Bristol Zoological Society - Strategy to 2035

Bristol Zoo Gardens

Our proposals for the redevelopment of the Bristol Zoo Gardens site.


Bristol Zoological Society are leading a planning application for a residential-led scheme to redevelop the Bristol Zoo Gardens site given its central and sustainable location in Bristol.

Fundamental to the development of a scheme for the site will be the importance of good quality, eco-friendly low-carbon homes, largely in areas where there are already built structures on the site. In addition, the green space at the heart of the site will be enhanced to encourage greater biodiversity with consideration of public access to the gardens.

The iconic main entrance building will become a conservation hub for Clifton, with a permanent base for the Avon Gorge & Downs Wildlife Project, serving the local community. Visitors to the centre will be able to buy refreshments and explore the history of Bristol Zoo Gardens and learn more about the local wildlife and habitats. This could also be a jumping off point for a visit to the Downs. In this way the heritage is not lost but retold whilst the new Bristol Zoo reinforces Bristol’s status as innovator, activist and champion of nature.

As part of the first phase of this strategy, we submitted a planning application for residential development of Bristol Zoo Garden’s West Car Park, on College Road in Clifton. On 22 September 2021 approval for this application was granted by a Bristol City Council development control committee. The sale of the site will provide a vital contribution to the funds required to deliver the new Bristol Zoo at our Wild Place Project site. You can find out more about the approved plans for the West Car Park here.

Public consultation for the main Bristol Zoo Gardens site began in August 2021, with the first stage of consultation primarily focused on listening to, and learning from local residents and key stakeholders.

The feedback gathered at this initial stage has fed through to the Society’s emerging masterplan for the Clifton site, which will be shared at the second stage of public consultation in November 2021.

Find out more in our Get involved section.

The redevelopment of Bristol Zoo Gardens is part of our Strategy to 2035 which includes creating our new Bristol Zoo.

Click here to find out more about our new Bristol Zoo proposal.

Why are you selling the Bristol Zoo Gardens site?

The Society intends to sell the Bristol Zoo Gardens site to safeguard the future of Bristol Zoological Society and relocate Bristol Zoo to the Wild Place Project site to create a new world-class zoo for Bristol and the West of England.

As a charity it is important that we ensure that the sale of our site allows us to achieve best value and deliver our charitable benefits for the long-term, specifically our mission of Saving Wildlife Together. We continue to believe that a residential-led scheme on the Bristol Zoo Gardens site is the best way to do this.

The funds raised are not only to enable the delivery of the first phase of the development of the new Bristol Zoo but also to increase and grow our education and direct conservation programmes.

More information on our Strategy to 2035 can be found here.

Rangers using a drone in Cameroon
Primary school group listening to a zoo education officer

What are you planning for the Bristol Zoo Gardens site?

Significant progress has been made towards developing a masterplan for a residential-led scheme for the Clifton site.

The redevelopment of the Bristol Zoo Gardens site represents an extraordinary opportunity to make a significant contribution to address the combined housing, climate and ecological crises.

The site is in a central and sustainable location and we are committed to creating a scheme that provides:

  • Good-quality, eco-friendly, low-carbon homes largely in areas where there are already built structures on the site.
  • Enhanced green spaces to encourage greater biodiversity, with free public access to the gardens during daylight hours. (Specific timings tbc)
  • Education and community-focused spaces inside of the brand new Clifton Conservation Hub.

We want to ensure that we create an exemplar for environmentally and socially sustainable development that Bristol can be proud of and showcase to other cities across the UK.

View our proposals

West Car Park development proposal

Find out more about our proposal for the redevelopment of our West Car Park on College Road.

Bristol Zoo Gardens – main site proposal

Find out more about our proposal for the redevelopment of the main Bristol Zoo Gardens site.

Further information

Get involved

Find out how to get involved, have your say and stay updated with the latest developments.


See a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions about our Bristol Zoo Gardens proposal.

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