A THEME park and zoo has announced its involvement in the acquisition and protection of an important area of tropical forest in Tanzania.

Following on from Flamingo Land’s Udzungwa Forest Project (UFP), the company has managed to reach agreement to create a 26 square km nature reserve, with other groups including the Tanzania Forest Conservation Group, Tanzanian Government, Rainforest Trust, World Land Trust, Aage V Jensen Foundation, four local villages and a sugar company.

The reserve will protect a vitally important forest and a unique species community found nowhere else in the world.

Gordon Gibb, Flamingo Land’s owner, said: “This is the culmination of my life’s work and passion and that of the company, Flamingo Land.”

UFP began life 12 years ago after Mr Gibb expressed an interest to the University of York to begin an environmental and conservation project with world-wide importance.

Although Flamingo Land and the University of York have been delighted with the success of UFP where, through the course of research, two new species have been identified not previously known to the world, it was never anticipated that forest annexation could be achieved.

The Magombera Forest will now be researched and protected for future generations.