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Author Topic: Bristol Zoo on the move  (Read 904 times)
Red Squirrel
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« on: November 27, 2020, 02:57:20 pm »

Bristol Zoo has announced that it plans to close its Clifton site after 2022 and relocate to The Wild Place, at Cribbs Causeway. The Clifton site will be redeveloped, and The Wild Place will be renamed 'Bristol Zoo'.

Clifton Down Station has traditionally been seen as a convenient transport link for the Zoo, though it is a fairly brisk 15-minute walk away. Car parking at the Clifton site, particularly in the school holidays, was difficult. The Wild Place is perhaps a 20-minute walk from the new Henbury station, and rather closer to Cribbs Causeway bus station. The new site is 55Ha, compared to less than 5Ha at Clifton.

It'll be interesting to see their travel plan when it is published!
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grahame
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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2020, 04:29:46 pm »

The Wild Place is perhaps a 20-minute walk from the new Henbury station, and rather closer to Cribbs Causeway bus station. The new site is 55Ha, compared to less than 5Ha at Clifton.

It'll be interesting to see their travel plan when it is published!

I have been right past their entrance on the bus, headed from Bristol Parkway station to Pilning.  As I recall, it was quite a long ride from Parkway (going all around a lot of houses) but then quite direct into Pilning.  Just checked online - around 10 minutes from Pilning (Westgate) and just over 30 minutes from Parkway.  Hourly service.  Bus also carries on to Severn Beach Station.

Current web site suggests 1 or 2 from Central Bristol to Catbrain (that's a journey approaching an hour) then "From the bus stop, it is then a short 10-15 minute walk on a safe pedestrian route to the entrance of Wild Place Project."  Hmmm ... may be safe, but I seem to recall it not being entirely pleasant around the traffic and under the M5, or do I have the wrong junction in mind?

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« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2020, 04:32:10 pm »

Can't see the words 'Bristol Zoo' without remembering Johnny Morris and Animal Magic. Part of my childhood was that.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2020, 04:45:44 pm »

It seems like a good move in terms of the zoo's operations as a zoo, but maybe not so good for non-car borne visitors. OTOH I expect the vast majority of visitors come by car as it is; hence the overflow parking on the Downs controversy. I wonder what will happen to that? I presume there will be far more parking out in the Northern Fringe.
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« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2020, 05:09:40 pm »

Can't see the words 'Bristol Zoo' without remembering Johnny Morris and Animal Magic. Part of my childhood was that.

Indeed; I fear that 'ages' us.   I also recall quite a cramped site, and factoring up ten times in area would seem a good step.   I hope there will not be anything like the same factoring up in terms of the number of animals; really not happy with the old fashioned zoo approach, as an exhibition of animals in unnaturally small (and behaviour influencing) enclosures. Maybe I am outdated, but that's how I remember Bristol Zoo.
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« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2020, 05:59:31 pm »

The larger site will be preferable on animal welfare grounds, the older type of zoo is rather cruel by todays standards.
Animals need pens large enough that they may behave reasonably naturally, and many species are best  kept in groups.

Endangered species should be encouraged to breed, and offspring may need transferring to other zoos to maintain a diverse gene pool.

London Zoo no longer keep elephants, partly because they lacked space to accommodate such animals in proper conditions.
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« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2020, 06:00:01 pm »

It'll be interesting to see their travel plan when it is published!

Apparently Noah has won the contract  Grin
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« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2020, 06:31:09 pm »

The zoo had a big place in my heart and I can genuinely say that I was very dismayed when I read the news.  I saw the zoo change over the years to accommodate animals more suited to it's size.  The logic seemed to me to be that larger animals would be located at the Wild Place.
I like the Wild Place but there is no question that it is much more difficult to access without a car, especially on foot, than the Clifton site which is not perhaps the best of starts from an environmental point of view.  In fact I would often walk or cycle there and sometimes even did a short hop on the Severn Beach Line.  I won't be doing any of that with the new site and renewing the membership which we held for many years probably won't be worth it now.
End of an era for what is an important and historic element of the city's identity I fear.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2020, 06:45:47 pm »

The zoo had a big place in my heart and I can genuinely say that I was very dismayed when I read the news.  I saw the zoo change over the years to accommodate animals more suited to it's size.  The logic seemed to me to be that larger animals would be located at the Wild Place.
I like the Wild Place but there is no question that it is much more difficult to access without a car, especially on foot, than the Clifton site which is not perhaps the best of starts from an environmental point of view.  In fact I would often walk or cycle there and sometimes even did a short hop on the Severn Beach Line.  I won't be doing any of that with the new site and renewing the membership which we held for many years probably won't be worth it now.
End of an era for what is an important and historic element of the city's identity I fear.

I think their reasons for moving are hard to fault (see here: https://bristolzoo.org.uk/our-future). They were going bust. I share your worries about car-free access, but we can allow ourselves to hope that they can pull a rabbit (or maybe a ring-tailed lemur?) out of a hat on that score...
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« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2020, 09:28:57 pm »

Sad news,but understandable given the society's poor financial position, many happy memories of the Zoo having worked as a keepers assistant during the school holidays back in the seventies,I've swept up after Wendy on more than one occasion!..
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TonyK
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« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2020, 09:45:53 pm »


I think their reasons for moving are hard to fault (see here: https://bristolzoo.org.uk/our-future). They were going bust. I share your worries about car-free access, but we can allow ourselves to hope that they can pull a rabbit (or maybe a ring-tailed lemur?) out of a hat on that score...

Your are absolutely right. It seems it is this, or no zoo at all. The pandemic won't have helped, but is not the sole cause by any stretch of the imagination. I have often wondered how the finances of such a place add up, but they clearly don't any more. It remains sad that such a big and well-known zoo as Bristol should have to do this, but as you say the reasoning is clear. The plus sides are the extra space for man, beast and car park without the perennial argument of using the Downs. And of course the price of 5 hectares of absolutely prime location by the Downs, a welcome addition to the charitable coffers and likely to keep the place going for a long time to come. At least until Bristol spreads to the point that the new location becomes surrounded by population and gains prime status itself.

Of course, MetroBust will serve the zoo at its new location in as good a way as it now serves Temple Meads, as well as a few of the more mortal buses. Henbury, when built, will be a bit of a schlep, but I'm sure a fair bit of ground will find itself used as a temporary car park for the next 50 years or so.

One of my former tenants was the ring-tailed lemur keeper, as you mention it, which got me favoured access until marriage and new employment robbed me of my small perk.
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