Brian Blessed OBE joins Twycross Zoo’s fight for survival!

28th Jun 2023

The Summer Holidays officially come to an end next week for us and we are looking ahead at a worrying winter with the certainty of less visitors, resulting in a significant drop in income. Time will only tell whether our zoo will make it through to next season or whether a breaking point is on the horizon. What is certain is that Autumn and Winter will be critical to the long term survival of our zoo.

We have achieved just 31% of visitor capacity throughout the Summer Holidays, the latest BVA BDRC report on tracking consumer sentiment on the impact of Covid-19, has indicated that the next few months are looking like they are going to be tougher. The survey results also suggest that the sentiment of the consumer is changing with 85% of people thinking that there will be a second wave that leads to another lockdown and the percentage of people who think the worst is yet to come continues to track upwards to around 50% of the population. Furthermore people visiting outdoor attractions is flat-lining at 43% indicating that this could drop at any moment.

CEO of Twycross Zoo, Dr Sharon Redrobe OBE commented: “Covid 19 has been the worst crisis we have faced in our 57 year existence and the past five months have been, in short, an emotional rollercoaster.

“Every day that we are open we are slowly clawing back the uncertainty that lockdown has caused but by no means are we out of the woods. If we ever faced another lockdown it’s hard to imagine that our zoo would survive it. We are fighting, our communities and supporters are fighting but disappointingly there has been no update from the Government on how it is going to support the UK’s large zoos, which in all honesty is devastating.

“We have sadly had to make some difficult decisions and sacrifices over the last few months. Vital restructuring to help save the zoo has taken place across our teams, and has had a significant impact on our commercial and education departments. We have put on hold future development projects that would have brought a huge boost to our local economy, however animal welfare is not an area that we can or will ever compromise on.

“With the summer holidays coming to an end and schools re-opening, our situation is even more critical and we call again on our local communities, MPs and supporters for renewed support to get us through these notoriously quieter months.”

Support has come from all over the country and from those recognised across the world. Legendary actor, Brian Blessed OBE, has now joined the likes of actress, Dame Judi Dench, broadcaster and Professor, Alice Roberts and X-Factor winner, Sam Bailey who have all pledged their support to the zoo. In the moving video above, Brian Blessed who is a self-confessed animal lover, said: “Twycross Zoo needs to survive. It needs to continue its vital role in educating the next generation. It needs to care for its 500 animals and refuses to compromise on their welfare. The zoo needs to continue its mission to protect the species with which we share our planet and without your help Twycross Zoo could close, and it’s going to take an entire community to save this zoo from extinction.”

Did you know?

  • It costs over half a million pounds a month to run Twycross Zoo
  • To date Twycross Zoo has raised over £360,000 through donations since it closed in March
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