31 Mar 2015
One misty morning on site

Each day sees another roof tile being added, another wall going up or another tree being planted. We’ve seen it transform from a building site to the beginning of a tropical environment.

Seeing the plans that were put down on paper a few years ago quickly becoming a reality is thrilling! You almost can’t keep up as there’s something new each time you look. The pieces are coming together nicely and each day brings us closer to South East Asia, and the opening of Islands at Chester Zoo.

Since our last site update in December the teams have made huge progress with the planting of 42,000 plants and trees across the site. This has completely changed the landscape, and it’s turning into a lush tropical environment before our very eyes. And with the blue skies above on these latest photos you could mistake it for South East Asia – well, almost!

The Monsoon Forest is no longer as noticeable as it begins to disappear into the landscape; which is impressive to see how something so big can almost hide amongst trees and scenery.

Looking towards the Monsoon Forest from Panay

As you make your way around the site you really get the feeling that you’re island hopping! A crucial part in transporting you to another place is the detailed theming, from the bridges to the rock work.

The attention to detail in Islands is remarkable, and to see it come together is spectacular.

The Lazy River Boat Trip, which will travel around each of the islands, has seen some big developments in the past month. Fitting the boat cable was one of the many challenging tasks that the team have had to tackle.

The cable, which measures 500 metres long and weighs almost half a tonne, will be used to pull 14 boats that weigh over 11 tonnes and carry up to 238 visitors at any one time around the river.

As installing it was no mean feat and was such a specialised job, we required the help from an expert to help the team connect it all up to the mechanical wheels. And as you can see on the photos, Chester Zoo staff had to battle against the elements and get knee deep in water and mud!

Our passion and determination keeps us going through rain and shine ready for you to set off on your own wildlife expedition and make extraordinary discoveries, every day.

Tell us what you think about the latest pictures and also what you’re looking forward to most about Islands.