Inspiring change: connecting our guests with nature

July 5, 2024

Child in Thriving Through Nature Credit Paul Collins

We’re proud our conservation zoo inspires thousands of people each year with the wonder of wildlife. We aim to connect our 454,342 annual guests, 23,398 members and vast online communities with nature, empower people to take positive actions for wildlife in their own lives and inspire a future movement of conservationists. In 2023, we reached 1,184,627 website visits, 3254 articles were published in the media about our work and 155,412 people were part of our social media community. 

At Marwell Zoo, guests come face-to-face with incredible species and learn about our conservation work while creating lasting memories. Every penny spent with us helps raise the vital funds we need to support our animals and tackle some of the most pressing conservation challenges, both here in the UK and overseas.  

Here are some of our highlights from 2023: 

New animal experiences

We launched a whole raft of exciting new animal experiences which allow people to get closer than ever before to our incredible animals at the zoo.  

Joining our giraffe and penguin experiences, guests can now get closer to our Amur tiger or snow leopard, go behind the scenes with our birds, primates, or Energy for Life: Tropical House teams and enjoy a Small Carnivore Experience with our serval and mongoose or meerkats! Each experience has been tailor made to offer incredibly exciting opportunities to get closer to our animals, learn all about them from our keepers and make the kind of memories that will be cherished for a lifetime.

Snow Leopard at Marwell Zoo Credit Paul Webber

New accessible play area 

We opened a new accessible play area for young children at Fur, Feather and Scales. The equipment, made from recycled materials, encourages children from age two to use their imagination whilst learning important social skills. The structure is fitted with wheelchair access ramps and there are a variety play opportunities designed to encourage creative sensory play. 

Thriving Through Nature  

We gave our old tropical house a fresh new look to create an immersive new experience. In our new Thriving Through Nature exhibit you can find rock hyrax, insects, amphibians and lizards living amongst herbs, palms and plants that flourish in semi-desert conditions.  

Our Thriving Through Nature exhibit is designed to engage all senses, connecting guests to the nature around them, with calming water sounds, scented plants, and textured surfaces. 

Child climbing in Thriving Through Nature at Marwell Zoo Credit Paul Collins

Scouting the Zoo

We opened our gates to 1,372 Scouts, Cubs, Beavers, Squirrels, Guides, Rainbows and Brownies for our annual Scouting the Zoo weekend. Children of all ages earned a special woven badge and enjoyed drop-in sessions with our education team, nature craft activities and an adventure trail.

Glow Marwell returned

Events and commercial activities help us engage new and existing audiences with the importance of wildlife and the income plays a significant role in enabling our conservation work.  

Back for its second year, and with double the sparkle, more than half a million lights, snow galore and new illuminations, Glow Marwell 2023 welcomed 40,149 guests across 29 nights in November and December.  

Inspiring change

We work to inspire and empower our guests to live more sustainably and to take action to help protect the environment.

Our passionate teams engage with guests every day in our Energy for Life: Tropical House and through our daily programme of animal feeds. 2023 saw us introduce an educational live commentary on all road train tours, reaching almost 25,000 guests.

We continue to source and grow our sustainable product offering in our cafes and Gift Shop. We collaborate with our suppliers to create ranges made from 100% recycled materials.

Breaking down barriers

We are proud to work with a range of charities and groups in our local community who may face barriers to visiting the zoo, so more people can enjoy the benefits of being closer to nature.  

In 2023 we launched our £15 tickets for seniors and students as well as a family ticket offer in response to rising inflation and concerns about the cost of living.