Jock the silverback gorilla at Bristol Zoo Gardens

Bristol Zoological Society launches its ‘Strategy to 2035’

Bristol Zoological Society is launching its ‘Strategy to 2035’, sharing its vision for a new world-class Bristol Zoo with conservation at its heart.

The Society’s strategy is a response to the climate and ecological emergencies that threaten the existence of life on this planet.

It follows the announcement in November that Bristol Zoological Society would be closing Bristol Zoo Gardens in late 2022. The Society’s Wild Place Project will remain open until it becomes the new Bristol Zoo in 2024.

The Strategy is timed to coincide with Bristol Zoo Gardens’ 185th anniversary and the year 2035 is the conservation charity’s bicentenary.

Its vision is for an environmentally-friendly, forward-thinking zoo, that will be a beacon of sustainability, carbon neutral and net positive for nature, and will promote good health and wellbeing.

And Bristol Zoological Society is sharing its strategy widely, with a view to working with members of the wider community to help shape the new Bristol Zoo – a centre of global understanding and action.

The Society is well-placed to meet these ambitions, with a unique combination of public engagement with hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, education programmes for all ages, its direct conservation action in the UK and around the world, and network of local, national and international partners and collaborators.

The new 136-acre Bristol Zoo will be much more than an exciting visitor destination:

  • Animals will be chosen to ensure that Bristol Zoological Society can achieve the greatest conservation impact
  • The Society’s education and scientific research programmes will grow significantly to form a new conservation campus
  • Its conservation action in the field, saving wildlife from extinction, will increase both at the Zoo, and around the world.

Bristol Zoological Society’s Chief Executive Dr Justin Morris said: “Central to this strategy is our emerging vision for the new Bristol Zoo. Given our long history at the forefront of the development of zoos, Bristol Zoological Society is better placed than most to define what zoos should look like in the 21st century.

“We are excited by the prospect of a new kind of zoo where visitors and animals will be immersed in the natural landscape – the zoo in nature and nature in the zoo.

“Visitors will be encouraged to explore and discover, experiencing the extraordinary thrill of a chance encounter with animals in a range of wild places. We will connect people with nature through a truly authentic experience.”

Dr Morris added: “However, the new Bristol Zoo will be much more than an exciting visitor destination.

“Our vision is one that also provides a unique opportunity to deliver an environmentally-friendly, forward-thinking zoo, that will be a beacon of sustainability, carbon neutral and net positive for nature, all the while promoting good health and wellbeing.

“The Zoo will work with the communities of Bristol, continuing existing conversations and starting new ones, influencing policy and decision-makers to ensure a sustainable future for wildlife and people.

“Over the coming weeks and months, we will be sharing more details and asking people to join us in a conversation to shape a bold new future for Bristol Zoological Society and the new Bristol Zoo. We hope that people will join us on this journey and help achieve our mission of ‘saving wildlife together’.”

The sale of the Society’s Bristol Zoo Garden’s Clifton site is vital to safeguarding the future of Bristol Zoological Society, and ensuring an exciting new beginning for Bristol Zoo.

This plan will ensure that Bristol Zoo continues to exist for generations to come, offering millions more people the opportunity to experience the magic of a new Bristol Zoo, in its new home at the Wild Place Project site.

Find out more about Bristol Zoological Society’s new vision (pdf) and further details are available from the ‘Strategy to 2035‘ section of our website.