About Us

Marwell Staff photo


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.


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Group Visits

As a group of senior citizens it was great to have the road train available

As a group of senior citizens it was great to have the road train available as it made it possible to visit different parts of the zoo which they wouldn't have managed on foot. The new lemur loop was a highlight for me, actually being in with the animals was magical.… Read full reviewCaroline - U3A Wokingham, 27th October 2017


Our Partners

British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums
British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums
European Association of Zoos and Aquaria
Hampshire Top Attractions
Hampshire Top Attractions
IUNC Species Survival
IUCN Species Survival

Our Accreditations

Approved Family Friendly
Approved Family Friendly
Visit England
Visit England
Trip Advisor
Trip Advisor
Best Company 2016
Best Company 2016

Status & Governance

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)
  • Patrick Mitchell, FIH
  • David Pape, MSc,MCIEEM
  • Nicola Robinson, VetMB, MRCVS
  • Miranda Stevenson, OBE, BA, PhD, MBA
  • BarryWatson, FCA, CTA

Trustees' report and financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2016.


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.

Andrea Mullins BSc (Hons), PgDipM; FCIM – Marketing Director

Marketing specialist with wide, successful B2B and B2C experience built from a 25 year career in Mars, Siemens and a variety of not-for-profit organisations.

My role is to define and deliver the marketing strategy and drive income via zoo admissions; memberships and various fundraising streams, including Go! Rhinos and Marwell’s Zany Zebras.

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 – Guest Services 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.

Our history

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 - 950 to 1972

The history of Marwell (950 to 1972)

Marwell Zoo - 1972 - 2011

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

Collection Management

Marwell Zoo - Animal Inventory

A listing of the animals present in 2016.

Where next?

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

Explore Marwell Zoo