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Greater Manchester could be getting its first zoo in 45 years with flamingos and meerkats

Manchester’s only zoo closed down back in 1971

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Hopwood Hall College

Plans are in place to open Greater Manchester’s first zoo in over forty-five years, complete with flamingos, meerkats and owls.

Nearly a decade ago, Hopwood Hall College created livestock and horticultural zones at its Middleton Campus in order to offer an animal management education course unique within the city region.

And now, it plans to open up to the public and expand its animal enclosures, creating the region’s first zoo since the Belle Vue Zoological Gardens, which closed in 1977.

It is hoped that by opening the enclosures to the public and running the eight-acre site commercially, the college will bring in enough cash to maintain the facility for educational purposes.

The expansion will see the college host events such as birthday parties and school visits, as well as ‘animal experiences’ with creatures such as meerkats, flamingos and owls.

Planning papers submitted to Rochdale council read: “The college sees this offering as a really positive thing in the community with social value providing a unique offering to the community as well as inspiring younger people to get into the associated courses and careers with animals.

“Its unique offering as an educational facility in this area of expertise gives a real USP [unique selling point] to the borough and attraction of students.”

The documents add that the facility also offers a great resource for student and staff wellbeing due to its green space and the opportunity to interact with animals.

The documents continue: “The college has found this has a really positive impact on the college’s users beyond just the course students.”

Original plans for a ‘Manchester Zoo’ covering more than 150 acres of land around the college were revealed to the public back in 2020 with council support.

However, these plans were repeatedly delayed thanks to financial difficulties. 

Visit the Hopwood Hall College website for more information on its animal academy. 

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Northern housing estate so rough bus drivers were forced to stop going there

The services were fully suspended over the weekend following a spate of antisocial behaviour

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Google Maps & Eddie / Flickr

A northern housing estate became so plagued with anti-social behaviour that bus drivers were told to avoid stopping there.

Two bus routes through the Swarcliffe Estate in Leeds were cancelled earlier in the year after teenagers reportedly targeted the vehicles and passengers with stones and rocks. 

In a social media statement, First West Yorkshire announced that the 40 and 56 services would be avoiding the estate in both directions, citing ‘attempted vandalism’. 

The tweet thread read: “SERVICE UPDATE – 40/56. Due to attempted vandalism, we are diverting away from the Swarcliffe Estate in both directions.

“So sorry for any issues this may cause on your journey.

“This will be in place until the end of service this evening. This is for the safety of both our drivers and passengers. I am sorry for the disruption caused.”

Read More: One of the world’s deadliest snakes found on industrial estate in Salford

In a post on Facebook, Councillor Jessica Lennox, of Cross Gates and Whinmoor ward, addressed the vandalism, confirming that the 40 and 56 buses would be diverting around the area ‘as a result of some serious vandalism that took place earlier’. 

Mtaylor848 / Wikimedia Commons

Residents have previously spoken about how they ‘live in fear’ on the estate, saying intimidating anti-social behaviour is becoming worse.

One local teenager told Leeds Live of the youths who vandalised the buses: “They throw stones and break the buses whenever they come down here. I wasn’t surprised.

“Just the other day I saw three buses stopped at the bottom of the estate because they all had glass smashed everywhere. It had gone over a nearby mum and her pram.

“If you see a big group of people anywhere around here you turn around and go the other way.”

Google Maps

Her grandmother added: “Stones are always thrown at buses around here as there’s nothing for the kids to do… It’s really bad where big groups gather around the Co-Op.

“My grandson lives around the corner and he’s been attacked twice. We don’t really go out at night, and would use a taxi if we did. It’s not nice for the drivers or the passengers.”

Another resident, Keith Pettman, told the outlet that the estate was suffering major issues with antisocial behaviour, saying: “There’s some youths on the estate that are a little rowdy.

“They mess about with bikes and things like all bored teenagers do but I know they get in the way of buses and people.

“There’s definitely vandals around that will smash a few things up every so often. The field also gets ripped up and recently a load of dustbins got set on fire.”

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Pub chain giving away FREE pints to anyone with one of these 50 surnames

Are you on the list?

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Greene King

England’s World Cup campaign got off to a flying start yesterday with a convincing 6-2 win over Iran.

Our Welsh neighbours – who are also in Group B with us – managed a draw with the USA, thanks to a late Gareth Bale penalty.

But goals aren’t the only thing to celebrate this World Cup, as a pub chain is giving away FREE pints to lucky fans who have one of 50 surnames.

Gerald England / Geograph

Greene King is dishing out a free drink to anyone who has the same surname as a player in either the England or Wales squads.

If you have one of the lucky last names, you can claim a pint on the house at any point during an England or Wales game.

All you have to do is head to a participating Greene King pub with your driving licence or passport to prove your name.

Anyone with one of these 50 surnames can claim the free pint: 

Hennessey
Ward
Davies
Cabango
Lockyer
Rodon
Mepham
Ampadu
Gunter
Williams
Roberts
Thomas
Allen
Smith
Levitt
Wilson
Morrell
Ramsey
Colwill
Bale
Moore
Harris
Johnson
James
Pickford
Pope
Ramsdale
Alexander-Arnold
Coady
Dier
Maguire
Shaw
Stones
Trippier
Walker
White
Bellingham
Gallagher
Henderson
Mount
Phillips
Rice
Foden
Grealish
Kane
Maddison
Rashford
Saka
Sterling
Wilson

All you need to do is head down to your nearest participating boozer and show the bar your photo ID during any England or Wales World Cup group stage game.

You can find the nearest pub to you taking part in the offer here.

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Will Ferrell appeals for spare room in North West to watch Eurovision

Got any room for Will?

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Netflix

Earlier this year it was announced that Eurovision 2023 would be held in Liverpool instead of Kiev, due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Following the news, all hotels and accommodation in the city quickly sold out – with many establishments dramatically increasing their prices in the process.

As such, finding somewhere to stay during the annual song contest has become nigh on impossible, even if you’re a Hollywood superstar like Will Ferrell. 

Will recently appealed for help in finding accommodation for next year’s Eurovision during an appearance on BBC Radio 2 to promote his new film Spirited.

The actor previously wrote and starred in the 2020 film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, playing Icelandic singer Lars Erickssong.

READ MORE: Will Ferrell’s Buddy the Elf returns to screens in new Asda Christmas advert

During the BBC interview, Zoe Ball mentioned how much she enjoyed the film, to which Will responded: “And it’s in Liverpool this year, isn’t it?”

After being asked if he wanted to go, he said: “You know my mother really wants me to take her to Eurovision, she’s dying to go and she’s always wanted to go to Liverpool.”

Will added: “But aren’t the hotels all booked now?”

After the comedian appealed for a spare room to stay in, Zoe said: “If anyone is willing to put up Will Ferrell and his mum in Liverpool or the Liverpool area during Eurovision.”

Will revealed his requirements: “We need a clean, tidy room. We’ll share a room – two bunk beds that’s all we need. I know we’re kidding but my mom would love that, she’d be thrilled.”

Eurovision 2023 will consist of two semi-finals on May 9th and 11th, before the final on May 13th.

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