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Jumbo project for Garside Sands

Centre for Elephant Care

Aggregate Industries division helps create comfy new home for elephant herd at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

GARSIDE Sands have successfully supplied 957 tonnes of natural sand to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, Dunstable, as part of a £2 million investment in the zoo’s new Centre for Elephant Care.

Officially opened by HM The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at a grand ceremony on 11 April, the Centre has been custom-designed and constructed by Sutton Construction to provide a luxurious indoor living space for the zoo’s largest residents.

Set amidst 20 acres of rolling paddocks, the Centre features a number of special elephant-friendly features – including a 1m deep soft sand flooring for maximum comfort.

Having worked with Aggregate Industries for a number of years, the business’ Garside Sands division was the first choice of sand supplier for Milton-Keynes based Sutton Construction.

The Garside team, based in Leighton Buzzard, were able to fulfil the requirement for a large quantity of natural sand with high silica content for durability and cleanliness.

As a further benefit, the chosen sand is self-draining, helping to eradicate animal urine and optimize hygiene measures.

Now complete, the result is a comfortable, safe dwelling place for the Zoo’s nine-strong herd of Asian elephants, which includes nine-month-old baby, Elizabeth.

Born just before HM The Queen’s official 90th birthday celebrations, zookeepers named the female calf in honour of Her Majesty.

Clive Martin, commercial manager at Garside Sands, commented: ‘With traditional zoological landscaping supplies of this nature, the choice of sand has an important part to play, both in helping the animals feel at home but also creating a safe, sturdy environment which can withstand outdoor conditions.

‘As a business with a wealth of experience in this field, we were thrilled to help ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in creating the perfect new dwelling place for its elephant residents.’

Owen Craft, general manager at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, said: ‘Our new Centre for Elephant Care has been designed and created to represent ZSL’s commitment to providing the best home for our Asian elephant herd.

‘It was, therefore, vital to ensure we had a sand specialist that could not only provide such a large quantity of sand within a short time frame, but also deliver the high-quality level of sand that is required to provide the elephants with optimum comfort.’

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