A Wimbledon zookeeper is set to swim 5k by Bournemouth Pier to raise vital funds for London Zoo alongside his father.

Nick Burnham, 27, and his father Nigel, 59, will take on the wild challenge as part of the '5k May Run for Heroes'.

The pair hope to fundraise to help recover some of the £26 million of potential income that ZSL lost due to Covid-19.

"It's a good way to raise money for the charity and to do something a little bit different," said Nick.

"My dad and I really enjoy open water swimming, and it just felt like a bigger challenge than walking or running.

"It's a nice way to spend time together. I'm looking forward to it."

This Is Local London: Nick and NigelNick and Nigel

The father and son duo, who have been swimming together for around seven years, say they've been preparing for the challenge by visiting nearby lidos.

"I haven't swum that full distance yet, but I've swum 1-miles and then 2ks and building up to that distance," he added.

"It's come up very quickly, we only decided to do it at the start of May."

On Monday, London Zoo reopened its indoor areas after a hard year of restrictions and limited capacities.

Speaking about what it was like to work during the pandemic, Nick added: "It was really strange, it was a bit of a novelty for the first few days and then it actually began to ware off.

"It felt really odd being on such a big site and you could go almost all day and only see about two people.

"The hardest lockdown was the January one, it was cold and dark and probably the same for everybody.

"It was a little bit more difficult, but on the flip side I felt very fortunate because as a keeper I got to leave the house and have some sort of structure."

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Speaking about how the funds raised will be used, he said: "It will go a little bit of everywhere in the zoo.

"It costs about £1million a week to feed the animals at Whipsnade and London Zoo, plus there are conservation projects in 50 countries."

He added: "I was originally putting down to raise £500 but we've gone past that already.

"It's fantastic, I posted on social media and thought we'd get trickles in from friends and family members.

"I hope to raise around £1000 now, which will be a cool challenge."

The fundraiser reached £625 at the time of publishing. To donate visit here.