A trip to the zoo has enabled students to learn more about jobs and careers in construction. Year 9 pupils from Ysgol Bryn Elian, Colwyn Bay, and students from Grŵp Llandrillo Menai visited Wynne Construction’s £1m Silk Road project at the Welsh Mountain Zoo. For the college students, it also supported their studies for the BTEC level 3 construction management course.
Wynne Construction is currently mid-way through the build of the Silk Road in Colwyn Bay, which is set to be open to the public in at the start of May. The new site will see a complete redesign of the zoo’s snow leopard enclosure to become a representation of the mountainous regions in which this endangered species lives.
Designed to offer visitors a nose to nose visual experience through glass, the Silk Road not only gives a new home to the snow leopards but delves far deeper into the natural habitat and the wider environment in which these majestic creatures live.
Wynne Construction contracts manager, Graham Dickson, and site manager, Matt Edwards, showed the group around the site to explain the finer details of the project including plans and the challenges involved with the location of the new enclosure on the hillside.
They observed the groundworkers and surveying team calculating ground levels before continuing with the work.
Alison Hourihane, business and community development manager at Wynne Construction, said: “We work very closely with the local schools and colleges to educate and encourage pupils and students to have an interest in the construction sector.
“In particular we are keen to support activities that may encourage girls to consider construction as a career. We also highlight that there are many roles within the industry and visiting a live site can offer a different insight into the industry and also support their studies.”
Jennifer Jesse, administration and operations director at the Welsh Mountain Zoo, explained: “Silk Road is a really interesting, unique project and presents a fairly unusual construction concept compared to more traditional sites.
“We’re incredibly excited to see the site take shape and are pleased to be able to share progress with these students whilst helping them understand and learn more about the mechanics of a live site.”
Opened in 1963, the zoo was recognised in 2008 as the National Zoo of Wales. In the trusteeship of the National Zoological Society of Wales, it is making an increasingly important contribution to the conservation work of zoos nationally and worldwide.