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Banham Zoo releases image of its vision for new look 2030 site

Banham Zoological Gardens has begun consultation on a new vision for the award-winning attraction which it says will ‘help secure a resilient and sustainable future’ for the site.

The concept, developed with involvement of trustees and staff, is to incorporate new and immersive landscapes to create a truly exceptional visitor experience.

The plans were recently presented to a group of local residents to gain early feedback and the Zoological Society of East Anglia (ZSEA), the charity which operates Banham Zoo, will be consulting further in the coming months as the plans develop.

ZSEA chief executive Claudia Roberts. Picture: Simply C Photography
ZSEA chief executive Claudia Roberts. Picture: Simply C Photography

Chief executive of the ZSEA, Claudia Roberts, said: “As a charity we have been through a difficult period with impacts from the pandemic and from the current cost of living and energy crisis, but we are excited to look forward to an exciting future.

“We are passionate about connecting communities to nature, but also preserving native and international species as well as improving biodiversity to play our part in protecting our planet.

“We hope that by developing Banham Zoo into a sustainable tourist attraction, we can encourage more people to get involved and to learn about how we can all protect our planet together.”

Concept art from ZSEA showing vision of a section of Banham Zoo. Picture: Tate and Co Architects (62669089)
Concept art from ZSEA showing vision of a section of Banham Zoo. Picture: Tate and Co Architects (62669089)

Part of the plans is to rewild and reinvent unused or underutilised spaces on the 50 acre site to create new environments for UK native species as well as international animal conservation and breeding programmes.

In addition to maximising the outdoor spaces, the zoo aims to provide indoor conservation education and skills hubs which will make the attraction an all-year-round experience, encouraging visitors to visit no matter the weather.

Developers are hoping to make Banham Zoo a flagship for sustainable tourism and is seeking ways to introduce sustainable transport, including developing a unique zoo bus service, ensuring the site taps into existing cycle and walking routes, and providing scope for electric vehicle charging bays.

For its vision the charity says it is seeking to work with the national lottery fund, future levelling up funds and other funding organisations to complete its goal.

Business sponsorship will also have a role in delivering a what the charity says will be a ‘world-class conservation centre and unique destination in the East of England’.

After looking at the plans Jamie Christon, chairman of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums, said he was in full support.

He added: “ZSEA has put forward an exciting plan that will see visitors connecting with the native wetlands of East Anglia and the wilds of Scotland along with the Giraffes of the savannah and tigers of the forest.

“It is great to see Banham investing in biodiversity here in the UK along with their work across the world to conserve animals.

“This is testament to the zoos’ commitment to saving species from extinction and connecting people with nature which is more important than ever

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