Chester Zoo Reopening: Here’s How You Can Help Support The Zoo

2020 will go down in history as one of the most confusing and memorable years of all time. The economy has taken a huge hit, and has given the British public deja-vu from 2008, leading a lot of companies either furloughing their staff, or having to close indefinitely. It has been an uncertain time for independent shops and the self-employed. However, one industry that has suffered significantly is wildlife sanctuaries such as zoos and safari parks. 

Chester Zoo published a heartfelt plea last week asking for the help of the public; at the time, the government had announced that the zoo would be closed indefinitely and with the zoo being classed as a charity, it receives no government funding and therefore were worried that they would be unable to survive this.

The wonderful news is that since this, the British public stepped up and were able to raise over £3m in one week and the government announced that as of Monday the 15  June, the zoo will be allowed to reopen its doors so long as they implement social distancing and other safety previsions to stave off COVID-19 to the best of their ability. While this money will go a long way to ensuring the zoo lives to see another day, they will still need the help of the public going forward.

The zoo have opened their online portal that will allow customers to buy tickets; the tickets are only available online, and the zoo will not be allowing people to turn up to the zoo without a ticket -you cannot buy one at the gates. They are doing this to make it easier to track numbers and ensure that the capacity of the zoo is still low enough that they can maintain social distancing.

Moreover, once visitors have entered the zoo, the staff will be doing everything they can to ensure that those who need to abide by social distancing measures are doing so, in order to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for everybody.

Chester Zoo has a special place in the heart of many people on Merseyside, and has provided many happy memories to thousands of local people each year, but the lack of revenue due to lockdown means that now, more than ever, the zoo needs support.

Chester Zoo Meercat

Here is a list of the main changes that Chester Zoo will be undergoing:

  • The zoo will only be admitting 3,000 visitors a day, as opposed to its usual 12,000
  • Indoor exhibits will be closed, however there is 16km of footpaths for visitors to enjoy
  • Similar to exhibits, indoor restaurants and food kiosks will be closed, however outdoor food vendors will be providing refreshments to the visitors
  • There will be 30 hand sanitiser stations placed around the venue
  • If you want a memento or souvenir, the store will be closed however you can buy them online and pick them up at the venue

Overall, since lockdown, the zoo has suffered £5m worth of losses, and taking into account the very generous £3m raised for the zoo, it still leaves them in a significant deficit. The zoo have lowered admission prices to reflect the change in available exhibits which will hopefully make it more accessible for people to visit.

For those lucky enough to not have suffered financially throughout lockdown, a viable option of support could be buying a membership, for instance a couple’s membership is £165 for 12 months, and allows unlimited visits for the year. Jamie Christon, chief operating officer for Chester Zoo has expressed that he knows they are ‘not out of the woods’ yet, and will still need all the support they can get.

Chester Zoo Online Booking

Book online before you come, otherwise you will not be granted access – www.chesterzoo.org/visit-the-zoo-new/

Support Chester Zoo

If you can’t visit the zoo right now but would still like to help support them you can donate or adopt an animal via https://www.chesterzoo.org/support-us/ 

Daniel Hunter