There's something unusual nestled among shops and restaurants on a street in Chingford. An old betting shop has been transformed into a zoo for 300 animals.

At 'Get To Know Animals' children and adults can see fish, turtles, rats, snakes - and a lot more. And it means children can handle animals that they have only seen in books.

Something I've always been passionate about is animals since the day I was born and it just upsets me that I feel people have disconnected with our beautiful environment, nature and our gorgeous animals. At least 95 per cent of our animals have been either rescued or rehomed.

Donna Rose
Before being transformed, 'Get To Know Animals' looked like this

The zoo says it wants people to feel close to nature and therapy that the animals bring.

There's a lot of discussion about cultural capital which is different children from different backgrounds having different experiences and we need to take that into consideration when they come to our nurseries. Some families might be able to visit zoos which are quite expensive - a lot of children don't have those opportunities so it's great we can give time that so locally.

Chris Sheen, Footsteps Day Nursery