ made from cardboard boxes, toys and paintings, who live on display in front gardens across the village.

Sarah Boxhall was inspired to organise the project after a primary school teacher in the nearby village of Acton started it to raise cash to donate towards the upkeep of Colchester Zoo – frequented by many of the parents and children.

“The villagers have been great,” Ms Boxhall admitted. “I’m really, really chuffed with it and we’ve had messages from elderly residents saying how lovely it is to see the children out and about.

“There’s a real community spirit.”

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The mum has lived in the village for more than a decade with her partner Ben and their five-year-old daughter Emily, who loves going to the zoo.

As well as organising the project she has also created a map of all the attractions and said many residents are using their daily walks to wander around a see all of the different animals.

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She added: “We have also worked with the Long Melford Primary School and the children of key workers who go there have got involved in the project too and have helped out which is lovely for them to be included.”

The children at the primary school have assisted by making information signs to accompany each ‘enclosure’ with details about the animal inside.

The giraffe enclosure outside Samantha Bull's house in Long Melford. Picture: SAMANTHA BULL

The giraffe enclosure outside Samantha Bull's house in Long Melford. Picture: SAMANTHA BULL - Credit: Archant

The JustGiving page has now raised £215 as well as cash pots at each attraction – the fundraising page will close on Friday May 22.

Penguins outside Sarah Bardley's house in Long Melford. Picture: SARAH BRADLEY

Penguins outside Sarah Bardley's house in Long Melford. Picture: SARAH BRADLEY - Credit: Archant

A giraffe and children outside Zoe Gobbold's house in Long Melford. Picture: ZOE GOBBOLD

A giraffe and children outside Zoe Gobbold's house in Long Melford. Picture: ZOE GOBBOLD - Credit: Archant

Rockhopper and Emperor penguins outside Leanne Copping's house in Long Melford. Picture: LEANNE COP

Rockhopper and Emperor penguins outside Leanne Copping's house in Long Melford. Picture: LEANNE COPPING - Credit: Archant

An elephant stands watch outside Jane Burch's house in Long Melford. Picture: JANE BURCH

An elephant stands watch outside Jane Burch's house in Long Melford. Picture: JANE BURCH - Credit: Archant

Flamingos lounging in the pool outside Joanna Gray's house in Long Melford. Picture: JOANNA GRAY

Flamingos lounging in the pool outside Joanna Gray's house in Long Melford. Picture: JOANNA GRAY - Credit: Archant

Watch out for the crocodiles outside Chris Tonks' house in Long Melford. Picture: CHRIS TONKS

Watch out for the crocodiles outside Chris Tonks' house in Long Melford. Picture: CHRIS TONKS - Credit: Archant

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