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From Concept to Conservation - YOU can help manage our zoo!

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Martin Blyth, 18 Aug 2020.

  1. Martin Blyth

    Martin Blyth New Member

    17 Aug 2020
    Redditch, Worcestershire

    When I was 13 years old I joined this website and made some ludicrous claims that one day I wanted to build my own zoo. Having viewed this site from afar over the last 15 years, I’ve seen fellow enthusiasts come on to here and make similar claims. Perhaps even as you are reading this now, you may have a lifelong aspiration to create your own zoo or wildlife park.

    I’ve recently given notice on my secure, stable job in education management and even sold my home to concentrate on developing plans for a new wildlife park in Worcestershire, England.

    Heart of England Wildlife Park will be based in Worcestershire in the United Kingdom and I am currently working with two local councils to develop plans for the site. From archaeology and ecology reports and Highways consulting the steps have been taken to finally make the dream a reality. We have architectural drawings under review to develop a walk-through safari and visitor centre for the zoo and we’ll be able to share these with you alongside the exact location of the site very soon.

    I’ve actually been looking for a site to establish a wildlife park for a number of years and it is so exciting to be working on a site which is literally on my doorstep. I’d looked at Blackbrook Zoo, Borth, the Rare Species Conservation Centre and many places in between. We’ve looked at sites in North Devon, Essex and even as far afield as Scotland. We identified a site in Worcestershire just before the government imposed lockdown in response to the pandemic and since making initial enquiries a few other sites within the vicinity have been brought to our attention by the local council.

    We are working with zoological consultants to identify animals for the site and it is hoped that animals such as zebra, red river hog, pelicans and lemurs will all be housed at the zoo in advance of an estimated opening at Easter 2021.

    I understand that a key part of any successful zoo or wildlife park in the twenty-first century is raising funds for conservation initiatives. We’ve already entered a partner agreement with the Grevy’s Zebra Trust and hope to support their work in the field over the coming years.

    To accelerate the development of the attraction we are launching a crowdfunding initiative which gives YOU a chance to join a unique community, having a direct say in the development of the Wildlife Park. Our crowdfunding initiative gives supporters the opportunity to cast their vote on key decisions such as collection planning all the way through to deciding on which animal features on the first version of the guidebook. You will also be able to vote on decisions relating to enclosure design, merchandising and much, much more.

    My decision to build Heart of England Wildlife Park is deep rooted in my desire to put something of significant value back into my community and safeguard threatened species from extinction. I’m hoping that our crowdfunding initiative will appeal to local residents but also zoo enthusiasts around the world. I know there are thousands of people out there who have wanted to open their own zoo and this might be as a result of playing simulation games such as Zoo Tycoon or Planet Zoo. I hope that zoo enthusiasts like me who have dared to dream will go on and back the project, now is your chance to help run a real zoological collection.

    There are three types of membership which you can access via Heart of England Wildlife Park’s crowdfunding initiative. You can ‘Join the Pack’ from as little as £35 and in addition to voting on key decisions ‘Pack Members’ are also able to access exclusive content, competitions and events. The ‘Parade’ membership package offers supporters the opportunity to take part in a ‘Zoo Manger for the Day’ experience where you can meet the animals, work with our zoo keeping team and get a behind the scenes look at the wildlife park’s operations. As far as we know, there is currently no similar experience to this anywhere in the world. You’ll also be able to join at least one member our senior leadership team for lunch if you opt for the highest membership level.

    Heart of England Wildlife Park

    I wholeheartedly thank you for taking time to read this extensive post - I wanted to release news of the project on ZooChat before our official launch later today to acknowledge a place where the dream and inspiration has developed over the last 15 years. Our social media streams will go LIVE from 10am (UK Time 18th August) and any help in sharing our pages will be much appreciated.

    I know that the economic circumstances on a global scale are currently less than favourable, but any contribution that you can make whatsoever will be gratefully received. I really do hope that you #JOINTHEPACK and become a part of our exciting community.

    Inevitably there will be questions about our exciting venture and I will do my very best to answer those in the coming days.

    Best wishes,

    Martin Blyth
    Director | Heart of England Wildlife Park
    Mai Thai, Max Blundell, Brum and 9 others like this.
  2. Neil chace

    Neil chace Well-Known Member 5+ year member

    27 Aug 2018
    Congratulations on coming this far! I wish you the best of luck continuing on your project.