About us

Our mission is to conserve biodiversity and other natural resources, both locally and internationally – but we rely on the support of thousands to bring it to life!

We engage with over 40,000 children and young people through our conservation educational programmes, and welcome over 500,000 visitors each year to our 140 acre zoological park. In every contact we seek to encourage understanding, and inspire care for the natural world. In essence, we aim to connect people with nature.

Our team of Conservation Biologists run field programmes in the UK & Africa in partnership with communities, statutory agencies and other non-governmental organizations. Find out which species we’re working with and the positive, sustainable impacts we’re making on our conservation website.


Ethical Sourcing Policy

Carbon Reduction Plan

Environmental Policy

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With regard to its legal status, Marwell Wildlife is a Company Limited by Guarantee. The Governing Body of the charity is a Board of Trustees. New trustees are elected by the Board following a recruitment process and applicants are sought from a combination of advertised vacancies and executive search. Trustees are appointed for an initial three year term and thereafter are eligible for reappointment for further three year terms subject to a maximum of four three year terms.

The Board normally meet five times a year to review strategy and performance and is helped in its work by the following Trustee led committees: Audit & Risk; Capital Expenditure; Conservation (including animal collection, biodiversity, education and sustainability); Commercial; Ethics; HR & Remuneration and Marketing. Committees do not have executive authority but are chaired by a Trustee. Committees have their own terms of reference and provide linkage back to the main board and support for senior management of the charity in their work. Further to the requirement laid down by the Charity Commission regarding the reporting and understanding of public benefit, Marwell’s activities and ongoing strategies are tested against the overall aims and objectives of the organisation to satisfy Trustees that our work is relevant and accords with our overall charitable endeavour. Day-to-day management is delegated to the Chief Executive and his Executive Team.


We are governed by a Board of Trustees who bring relevant experiences and skill sets as determined by a regular skills audit of the Board, from which recruitment is driven. These sectors currently include, for example: business; media; academia; conservation; education and land management.

  • David Stalker, CIMSPA (Chairman)
  • Mark  Stanley Price, MA, DPhil (Vice Chairman)
  • Mark Charter, FALA (Fellow of Agricultural Law Association), CLA
  • Teresa Frost
  • Pete Jakob, BSc, CIM
  • Christopher Langford MRICS FAAV
  • Frank McCaffrey, BA(Hons)
  • David Pape, MSc,MCIEEM
  • Nicola Robinson, VetMB, MRCVS
  • Miranda Stevenson, OBE, BA, PhD, MBA

Trustees’ report and financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2019.

Marwell Wildlife

Marwell Services 2019

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The Chief Executive of Marwell Wildlife is James Cretney.

James Cretney MBA, Ph.D.

James joined Marwell as Chief Executive in 2005 and has over 17 years experience in leading not-for-profit organisations.

Key Responsibilities

  • Developing the long-term strategy for the zoo. The supporting annual business plans are geared towards growing our surplus and supporting the delivery of our charitable objectives. The strategy extends from the development of new and existing programmes for our animal collection, education programmes, and commercial services to fundraising and innovative marketing.
  • Leading and motivating the Executive team and all employees, encouraging initiative, ownership and responsibility.
  • Being the ambassador and spokesperson for Marwell Wildlife in both zoological and wider arenas.
  • Leading and furthering the charitable and commercial objectives of Marwell Wildlife.

Why is Marwell special to you?

Marwell is a unique place run by unique and talented individuals. The work that it does and the story it has to tell is of the utmost importance . By working here I can help shape Marwell’s contribution to the wider issues of global biodiversity and our response to the challenges that will face us and generations to come.

….he is supported by the Executive team who are:

Tim Woodfine – BSc (Hons), Ph.D. – Director of Conservation

Tim has over-arching responsibility for Marwell’s charitable delivery including local and international wildlife conservation programmes, sustainability, education and public engagement, care of the plants and animal collection, and scientific outputs across these disciplines. With a background in environmental science and biodiversity management, he is Visiting Professor of Wildlife Conservation at the University of Southampton, a member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission and the IUCN Commission on Education & Communication, and has governance and advisory roles with a number of other non-governmental organisations.

Jo Deller MSc, Assoc CIPD – HR Director

HR professional with a track record of delivering successful HR outcomes.

My role is to enable our Managers to successfully manage their teams; to ensure appropriate capacity and capability exists within our business; to consistently promote, encourage and support a culture where employees are consulted, recognised and rewarded accordingly.

Sean Mannie – Commercial Director

Over 30 years experience in commercial and operational management, many of them spent in national museums, including the Royal Armouries at HM Tower of London.

With responsibility for a wide remit including generating income from commercial activities and delivering outstanding service to our guests, I am also qualified in Project and Risk Management disciplines.

