SQUAWKS of excitement were heard as Bournemouth's new aviary officially opened in the Lower Gardens on Tuesday, May 17. 

The new Cooper-Thompson Rescue Aviary has replaced the old 1980s building that was previously in the gardens.

The landmark structure provides a better sanctuary for around 200 tropical birds who have been rehomed.

The dome-shaped aviary has been designed to create much more flight space for the birds and provide visitors with a 360-degree viewing space.

Mayor of Bournemouth, David Kelsey, cut the ribbon around the avairy to mark its official reopening.

Mr Kelsey said: "Thank you so much to anyone who's done anything to get this up and running today."

Cathi Farrer, chief executive officer at The Parks Foundation, said: "It is an amazing and fantastic achievement that we have been working on over the past six years to fundraise for the new aviary. 

"We have more than doubled the flight space for the birds.

"They are all rescue birds, so sometimes sadly if somebody has passed away and their family can no longer look after those birds, we will rescue them."

Councillor Mark Anderson, portfolio holder for environment and place at BCP Council, said: “This new aviary was very much needed, and I’m delighted that it provides more space for these precious tropical birds.

“They have been a much-loved feature in Bournemouth since the 1930s and I know a lot of residents and visitors to Bournemouth are looking forward to seeing them once again.

Jackie Vanbommel, senior landscape architect for BCP Council, said: “We have got some African greys, amazon parrots, canaries, golden pheasant, doves and lots more inside”

“The birds have been very excited since moving into their new area.

“They have warmed night houses because they are all tropical birds so we make sure we keep them warm enough.”

The new aviary was funded by public donations of £266,225, with an additional £150,000 from Community Infrastructure Levy funds from both the Parks Foundation and BCP Council.