WHILE we wait to see when we can visit Marwell Zoo again, the Daily Echo takes a look at pictures of the public and staff enjoying the park through the years.

More than a million animal lovers pass through the gates each year, each looking to get a glimpse of animals, but few unaware of the important role the land has played in history.

Marwell Hall was originally built in 1320 and is the building where Henry VIII is said to have married Jane Seymour.

During the Second World War, Cunliffe-Owen Aircraft used the area as an airport to support the production of military aircraft at its Eastleigh plant.Daily Echo:

The location was perfect as there were fewer test flight restrictions and the natural forest provided excellent camouflage.

After the conflict, the land was used for agricultural purposes until 1972, when Marwell Zoo first opened its doors to visitors.Daily Echo:

The zoo was one of the earliest in Europe to be largely dedicated to animal conservation, becoming a key breeding centre for many species.

Before lockdown, thousands of children and adults visited the zoo to see both endangered and more common animals - as can be seen in these photos.