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 Charter, FALA (Fellow of Agricultural Law Association), CLA
  • Teresa Frost
  • Pete Jakob, BSc, CIM
  • David Pape, MSc,MCIEEM
  • Nicola Robinson, VetMB, MRCVS
  • Andrew Warren, FCA, MBA
  • Diane Walkington, BSc (Hons)
  • Adrian Neal

Trustees’ report and financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2021

Marwell Wildlife

Marwell Services Ltd

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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:

Jo Deller MSc, Assoc CIPD – People & Services 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

With a career spanning commercial, public and charitable sectors, Sean has been Commercial Director at Marwell Wildlife since 2012, after holding the senior management role at the Royal Armouries Museums at HM Tower of London and Fort Nelson in Hampshire.

Responsibilities at Marwell cover a wide remit including commercial strategy, guest operations, marketing, communications and fundraising. As a qualified practitioner in Project Management and Management of Risk disciplines, Sean is also responsible for organisational Risk Management, including emergency planning and business continuity.

Externally, Sean is the founding and current Chair of BIAZA’s Commercial & Guest Service Working Group and Vice-Chair of the BIAZA Mission Enabling Committee. He also regularly writes a blog for Blooloop.com on the business and operational aspects of running a zoo and is the industry expert on recreation and commercial aspects, supporting delivery of the Zoo Keeper & Aquarist Apprenticeship Course at the National Zoo Academy, based at Sparsholt College in Winchester.

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

Animal Inventory 2021

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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, we are now publishing our latest report based on April 2021 data.

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

At Marwell Wildlife (“Marwell”), we take our responsibility to ensure fair pay for all our employees very seriously.  As standard, we undertake regular salary reviews and benchmarking exercises.  We collate data from a variety of source materials including the zoo industry, 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 that we, where possible, align ourselves with those who exhibit best practice.

As at 5 April 2021 we employed 270 individuals (182 female/88 male).  Of those 229 were deemed full pay relevant employees by Gender Pay Gap definition.  Of these 229 individuals 152 worked part time with 116 of these being female.

What the figures tell us:

At 5 April 2021 (the “snapshot date”), employees were paid a minimum of £8.87 an hour or the salaried equivalent.

Marwell is reporting a Gender Pay Gap of 18.5% by mean and 3.6% 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 females 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 5:5.

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 types of 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

Bonuses are non-contractual and do not occur every year. Bonus payments were not made to any staff during the past year and therefore we are reporting a zero return for this.


Quartile Analysis
Quartile % Males % Females
Lower Quartile
32.3 67.7
Lower Middle Quartile
27.8 72.2
Upper Middle Quartile
37.1 62.9
Upper Quartile
41.7 58.3

67.41% of our employees are female and whilst this is widely reflected in the quartile analysis above, it is clear that this becomes less so at the higher quartiles.  This reflects the lower proportion of women in senior roles across the organisation and at the Executive level in comparison to the proportion of women in roles across the general workforce.

Next Steps:

We continue to actively support flexible working wherever possible.  Work life balance at Marwell is important to us, and this is also reflected in the high proportion of part time employees.

We are refreshing our recruitment & selection training both for external appointments and internal promotion opportunities, to ensure we continue to attract 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 a fair pay policy for all, regardless of gender


Jo Deller

Director of People & Services


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Where next?

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

Explore Marwell Zoo