Month: May 2014


A giraffe statue commissioned as a legacy to Colchester Zoo’s Stand Tall For Giraffes campaign will soon be settling into its new home at Lion Walk Shopping Centre.

The two-metre tall giraffe, which was designed by local school girl Lauren Connell from St Luke’s Primary in Tiptree, will be installed in early June. It follows a large-scale public art event last year (2013) that saw the zoo install more than 100 colourful giraffe statues across the county as part of its 50th birthday celebrations.

John Fleming, Lion Walk centre manager, said: “Lion Walk was lucky enough to host one of the hugely popular Stand Tall For Giraffes statues last year and we didn’t hesitate when the zoo asked if we could find a permanent home for the legacy statue. We’re looking forward to unveiling our new arrival in all her glory next month.”

The legacy statue will be called Zoe and feature a creative design reflecting several animal species supported by Colchester Zoo, including Amur Tigers and Leopards. Visitors will be able to watch local artist Jenny Leonard bringing the design to life at the zoo on Saturday 24 May and Sunday 25 May.

Alex Downing, Development Director at Colchester Zoo, said: “People have told us how much they miss the colourful Stand Tall For Giraffes statues so we’re pleased to be celebrating the campaign’s legacy with a more permanent version. As the sponsor of our lion enclosure and great supporter of the zoo as a whole, Lion Walk seemed the natural choice of location.”

The Stand Tall For Giraffes campaign raised funds and awareness for Colchester Zoo’s charity, Action for the Wild. For more information, visit


Lion Walk’s new centre manager is off to a roaring start after putting the official sponsorship of Colchester Zoo’s lion enclosure at the top of his to do list.

John Fleming, who lives in Blackheath, spent more than two decades in the Royal Military Police before starting a new career in shopping centre management several years ago.  He has been part of the Lion Walk management team since November 2013 and was appointed as centre manager last month.

The sponsorship of Colchester Zoo’s lion enclosure is John’s first big initiative as centre manager and forms a key part of his plans to strengthen Lion Walk’s existing partnerships and build new relationships within the town.

John, who is originally from the North East of England, said: “I was based at Colchester Garrison for 10 years and my children were born here, so it very much feels like home.

“Colchester has so much to offer and I’m proud to be part of one of its top shopping destinations.  By working together with the Council, other retailers and visitor attractions I believe we can make our fantastic town centre even better.

“Lion Walk and Red Lion Yard’s names have a natural synergy with Colchester Zoo and sponsoring the lion enclosure is a chance to celebrate this in a fun way.  We’ll be working in partnership throughout the year ahead and have lots of exciting plans up our sleeves.”

Colchester Zoo celebrated its 50th birthday last year with a herd of colourful giraffe statues placed around the town, including one at Lion Walk.  The zoo is delighted to be strengthening this link with the sponsorship of the lion enclosure and is looking forward to working in partnership with Lion Walk.

Colchester Zoo is home to a male African lion called Bailey and two lionesses called Malika and Naja. domain ip