Shropshire Star

A 'zoo' with a difference helping endangered animals

A sculpture trail with a metallic difference has been launched in Shropshire.

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Colin Chapman and Will Spalding from Croesoswallt Archery on the trail

The British Ironwork Centre near Oswestry is now home to The Extinction Trail, a large, open area that contains a wide range of metal sculptures depicting some of the world's most endangered animal species.

Huge sculptures of animals including rhinos and gorillas tower about the countryside.

Visitors can meander through the trail reading about each animal and using their smart phones and a special QR code to find out more about them and how to help conservation efforts.

Links take visitors to charities dedicated to saving endangered species.

Becca Davies and Chris Nadin following the map guiding them around the trail
Alice Turnbull and Joanne Jones take a selfie on the trail

The trail has been specially built as wheelchair- and pushchair-friendly.

Chairman of the British Ironwork Centre, Mr Clive Knowles, said: "Sadly, many of the world's most incredible animals are under a constant threat to their survival, caused by the effects of an expanding human population.

"Whether this be through poaching, deforestation or global climate change, humans are having a devastating effect on our wildlife.

"In a bid to raise awareness of the needs of these magnificent animals, we have created the Extinction Trail as a form of ethical zoo, to bring attention to the needs of these animals and what we can do to help prevent them from extinction without keeping them in captivity. "

He said visiting the trail was an ideal outdoor activity to keep visitors safe.