UK’s most popular zoo unveils plans for £100m redevelopment
Chester Zoo’s plan hopes to strengthen and maintain its status as a world leading animal, conservation and leisure attraction from now until 2030.
Plans for the development include a large grassland savannah for visitors to delve into, as well as a chance trek from treetop to treetop on one of the forest’s various canopy walkways.
Back in 2015 the zoo brought South East Asia to life by recreating its unique environment with the addition of a series of Islands habitats. Following this success, Chester Zoo now plans to open another group of large-scale themed zones to further immerse visitors into the different habitats found around the world. These zones will help highlight the vital conservation work carried out by the zoo worldwide.
The environments created will be those of endangered species that don’t currently feature at the zoo, like for example Western lowland gorillas or pygmy hippos, thus helping the zoo in its conservation aims around the world.
Chester Zoo is already a major visitor attraction in the UK, currently the most visited tourist attraction outside of London. Its success in conservation projects is highly recognised, having managed to breed some of the most endangered animals in the world. The zoo brings £50m a year to the North West’s economy, and these new developments will undoubtedly help increase its economic, environmental and social benefits on both a national and global scale.
Chester Zoo’s CEO, Dr Mark Pilgrim, said: “The zoo is internationally recognised as a leading centre for animal conservation, education and science. It is already the UK’s premier wildlife attraction, welcoming over 1.9 million visitors a year.”
“Our vision is to evolve from a national success story into a truly world class showcase for the wonderful, yet often threatened wildlife, and fantastic, but fragile, habitats on Earth.”
“As a beacon of excellence here in the north of England – we are creating an internationally renowned centre of the highest quality, providing a wide range of employment, education and economic benefits. At the same time the development will inspire millions to appreciate and treasure the rich and remarkable biodiversity of our planet.”