THE man who wants to open a’ little zoo’ near Craven Arms says that he intends to start small.

Ashley Stanness, aged 25, who lives in Craven Arms, says that he does not want people to think that he needs a lot of land.

Initially Mr Stanness says that he is looking for someone who can rent him about and acre which is the size of a football pitch.

Mr Stanness believes that the project could be of interest to an establishment like a garden centre and be a good way of attracting more visitors.

“Ideally, I am not looking for a partnership but for someone who will rent me some land,” said Mr Stanness.

He says that the project will be funded from his own savings and that building the zoo would not be expensive as he has experience of constructing enclosures.

“We are not talking about having lions and tigers or elephants but smaller exotic creatures,” he added.

These are likely to include some of the smaller species of monkeys but there will not be any animals that would be dangerous.

Mr Stanness says that he has prepared a business plan and believes that the project would be viable.

“We would be open every day of the year apart from Christmas Day and the pricing would be such that families could afford to come,” he added.

Mr Stanness, who is qualified in animal management and worked at a zoological centre, says that he would be resident on site and there would be job opportunities for other people and the prospects of work placements for people interested in a career in zoology.

The costs would include feeding the animals and looking after their welfare.

One of the biggest costs could be vets bills but Mr Stanness says that he is qualified in giving medicine, so this would help to keep the bills down.

“It would be educational, create jobs and potentially bring more people into the area, added Mr Stanness, who says that wherever possible he would use local suppliers and keep the carbon footprint low.