AN animal park has closed its doors after 30 years blaming council health and safety rules.

Mistley Place Park in New Road, Mistley has permanently closed the animal park part of the site after being told significant upgrades were needed to refurbish the animal enclosures and walkways.

A board was been put up outside the park saying it was closed

It said: “This is due to Tendring Council health and safety insisting that we cannot reopen until we have, amongst other things, replaced, with new, the existing animal and bird buildings, which we cannot afford.”

The park has a variety of birds as well as pigs, rabbits, ducks, ferrets, geese, chickens and goats.

It has regularly taken in rescue animals and at times unwanted former pets have been thrown over the fence.

There is a tearoom on the site, which will stay open, and the owners Mike and Maureen Taylor also run a dog rescue.

But after 30 years of being open to the public, the animal park will be closed for good.

It is believed the council had asked for new enclosures to be built and concrete pathways as well as changes to the site so animals cannot free roam but the public can access some areas with animals in.

Previously geese, chickens and ducks were allowed constant access to all public areas.

Residents took to Facebook after the announcement and a crowdfunding page was set up with hopes of funding the new enclosures. The aim was to raise £500 and within two days £380 had been donated.

But a statement was posted from the park to say the owners have decided to retire due to old age, ill health and circumstances.

Tendring Council was not available for comment.