Organisational structure by function

The downloadable diagram below illustrates the functional layout of our organisation and the current reporting structure which takes its inspiration from our strategy.

About – Structure

Executive remuneration policy

Organisational Structure

About – Collection Management

Ethics Policy and Procedure

Marwell – Animal Inventory

A listing of the animals present in 2020

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Marwell was founded by John Knowles in 1972. The organisation began as Marwell Preservation Trust with more specific goals of protecting and breeding endangered species through the operation of Marwell Zoological Park set in the heart of the Hampshire countryside near Winchester.

Our activities evolved and diversified rapidly during the subsequent decades in accordance with the emerging multidisciplinary science of conservation biology, and increasing global awareness of the importance of biodiversity for human wellbeing.

With these changes and a growing portfolio of conservation and education programmes, it became increasingly evident that we needed to articulate our contributions as a diverse, holistic and internationally active conservation charity. At the same time, we recognised the need to enhance the profile of the park, which remains our principal means of engaging the public and galvanising support for our charitable endeavour.

On 1 April 2009, Marwell Preservation Trust / Marwell Zoological Park became ‘Marwell Wildlife’ with a brand promise of connecting people with nature that now resonates throughout the organisation’s work. Marwell Wildlife operates and runs Marwell Zoo in Hampshire.

Marwell Zoo – 950 – 1972

The history of Marwell (950 to 1972)

Marwell Zoo – 1972 – 2011

Browse the history of Marwell Zoo (1972 – 2011).

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Gender Pay Gap 

As an employer of more than 250 people, we are required by law to publish our gender pay gap, both on the Government’s Gender Pay Gap reporting tool, and on our own website. In accordance with this, are now publishing our latest report based on April 2020 data.

Gender Pay Gap is a measure of differences in the average pay of women and men.

At Marwell Wildlife (“Marwell”), we take our responsibility to ensure fair and equal pay for all of our employees very seriously. As standard, we undertake annual salary reviews and benchmarking exercises, collating data from a variety of source material including zoo industry surveys, HR forums, benchmarking organisations, regional salary surveys and tourism groups. In addition, we consider factors such as demographics, geographical location and local competition for talent and ensure we, where possible, align ourselves with those who exhibit best practice.

As at 5 April 2020, Marwell Wildlife employed 311 individuals (215 female / 96 male). Of those 274 were deemed “Full Pay Relevant Employees” by Gender Pay gap definition. Of these 274 individuals 134 work part time, 105 of these being female.

What the figures tell us

At 5 April 2020, (the “snapshot date”), all employees were paid a minimum of £8.17 per hour or the salaried equivalent.

Marwell is reporting a Gender Pay Gap of 19.2% by mean and 13.1% by median. Key factors relating to this figure are that:

  • we have a significantly higher number of female to male employees – especially at team member level roles, which tend to attract lower rates of pay
  • the ratio of male to female at Director level is 3:1 and this impacts our gender pay gap figures
  • however, at other levels of management the male to female ratio is much more even. For example, at our next most senior level of management, our Head of Department level, the ratio is 6:6.
  • Therefore, the above doesn’t mean women are paid less than men if doing the same job, but on average men occupy more higher paid roles than women.
    all our employees are paid the same hourly rate for the same job role regardless of age or gender

Bonus Gender Pay Gap

Our Bonus Pay Gender Pay Gap is 9.3% in terms of received bonus. Bonuses are non-contractual and do not occur every year. Bonus is paid as a % of salary, the same % is paid across the company for all staff. 57% of our female employees work part time compared to 30% of our male employees. As bonus is paid as a % of annual salary this higher proportion of part time female employees significantly contributes to our bonus gender pay gap.  

Gender split by Quartile

Quartile Analysis

Quartile % Males % Females
Lower Quartile




Lower Middle Quartile


Upper Middle Quartile




Upper Quartile




69% of our employees are female and whilst this is widely reflected in the quartile analysis above, it is clear that this becomes less representative at the higher quartiles. This reflects the lower level of women in senior roles across the organisation and at the Executive level in comparison to our workforce composition.

Next Steps

  • we actively support flexible working and work life balance at Marwell, and this is reflected in the high proportion of part time employees, 49% of our total workforce
  • we are refreshing our recruitment & selection training both for external appointments and internal promotion opportunities, to ensure we continue to attract both women, men and all gender types for our positions, and that we continue to recruit fairly in accordance with experience and knowledge for role.
  • we shall continue to be committed to fair pay policy for all, regardless of gender.

Joanne Deller

Director of People and Services


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Where next?

Visit the zoo to experience the magic first hand or support our work.

Explore Marwell Zoo