Ring-tailed lemur at Bristol Zoo Gardens

New Bristol Zoo

Our proposals for the development of the new Bristol Zoo.


Bristol Zoological Society will develop a new world-class Bristol Zoo at its Wild Place Project site on the northern edge of Bristol, which will set the standard for a modern, forward-looking zoo in the 21st century.

The new Bristol Zoo will open in 2024, offering spacious facilities, significant growth in conservation and education work and a ground-breaking, innovative visitor experience.

The masterplan for the new Bristol Zoo will not only provide for a more compelling visitor experience but also ensure that we deliver an expansion and growth of the infrastructure and facilities to support colleagues, the species at the zoo and an increased number of visitors. We will develop high-quality spaces that are sensitive and sympathetic to the landscape and provide innovative ways to reduce our carbon footprint and the environmental impact of what we do. We will also ensure a legacy at Bristol Zoo Gardens that we can all be proud of. The Zoo Gardens will live on. They will be a desirable address to live at. Set in beautiful gardens and surrounded by a rich heritage with stories to tell.

Find out more in our Get involved section.

The development of the New Bristol Zoo is part of our Strategy to 2035 which includes the sale of Bristol Zoo Gardens.

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

Why are you moving Bristol Zoo?

Neil Green being interviewed on invasive weeds

There is a unique opportunity to re-frame the new Bristol Zoo, located on the northern fringe of Bristol, within our reimagined conservation charity. In starting with an almost blank piece of paper there is an opportunity to embed conservation research and fieldwork (in situ) with conservation breeding programmes (ex situ), engagement, education and outreach in the design and operation of the zoo and to use this opportunity to inspire and enable positive actions for wildlife in our visitors – a truly integrated and extended ‘one plan approach’ to wildlife conservation.

There is an opportunity to create a zoo with net zero carbon emissions and no negative impact on nature. Every aspect of the visitor experience will reinforce our conservation charity brand including the retail and catering. We will lead by example and connect all within the charity whilst creating a platform for new collaborations and partnerships.

The new Bristol Zoo will be ideally located for the next 185 years. Easily accessible, it will be a local, regional and national destination. It will be a destination for Bristol to match the ambition of the City and sit alongside other unique destinations such as Bristol Aerospace, The Wave and the YTL Arena Bristol.

The landscape of the Hollywood Tower Estate is characterised by a mosaic of habitats. It is inherently wild. It readily offers an opportunity to explore the interconnectedness of species, including humans. It is a space where ecology stories can be told rather than only zoology stories. The visitor will be immersed in this landscape as will the animals. Visitors will need to find the animals; they will need to explore and discover. They will experience the thrill of a chance encounter. They will experience wildlife without barriers in a range of wild places.

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

Tower Meadow sunset at Wild Place Project
Bear climbing tree in Bear Wood

What are you planning for the new Bristol Zoo site?

Phase one of the new Bristol Zoo will open in 2024 and will include a number of new exhibits and animals, in addition to most of what currently exists at the Wild Place site. Further phases of development beyond 2024 are planned through to the bicentenary of Bristol Zoological Society in 2035. More exciting animal updates will be announced in 2022.

New exhibits opening in 2024 will include:

Central African forests 

A new Central African Forests area for the gorilla troop from Bristol Zoo Gardens to live with a new group of Endangered cherry-crowned mangabey monkeys. It will also include Endangered African grey parrots, Critically Endangered slender-snouted crocodiles and extremely rare species of West African fish which visitors will be able to see in a new underwater viewing area.

This exhibit will showcase Bristol Zoological Society’s existing conservation projects in Equatorial Guinea, Central Africa. It will be an immersive exhibit where visitors can learn about Bristol Zoological Society’s conservation work across central Africa and the species that are found there. 

Conservation breeding centre 

A newly-created conservation breeding centre will house some of the world’s most threatened species of reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, fish and birds. Almost all are categorised as Critically Endangered’ or ‘Extinct in the Wild’. 

This will include rare tortoises and turtles, blue spotted tree monitors, Henkel’s leaf-tailed geckos, tarictic hornbills, bleeding heart doves, Socorro doves – which are extinct in the wild – Madeiran land snails, Desertas wolf spiders, Sumatran laughingthrushes, rainbow goodeid fish, and much more.

The species in the conservation breeding centre will each have an associated project plan identifying the conservation role that Bristol Zoological Society is playing in securing its future.

Some of the species living in the conservation breeding centre and their International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) status:

  •         Annam leaf turtle (Critically Endangered)
  •         Lesser Antillean iguana (Critically Endangered)
  •         Annam leaf turtle (Critically Endangered)
  •         African pancake tortoise (Critically Endangered)
  •         Radiated tortoise (Critically Endangered)
  •         Roti Island snake-necked turtle (Critically Endangered)
  •         Vietnamese box turtle (Critically Endangered)
  •         Lemur leaf frog (Critically Endangered)
  •         Mountain chicken frog (Critically Endangered)
  •         Pygmy chameleon (Critically Endangered)
  •         Turquoise blue gecko (Critically Endangered)
  •         Vietnamese box turtle (Critically Endangered)
  •         Blue spotted tree monitor (Endangered)
  •         Henkel’s leaf-tailed gecko (Vulnerable)
  •         Desertas wolf spider (Critically Endangered)
  •         Polynesian tree snail (Extinct in the wild)
  •         Lord Howe Island stick insect (Critically Endangered)
  •         Madeiran land snails (Critically Endangered)
  •         Socorro dove (Extinct in the wild)
  •         Visayan tarictic hornbill (Endangered)
  •         Sumatran laughing thrush (Endangered)
  •         Red vented cockatoo (Critically Endangered)
  •         European turtle dove (Vulnerable)
  •         Javan green magpie (Critically Endangered)
  •         Negros bleeding heart dove (Critically Endangered)
  •         Mindanao bleeding heart dove (Vulnerable)
  •         Pink pigeon (Vulnerable)
  •         Malagasy cichlids (fish) (Critically Endangered)
  •         Malagasy rainbow fish and powder blue panchax (Endangered)
  •         Pupfish and goodeids (Extinct in the wild)
  •         White-clawed crayfish (Endangered)

There will also be a conservation learning centre, which will provide purpose-built facilities for undergraduate and postgraduate conservation degrees through partnerships that include University of the West of England and University of Bristol, and a conservation medicine centre, providing modern veterinary facilities to ensure the highest standards of animal welfare.

Wild welcome 

A new entrance area for the new Bristol Zoo will open in 2024 and will include a new red panda exhibit as well as new entrance facilities, gift shop and cafe. 

The design team

An award-winning team of architects, designers, engineers and environmental experts are working with Bristol Zoological Society to bring these exciting plans to life.

Pioneering landscape architects, Grant Associates, have been appointed as lead designers and landscape architects, along with award-winning architects and urban design practice, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCBStudios).

Momentum structural and civil engineers have also been appointed, along with E3 Consulting Engineers and Avison Young town planning advisors.

Specialists have also been appointed to provide additional expertise including arboriculturists, Wotton Tree Consultancy; ecology consultant Clarkson and Woods, and transport and sustainability infrastructure consultant, Hydrock.

HE students at Bristol Zoo Gardens
A young girl smiling and holding a zoo activity sheet

Further information

Design proposals

Find out more about our proposals for the new Bristol Zoo.

Design teams

Find out more about the team responsible for the proposals.

Get involved

Find out how to get involved, have your say and stay updated.


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

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