Seven-year-old Lancaster cousins cycle 81 miles to help save Chester Zoo

Two seven-year-olds are cycling the equivalent of Lancaster to Chester Zoo to help raise money after hearing of the zoo's financial problems.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Tuesday, 9th June 2020, 12:30 pm
Evelyn Hargreaves and cousin Harris Smith pictured at Chester Zoo.
Evelyn Hargreaves and cousin Harris Smith pictured at Chester Zoo.

Chester Zoo announced last week that it is suffering as a result of being forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic.

And Harris Smith and his cousin Evelyn Hargreaves were so upset that they decided to do something to help.

The cousins are very close, born just five weeks apart, and have been visiting the zoo since they were two years old.

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Part of Evelyn's letter explaining why she wants to save Chester Zoo.

Every year as a family, including grandparents and great grandad, they would holiday near Chester and visit Chester Zoo.

Harris's mum Danielle said: "We have many happy memories of our visits, and we have many teddies at home to prove it!

"Since Great Grandad died in 2018, we have continued to visit to help his memory live on as well as spending quality family time together in an amazing environment.

"On hearing the news that Chester Zoo may have to close, Harris and Evelyn have decided that they would like to do everything they can to help save the precious animals and all the staff from potential closure.

Evelyn during one of her bike rides.

"From where we live, Chester Zoo is 81 miles so Harris and Evelyn have decided to ride their bikes each day for two weeks and cover the 81 miles.

"We hope that people will sponsor them in aid of this good cause to help save Chester Zoo. It is a magical place and they want to try and help."

Harris and Evelyn have also written their own heartfelt messages in a bid to encourage people to donate.

Harris, who lives in Lancaster and goes to Ellel St John’s CE Primary School, wrote: "We go every year and it reminds me of my grandad. My favourite animal is a monkey."

Harris during one of his bike rides.

Evelyn, who lives in Halton and attends Torrisholme Community Primary School, wrote: "I would like to raise money for Chester Zoo because if we don't they will close down and I will lose my friends."

Evelyn’s parents have made them both a ‘Save Chester Zoo’ flag for their bikes, and they plan to paint their faces while riding at the weekend to help spread the word.

The pair have so far raised more than £1,300 in just a few days, smashing their £200 target.

"It's an unbelievable response, they are absolutely ecstatic," Danielle said.

Part of Harris's letter explaining why she wants to save Chester Zoo.

"They are truly learning that they can and are making a difference to our world."

To donate to Harris and Evelyn's fundraising page, go online here

Evelyn during one of her bike rides.