ZOO animals are set to be kept a little warmer this winter - after a £4million cannabis farm was dismantled in East Lancashire.

Heaters, lamps and temperature gauges seized by Lancashire Police after a raid on industrial premises on the Apex trading estate Lower Eccleshill earlier this month have been donated to Blackpool Zoo.

Investigators estimate nearly £20,000 worth of specialist equipment was being used to hothouse between 8,000 and 10,000 cannabis plants there.

In what was estimated to be the largest-ever cannabis farm find in the county, three men were later arrested and charged over the discovery.

One portion of the kit seized at Lower Eccleshill, still boxed up and unused, has now been donated to the zoo, police have confirmed.

PC Phil Tyreman said: "We dismantled the set-up and the drugs have now been destroyed, but we didn’t want the equipment found at the premises to go to waste.

"We estimated that the items that could be re-used were probably worth around £5,000 so we’re pleased the zoo have been able to make good use of them.

"The origin of the items is unusual but it’s all perfectly good kit and we hope the animals that have benefited will be extra cosy this winter."

Luke Minns, the zoo's head keeper, said: "We are absolutely delighted to have been gifted all this fabulous equipment.

"It is now in use in various reptile enclosures and aquariums across the zoo and will help to promote natural behaviours in the animals and encourage plant growth.

"Our butterfly goodeids, which are considered extinct in the wild, along with our caiman, prehensile-tailed skinks and red bellied piranhas are all benefitting from the new kit.

"Huge thanks go to Lancashire Police, this donation really is very gratefully received."

Some of the bedding found at the premises has also been donated to charity, and unused plant pots and canes found there were donated to an allotment group in Padiham.