A letter to you from our new CEO, Laura Read

March 28, 2024

Laura Read, new CEO at Marwell Wildlife

Dear Marwell members and guests,

Firstly I would like to say how absolutely delighted I am to be able to write to you as the new Chief Executive of Marwell Wildlife. Marwell has been a part of my life ever since we did a project on snow leopards in year six of primary school and we came to visit on a school trip. It is somewhere I have subsequently brought my own children and I have heard from many many people about what a special place it is.  Although my career background is not directly in animal care and conservation, I did study Biological Sciences at University and have spent the past 20 years travelling to as many places as possible to witness conservation in action as part of my holiday time. Therefore this appointment does feel somewhat like I am coming full circle to what I possibly should have been doing all along.

I am now two weeks into the role and I have been wowed by the friendly open culture of the Marwell team, the deep care shown for our animals and the commitment to conservation of the natural world that filters through the whole organisation. People have been very welcoming, and I am enjoying spending some time with each department hearing about their day to day lives, their challenges and how they think we can continue to grow and develop Marwell over the coming years.

I know many of you will be long time members or visitors to Marwell and may also have some opinions on what we could do better or more of and please rest assured that later this year there will be an opportunity to feedback as we conduct some consumer research to form our strategy for the coming years.

Marwell is well placed in the UK to be a leading voice and force for the protection of our ecosystems around the globe.  

From the work we are doing in Kenya to monitor the Grevy’s zebra population, through to the innovative project in Bhutan which is highlighting the cultural importance of tigers to aid their protection, we are proving to be a trusted partner for organisations around the world. Right here at Marwell itself, we are pioneering the use of animal welfare monitoring tools to provide real time data on how our animals are feeling, behaving, and interacting with their habitats.

There is an awful lot to be proud of already, including the WAZA Award for Conservation that we received at the end of 2023 for the work with the scimitar-horned oryx and its subsequent change of status from extinct in the wild to endangered.

Every visit you make and every penny you spend with us, allows us to continue this work and so thank you for your loyalty and ongoing commitment to Marwell Wildlife.

I feel like I am at the beginning of a very exciting journey, alongside some great people with expertise needed to take Marwell Wildlife forward. I sincerely hope you will all join me for the ride.