After thousands of years away, bears are set to return to ancient woodlands on the outskirts of Bristol.
A new £5m scheme at Wild Place Project will house the European brown bears in a new seven and a half acre enclosure which visitors will be able to walk through alongside a raised path that will wind its way through the trees.
Five European grey wolves already at Wild Place Project, Bristol Zoo’s sister organisation, will be moved to a new home in Bear Wood which they will share with the bears as well as lynx and wolverine.
If planning is approved for Bear Wood and its cafe, classroom and interpretation space, work is expected to begin on the project this summer with it due to open at Easter 2019.
Wild Place head of operations Nigel Simpson said: “We are literally making history with this amazing project and giving our visitors a chance to step back in time.
“We will transport people back in time to when the woodland was inhabited by bears, lynx, wolves and wolverine and take people through time showing the effects of woodland loss on our native animals.
“Bear Wood is about conservation of woodland. It is a story of what was, where we are now and what is still at stake.”