Asiatic Lion Enclosure, Chester Zoo


Chester Zoo

Project Value



  • Civil Engineering
  • Principal Designer




Caulmert Limited were appointed by Chester Zoo to design the civils and drainage works for this new £2.8m enclosure.

Our services were to prepare tender drawings and specification for the surface water and foul drainage for the Asiatic Lion Enclosure. Within this scope we undertook the following:

  • Liaison with the team regarding refinements to the current drainage strategy
  • Preparation of an updated drainage strategy should it be required for issue to LPA
  • Developing detailed proposals in consultation with the team, possibly showing surface water connecting to the existing pond, or possibly re-routed to connect to the ditch network south of the site
  • Preparation of a performance specification for the packaged pumping station
  • Preparation of tender drawings and specification using the NBS
  • Preparation of Designer’s Risk Assessment

The new area, which spans more than 4,780 square metres, is now home to three endangered 12 year old Asiatic lions, male Iblis and females Kumari and Kiburi who have relocated from their previous habitat close to Oakfield House.

Chester Zoo has had several lion enclosures over the years and the first open air enclosure was built in 1937. The latest current Asiatic Lion Habitat is 4,790 sqm and was opened to the public in 2019.The new enclosure was built for the Asiatic Lions and is part of the Zoo’s ongoing long term strategic development for the future.

Designers aimed to recreate the dry forest and savannah habitats of the Gir Forest region of India, which is home to the last surviving wild population of Asiatic lions – 650 of whom now remain in one small region of India.

The state-of-the-art facility has been created using environmentally considerate construction techniques, including climate controlled heated dens which are heated by sustainable ‘green’ energy. These are supported by fully insulated walls and roof, which will minimise power consumption to create year-round optimum conditions for the big cats.

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