KCC Chairman David Brazier is paying a personal visit to several of the companies and organisations which were recognised in the recent Kent Excellence in Business Awards.
Port Lympne Wild Animal Park, near Hythe, was a finalist in the Tourism & Leisure Business of the Year section and the Chairman enjoyed a tour of the park along with KCC Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Mark Dance.
Port Lympne is part of the Aspinall Foundation, the charity which carries the name of wildlife campaigner John Aspinall.
Port Lympne and its sister zoo park, Howletts, at Littlebourne, protect endangered species by importing vulnerable animal specimens into Kent, breeding and caring for them until the animals are able to return to the wild in the countries of origin.
The 600-acre site employs 500 people, cares for hundreds of animals and is one of the country’s most significant leisure destinations.
Mr Brazier said: “It was a fascinating and very informative trip to Port Lympne. I was particularly interested to hear about the Foundation’s outposts in Africa.
“It is a highly ethical business, providing a vital service in the preservation of various wildlife species.”
Bob O’Connor, the managing director of both Port Lympne and Howletts, hosted the Chairman’s visit.
Port Lympne, he said, generates the £15 million a year it needs to carry out its work from visitors’ fees, bars and restaurant, along with the hire of accommodation, much of which has views across Romney Marsh to the Channel and France.
The Chairman’s blog of his many activities can be found here: