ZSL London Zoo is pledging 100,000 subsidised tickets to ensure the Zoo is accessible to all – helping people who currently face barriers to visiting, the opportunity to connect with wildlife.
Along with the subsidised tickets, the Zoo will be looking at other ways to improve accessibility, making sure a day out at ZSL London Zoo is accessible to people with all needs and abilities. The Community Access Scheme is being delivered in conjunction with the Snowdon Aviary restoration project supported by National Lottery players through £4.5m funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The Zoo will also be working with local people and specialist organisations to hear from visitors first-hand on how to make positive changes to ensure every visitor has a wonderful day out.
Charities, community-interest companies and groups working with older people, people with additional needs and disabilities and low-income families in Camden and Westminster will be able to apply for an allocation of tickets for their members from today (Friday 25 October) until 2023.
Kathryn England, Chief Operating Officer at ZSL London Zoo said: “Everybody should have the chance to experience the unique learning opportunity Zoos have to offer, getting up-close with animals, and feeling that little bit closer to the natural world.
“There is no denying the health benefits that nature provides for us all – for both our mental and physical wellbeing – zoos have an important role to play in fostering that connection.
“Through our local Community Access Scheme supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund – we’ve realised there’s several underrepresented groups in society that currently feel unable to come to the zoo because of a number of barriers, but we want to change that.
“Through a series of focus groups and feedback events with local communities – we’ve learnt so much. From understanding how we can better support people with assistance dogs while maintaining our high standards of animal welfare, to installing a Changing Places toilet on-site – we’ve already made some really big improvements.
“While we recognise that we are a Zoo made up of many historic buildings which place challenges on accessibility, we want to lead by example by reaching those communities and listening and learning from them. We’ll be inspiring, informing and empowering not only a new group of people to protect wildlife, but also encourage other tourist attractions to think about how they can make their experiences more accessible too.”
This programme is supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.