The former director general of Chester Zoo has been made the county’s first honorary Freeman.

Professor Gordon MacGregor Reid was awarded his honour at a Cheshire West and Chester Council meeting last Thursday along with eight honorary Aldermen.

The honorary Aldermen are: former Lord Mayors of Chester Brian Bailey, Richard Short and Neil Ritchie, former Lord Mayor and Sheriff of Chester John Ebo, former mayor of Vale Royal Malcolm Gaskill, Vale Royal and Cheshire councillor Andrew Needham, deputy Lord Mayor and deputy chairman of Cheshire West and Chester Council Barbara Roberts and former Sheriff of Chester Andrew Storrar.

Council leader Mike Jones said: “Professor Gordon McGregor Reid is world renowned in his particular field and he has helped create Chester Zoo into the outstanding success it is today and tomorrow, improving the reputation of West Cheshire, creating jobs and making a substantial contribution to conservation in Cheshire.

“All the former councillors have worked tirelessly for the people of Cheshire West and Chester.

“They are fine examples of hard working people who have through the years helped shape our borough of today and it is only fitting that they are recognised with the civic honour of honorary Aldermen.

Opposition leader Justin Madders said: “The nine people who have been awarded civic honours are well known for the contributions they have made over the years to the lives of people across Cheshire West and Chester. Many have been civic figure heads in the past and present.