YOU NEED more than a day to see everything at Chester Zoo.

So with the addition of the massive Islands expansion you might as well set up a tent in a nearby field and return the next day.

Maybe the zoo bosses could help by setting up some African-style huts with a view overlooking the rhino, a giraffe or monkey enclosures?

Joking aside, it would certainly relieve the exhaustion that comes with a visit to what is surely the biggest, most animal-packed attraction the North.

I’m not knocking the place, for a visit to Chester Zoo is always worthwhile with lots of memorable moments (depending which animals are in the mood for letting you see them).

I just wished I lived nearer so I could make more regular visits with bite-sized excursions, rather than trying desperately to see everything in one go.

Chester Zoo has grown and grown over the years since, as seen in the BBC drama My Zoo, it was set up in the grounds of Oakfield House.

The mansion and gardens that formed the basis of the original zoo are still there, at one end, with the Lions in residence nearby.

You can set up in several different directions from there, easily getting lost despite the map, finding new corners of wild and wondrous nature amidst the big attractions.

Which brings me to Islands, launched with great fanfare in 2015 on new 15-acre piece of sticking out from the main zoo.

The aim was to depict wildlife on six tropical islands, combining creatures from Chester’s existing collections with specially-imported, endangered species.

A footpath winds its way around the enclosure, consisting literally of islands because there’s a waterway that also winds its way around.

You can go on foot or take a boat – or ideally both – on journeys that are included in the main zoo admission price.

Islands is a mightily impressive looking place, really evoking the atmosphere of Sumatra, Bali, Panay, Papua, Sumba and Sulawesi.

There are wooden huts, rotting jetties, native shops and all manner of paraphernalia littered around that you might find in the real islands.

And of course the animals, large and small, exotic and mundane, in what appear more like natural habitats than zoo enclosures The problem with Islands is that although it looks terrific, and succeeds in making you care about the threat these creatures face in their natural habitats, there isn't actually much substance.

As a visitor attraction Islands is a little disappointing, with not enough animals, although more are due to arrive in 2017 to complete the project.

But never fear, there are 20,000 animals across the entire zoo, so there’s plenty to keep you occupied.

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