Bristol Zoological Society - Strategy to 2035

Closure date for Bristol Zoo Gardens – 3 September 2022

We are announcing on Tuesday 15 February that Bristol Zoo Gardens will be closing to the public on Saturday 3 September 2022.

We are announcing on Tuesday 15 February that Bristol Zoo Gardens will be closing to the public on Saturday 3 September 2022.

The closure of Bristol Zoo Gardens will enable the creation of a new Bristol Zoo, with conservation, education and sustainability at its heart, at Bristol Zoological Society’s Wild Place Project site, just off Junction 17 of the M5 Motorway.

The public announcement references celebratory events during the summer and our plans for the Clifton site’s future including sustainable homes and free public access to the beautiful gardens.

Bristol Zoo Gardens is a special place for so many people and we want to give them a chance to visit and share their memories. The dates for the special events, which will take place this summer, will be revealed in the coming weeks on the Bristol Zoo Gardens website.

But this is not the end of the story for this famous 186-year-old site. After Bristol Zoo Gardens closes to the public and, following planning permission, parts will be developed for much-needed sustainable housing and the gardens will open to the public free of charge for the first time in their history. There will be a children’s play area and the theatre building on the main lawn will be retained for cultural and education events. Buildings such as the Monkey Temple will also remain and biodiversity on site will increase.

The iconic Zoo entrance will become the Clifton Conservation Hub with a public cafe and exhibition space, as well as home to the Avon Gorge and Downs Wildlife Project.

We consider this our legacy – our way of guaranteeing that people throughout Bristol and beyond will still be able to enjoy these gardens in Clifton for generations to come.

Students from University of Bristol, University of West of England and South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, will continue to attend lectures at Bristol Zoo Gardens’ Conservation Education Centre until teaching moves to the new Bristol Zoo.

The sale of the Clifton site will help pay for the new Bristol Zoo which will be built at the Society’s Wild Place Project and is due to open in 2024. The new Bristol Zoo will have conservation, education and sustainability at its heart. Wild Place Project will continue to welcome visitors during these works.

Since Bristol Zoo Gardens first opened its gates to the public in 1836 it has welcomed more than 90 million visitors and helped to save around 175 species from extinction through its conservation work.

To find out more about Bristol Zoological Society’s Strategy to 2035 visit future.bristolzoo.org.uk/, and for latest news of celebrations and activities at Bristol Zoo Gardens go to bristolzoo.org.uk.

Please support us as we realise Bristol Zoological Society’s ambitions to create a new Bristol Zoo for the 21st century. Help us to celebrate all the pioneering achievements of Bristol Zoo Gardens and what it has meant to so many. Also visit Bristol Zoo Gardens before it closes on 3 September, discover our Wild Place Project and join us in looking forward to the new Bristol Zoo in 2024.

Yours sincerely

Dr Justin Morris

Chief Executive