World News – UK – Bristol Zoo had to close its doors to prevent the effects of the coronavirus


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This year the zoo was temporarily closed for several months due to England’s two national bans

The world’s oldest surviving provincial zoo is set to move to secure the future of its organization in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Bristol Zoological Society announced Friday that the Bristol Zoo Gardens in Clifton, which has been open to the public since 1836, is being sold.

It will be closed in late 2022 and relocated to the company’s Wild Place project in South Gloucestershire.

The move was announced after the second national lockdown in England closed Bristol Zoo Gardens and the Wild Place Project after months of closure in the spring and summer months.

Recently, visitor numbers to Bristol Zoo Gardens have also decreased, as the organization has suffered a loss of operations for four of the past six years.

Justin Morris, Executive Director of the Bristol Zoological Society, said: “This year has been by far the most challenging year the Society has faced in its 185-year history.

“But for many years Bristol Zoo Gardens has faced fundamental and ongoing challenges, namely the inability to meet the changing needs of animals within the space and infrastructure available, and declining visitor numbers.

« These challenges have had a tremendous impact on our finances and the impact of Covid-19 has led us to radically rethink our plans for the future and how we address the fundamental and ongoing challenges we face at Bristol Zoological save society. ”

Dr. Morris said the new strategy provides an opportunity to create a world-class website that sets the standards for a « modern, forward-thinking zoo in the 21st century. Century ”. .

He said the new Bristol Zoo will be a full experience, with conservation and sustainability at the center, with animals having the space and facilities to « thrive ». .

The company, a registered conservation organization, has 178 active shareholders who elect a board of 12 independent trustees to govern it.

A building permit process will now take place to ensure that the future of the Clifton site is « something the organization will be proud of » and leaves a lasting legacy of the zoo, a spokeswoman said.

This includes an urban conservation center in the main entrance building of the zoo, which also forms the basis for the community and conservation programs of the Avon Gorge and Downs Wildlife Project.

In areas of the site where structures already exist, new apartments will be created and the existing gardens will remain largely unchanged.

Bristol Zoo Gardens and the Wild Place Project will remain open until the end of 2022. The South Gloucestershire site will become the new Bristol Zoo from early 2024.

Charlotte Moar, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Bristol Zoological Society, said: “This decision was not taken lightly and follows a rigorous process of evaluating strategic options over several months, as well as independent professional advice from a number of sources to ensure that we do the best we can for the future of society.

« Even if we sold all of our Clifton property, except Bristol Zoo Gardens, over the next five years and raised £ 7 million through philanthropic fundraising, we would still have a capital shortfall of £ 8 million.

“Over 20 years this deficit increases to 44 million. GBP. As a result, we would not be able to sustain our two zoos, our education program and our UK and international conservation programs.

“This new plan ensures that Bristol Zoo will last for generations, and will give millions of people the opportunity to experience the magic of a new Bristol Zoo. ”

Bristol Zoo Gardens, Wild Place Project, South Gloucestershire, Clifton

World News – UK – Bristol Zoo had to close its doors to prevent the effects of the coronavirus


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