Sedgley pupil leads countdown to Christmas at Dudley Zoo

Cotwall End Primary School pupil Eliza Lewis counts down to Christmas at Dudley Zoo

Staff at Dudley Zoological Gardens are coping with a busy festive season this year at the 40-acre site, helped along the way by Eliza Lewis, a pupil at Cotwall End Primary School, Sedgley.

Eliza, from Castle Hill, Dudley, was one of many young visitors to the zoo this festive season, who have all enjoyed a fun-packed day out full of Christmas cheer.
Santa’s Grotto, hosted in the grounds of the 11th century Dudley Castle, started on December 5 and runs through to Christmas Eve.
DZG’s Magical Winter Wonderland package includes zoo admission, a magical train ride, a visit to Santa in his grotto, a surprise gift and a fun-filled Christmas show.


Head of media and communications, Jill Hitchman, says: “We’ve got lots of festive fun planned across the site and Santa’s reindeer have been training in the courtyard for weeks in readiness for their busiest night of the year.”
She adds: “We’ve also taken on seasonal staff to cope with the usual festive rush to buy animal adoptions and Keeper For a Day packages which make fantastic gifts for all ages, and sales of our calendar are going well, too.”
The theme for 2012’s calendar is Baby Love, complete with images of a wide range of rare and endangered species born at DZG in the past 12 months – a bumper year for new arrivals.
Jill adds: “We’re all looking forward to a great Christmas time and exciting 2012. Next year is DZG’s 75th anniversary and we’ve lots of exciting new projects planned to mark our big birthday.”
For full details or to book Santa’s Grotto or a zoo experience visit or call 01384 215313.

Local photographer Lisa steps back in time

One of the friendly horses in the fields which run either side of Turls Hill Bridleway

Walking down this tranquil country lane, pausing to look at the horses in the rolling fields which lie either side, it’s hard to believe this bridleway is only a short distance from the stream of traffic on Tipton Road.

The Turls Hill bridleway, which local historians believe dates back to before 1600, was restored to its former glory in spring 2009, after The Woodsetton Charitable Trust secured more than £90,000 in grants for land drainage, surface reinstatement, fencing and hedge cultivation.

It runs along the boundary between the old villages of Woodsetton and Ettingshall.

Last winter, local photographer Lisa Wilkes captured this historic route in a series of impressive shots which show the landscape in all its frozen beauty.

She says: “The restoration of this bridleway is superb and the cold conditions last winter made for some great sunsets. I’m looking forward to getting down there again soon to capture all the wonderful colours of autumn.”

As well as Turls Hill bridleway, Sedgley-based Lisa has also captured come of the area’s other historic sites, including Himley Hall and Dudley Castle, taken while she attended one of the town’s famous ghost tours.

Are you a keen local photographer? Send your pics to us at and we’ll feature them on the site.

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