Whipsnade’s White Lion gets a makeover

Whipsnade White Lion is being restored by ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Photo by ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
Whipsnade White Lion is being restored by ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Photo by ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Work to restore the iconic White Lion, near Dunstable, is underway, thanks to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.

The chalk lion carved into Dunstable Downs at Whipsnade Zoo has been a famous landmark since it was completed in 1933.

In recent years it has become overgrown, and despite volunteers weeding it on a regular basis, many people complained about it losing its visibility.

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo began work to restore the chalk on the White Lion on Thursday.

Owen Craft, general manager the zoo, said: “ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is beginning restoration work on the Whipsnade White Lion.

“Following the donation of more than 800 tonnes (50 lorry loads), of chalk, we are able to begin the work to resurface the iconic landmark with fresh chalk.

“Work began on Thursday, September 14 and will continue throughout the autumn.

“The zoo is incredibly proud of the Whipsnade White Lion, which has stood proudly overlooking the Dunstable Downs since 1933 and ZSL is committed to restoring the iconic Bedfordshire landmark to its original glory.”

The restoration work started with the head and will work down to the tail.

The best view of the giant 147m long lion is from the A4146 which leaves the nearby village of Dagnall. It is also visible from many other nearby villages.

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