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UoN students join Animal Rebellion to protest the opening of new animal sanctuary in Notts

Campaigners fear that the site will impact local wildlife, amongst concerns for the endangered animals that will be kept there


Students from University of Nottingham’s Vegetarian and Vegan Society, VegSoc, joined campaigners from Animal Rebellion at a protest against proposed plans for Trowell Animal Sanctuary.

The demonstration took place last night, on Wednesday 1st February at 6.30pm, outside Broxtowe Borough Council’s offices in Beeston, with the aim of encouraging the councillors to reject the project.

It is proposed that the animal sanctuary will be built on land in nearby Trowell, with the plan having been submitted to the borough council on behalf of Reece Oliver, who keeps lions at his family home in Strelley Village.

If the project is approved then guests staying at the site, named Broxtowe Retreat, will be able to wine and dine at a themed spa and restaurant whilst enjoying the view of rescued, endangered animals.

Campaigners held placards that read “protect our wildlife” and “no new zoos” and voiced concerns over the animals that will be kept at the sanctuary. Tom, from Animal Rebellion, said that “using resources to build on a floodplain doesn’t make sense.” He added: “Proposals would wipe out the local wildlife already there, which should be enhanced and protected.”

Mr Oliver has previously said that the project would be a “shining example” of environmental design. He also said that he would ensure everything possible would be done to support the local wildlife.

Hasan Nisar, President of VegSoc, said: “Zoo animals don’t want to be kept in captivity. There’s a big element of cruelty in keeping wild animals captive.

“Some of these animals can travel hundreds of miles a day in the wild yet won’t have that freedom at the sanctuary.”

The Tab Nottingham contacted Reece Oliver to respond to the comments made in the article. He said: “If approved, the wildlife park in Trowell will provide an amazing habitat for endangered and rescued animals and will also be a shining example of environmentally responsible, conscientious and sympathetic design.

“We’re delighted to offer a new use to the former forge site turned cow-field, that will enhance its remaining natural features and preserve its flood characteristics whilst also boosting the local economy in a carbon-negative, energy-positive and fully-sustainable way.

“I don’t believe in keeping animals in captivity – I’d love to live in a world where wild animals don’t need saving and where species aren’t endangered, but until this becomes the reality I’m going to do everything I possibly can to support wildlife rescue and conservation. That’s what this application is all about.

“Our application features extensive use of solar panels to generate more energy than the site consumes, ground-source heat-pumps for super-efficient heating and cooling, and water.”

The Tab Nottingham has contacted Reece Oliver for comment. 

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