A KIND-HEARTED animal lover has raised money for Colchster Zoo after he sold calendars to provide extra funds for the popular attraction.

Web developer Steven Hardy, 29, created a Colchester Zoo Calendar for 2022.

As an avid animal photographer and zoo gold pass member, Steven regularly takes snaps of the animals when he visits, which he used for the calendar.

Steven published his first zoo calendar in 2020 for last year, when there were fears the site could be forced to close because of the pandemic.

After a successful first batch of sales, he decided to repeat the feat and make another calendar for this year, to raise more profits for what is one of his favourite places to visit.

READ MORE >> Animal photographer creates zoo calendars to help boost their funding

He said: “With the pandemic still lingering and the cost of running the zoo at about £26,000 a day, I decided that I would run another calendar.

“The reason for doing this is totally to raise money for Colchester Zoo and I really enjoyed doing it.”

This year, Steven raised £500 for the zoo and sold 102 calendars.

He said: “It went really well, people were asking for it after last year’s success, and I had regular customers come back this time around.

“As this is the second year, I have done it, and I raised around £500, which combined with the last time out, it is over £2,000 raised.

“It was less than the year before but obviously Covid did not help, but any money raised is a huge help, and it just means I have to beat it next time.”

Steven continues his regular photography visits to the zoo and hopes to do more to help them in the future.

He said: “I would definitely want to the calendars again, the feedback this time around has been great.

“As soon as I put the grand total out, people were asking for more, which is lovely.

“I just want to do anything I can do to help raise money for the zoo.”