A fantastic year-round family attraction, zoo and nature centre could be moving to Stratford to boost the town’s tourist attractions if its exciting plans are given the go ahead.
All Things Wild, which features a wide range of animals, a dinosaur experience, and indoor and outdoor soft play areas, has been based in Honeybourne near Evesham for seven years.
The all-weather centre is putting forward plans to Stratford-upon-Avon District Council to move its operations and expand its facilities to Willicote Farm & Equestrian Centre in Campden Road, Clifford Chambers, at a site owned by Warwick-based property development and investment company AC Lloyd Strategic Land. The application will seek to change the use of the existing farming/equestrian use to leisure use.
Nigel Ford from All Things Wild said this would be a great opportunity to attract more visitors and boost Stratford’s economy.
“We have been searching for a suitable new home for the last four years because in order for the business to survive, we need to expand and attract more visitors. This is not an option at our current base due to surrounding land uses,” he said.
“We are currently situated on a 28-acre site and if we receive planning permission, we will be leasing an 80-acre site so we will be able to significantly increase our range of attractions along with our visitor centre and animal exhibits.
“At the moment, we attract around 100,000 visitors annually but our aim is to at least double that which we are confident could be achieved since we will be able to attract families who are visiting Stratford due to the improved location.”
Des Wynne, managing director at AC Lloyd Strategic Land, said this proposal would extend Stratford’s leisure offering for families.
He said: “All Things Wild is a rural enterprise which is seeking planning permission to move five miles away from Worcestershire to Warwickshire to meet the growing needs of its business.
“We have entered into an option agreement for All Things Wild to initially lease the land in Clifford Chambers with an option to buy in the future.
“Moving to Stratford would mean All Things Wild would be able to tap into a larger tourist market which, in turn, would boost the town’s economy and add to the mix of attractions. The move would see the existing 42 jobs retained as well as the creation of more jobs in the future.”
AC Lloyd intends to promote the existing All Things Wild site for housing development, through the current review of the South Worcestershire Development Plan.
Des added: “We have secured an option to purchase their brownfield site at Honeybourne which could be a very sustainable site for housing including affordable homes.”