Animal World was the "perfect job", says boss
THE former boss of Bolton’s Animal World has described his time at the centre in Moss Bank Park as “the perfect job.”
And Mark Lightowler, who has worked at the centre for 17 years, said that whilst he was sad to see the attraction close, he will be leaving with “many happy memories.”
Mr Lightowler, aged 41, from Barrow Bridge, has had a lifelong interest in butterflies and moths and originally started working at the Butterfly House in Queen’s Park before it was moved to the Animal World site.
He said: “I have been involved across both sites for 19 years — and that is a long time.
“Obviously I will be sad not to be involved anymore but I have so many good memories and count myself lucky to have done a job that was also a hobby of mine.”
Mr Lightowler originally wanted to be a wildlife illustrator, something he has maintained over the years — but said he has no regrets from his time at Animal World.
He added: “I couldn’t initially find work as an illustrator but I have had several exhibitions and it’s something I am hoping to do full-time now that I’ve left the job.
“But I have a major passion for butterflies and moths and the fact that I’ve been able to share that passion with thousands of visitors has been great.”
Town Hall bosses announced earlier this week that Animal World at Moss Bank Park will be shut down, along with a raft of other money-saving measures.
These include all park ranger posts removed, a reduction in full-time grass cutting posts, less street sweepers and fewer area forum meetings.
Earlier attempts to axe Animal World were scrapped in 2011 following a campaign to save it.
An action group was formed by local residents and a charge was introduced for visitors, along with increased use of volunteers.
But even with these improvements the facility is still costing the council £80,000 each year to run and so the decision has been made to close it.
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