In his novel of 1961 The Old Men at the Zoo, the distinguished writer Angus Wilson relates the establishment of a British National Zoological Park in the Welsh Border; it is an off-shoot of London Zoo and is centred on 'the Stretton Estate' of the 'Marcher Baron', Lord Godmanchester. Although Church Stretton and the Long Mynd are never specifically identified, they would appear to be the inspiration. Simon Carter, Secretary of the London Zoo, describes the recently established 'Historic British Reserve' which lies within the Park, 'soon to be closed to all but the guided and the armed'. Why? because 'here in ten years we hoped for [an] increase of deer that would maintain carefully limited packs of wolves and in the mountains that stretched beyond into Wales, golden eagles and the brown bear. Here already in patches of brown scrub great bustards roamed, and in the forest, wild boar were finding cover'.

We are indebted to Tom Wall for drawing our attention to this work and for supplying the synopsis. Its inclusion in Historical is in case someone one day picks up the idea of Great Bustards on the Long Mynd, though see Beckwith 1885 & 1886 for a record from the hill in about the 1820s.