The Heatons in Stockport was turned into a ‘pop-up zoo’ over the weekend to raise almost £7,500 for Chester Zoo.
Around 200 households created displays for the Heatons Zoo trail in aid of Chester Zoo, which had been closed during the coronavirus pandemic.
People visiting the ‘enclosures’ donated £7,444 – the largest single amount raised for the zoo’s fundraising campaign that has now hit £2.5m.
“When I saw they weren’t going to be allowed to reopen, I was crushed for them,” said organiser Amy Vose, who teaches religious education at Stretford High School.
“We are all struggling right now, but those animals still need feeding and still need care.
“I saw online that someone had organised an event on their street to raise money for Colchester Zoo
“I knew it would be something the people of the Heatons would get involved in. I love the community spirit – I am a Manc, so Chester Zoo is somewhere I go every year.
“It was a special event – people had the time to create and wanted something to focus on.”
Chester Zoo opened its gates this week after being closed for three months, losing an estimated £5m during the coronavirus pandemic.
It is one of the largest zoos in the country and home to more than 35,000 animals.
A Chester Zoo spokesperson said: “The love, the passion and the energy shown by so many people all over the UK has completely humbled us.
“We’ve been shown overwhelming kindness when times are hard for everyone, not just us, and we’re incredibly grateful to those fundraising on our behalf.
“People and communities have been so incredibly innovative in their efforts – not least the wonderful people of the Heatons.
“Each and every fundraiser is an inspiration and is making a real difference.
“This fight is far from over for us, even though we’re now open again, but we will keep doing everything we can to save our zoo.”
The Heatons Zoo exhibits are now being stored away and will be used at nurseries and care homes after the coronavirus crisis.