Join our zoo community

Chester Zoo Islands - Opening and impressions

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Nisha, 6 Jul 2015.

  1. Nisha

    Nisha Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    24 Jun 2009
    Posts:
    5,750
    Location:
    Chester - UK
    This is it :cool: - after four and half years of:

    Waiting, discussing it on here, speculating, taking photos of the building site, Checking planning applications, Nagging Chester staff for info ;), Peeking through the hedge, waiting for animals to move, taking a great interest in what was the field behind the Oryx... (feel free to add anymore)

    ..Islands (phase 1) is finally opening this week! :D

    To prepare, the original thread has now been closed and we've had a chat in Mod HQ with regards to spoilers. Anyone who doesn't want to see images of the development (before they see it themselves) is advised to avoid the Chester gallery from Friday onward. Their will not be a separate gallery due to the problems creating it. Spoilers, reviews / thoughts and opinions can be posted in this thread which will be sticky-ed for the first week or so

    Let the discussion commence ;)
     
  2. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    8 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    3,640
    Location:
    South Devon
    Thank you for creating this thread.
    The long range weather forecast for Chester on Friday is cloudy but warm with a chance of rain. I have been thinking about my photographic kit and wondering whether I can be bothered to answer the questionnaire - that will depend on the questions and on my mood on the day. I have decided that my bedtime reading this week will be The Malay Archipelago by Alfred Russel Wallace. Wouldn't it be cool if you could complete the questionnaire entirely with Wallace quotes :D

    Alan
     
  3. kiang

    kiang Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    12 Aug 2007
    Posts:
    6,103
    Location:
    Argyllshire
    I would never have put it at 4 and a half years since the original conception, where has that gone!!!!!
    A truly historic moment in British zoo history, with the opening of the largest and single most expensive zoo exhibit in the UK, EVER!
    This is where the butterflies in the stomach start, will it live up to so many expectations for the vast amount of money spent, either way a welcome addition to the British zoo scene and moves Chester zoo further up the echelons of the European and global zoo family.
    I have started planning a visit for when the schools go back in England, September probably, but i will be waiting, finger poised to view the first images from the preview days.
    To everyone going on the previews, enjoy your visits and appreciate every single second of your time.
     
  4. ChesterZooFan

    ChesterZooFan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5 Mar 2012
    Posts:
    190
    Location:
    Leeds
    The "questionnaire" is referred to as a 'Children's Log Book / Activity Book' on the Islands FAQ's and will be handed out at Coral Sands, to be returned to the Manado Permit Office on completion! I'm curious to see how it has been put together.

    I have to say I like the idea of using something like this to engage with the regular zoo visitor. Many of us are frequently exacerbated by a disinterest or ignorance from many visitors - I'm sure this can only help to engage and educate.

    Interestingly enough, Leeds University are working with the zoo on a major piece of research within Islands to assess the effectiveness of the exhibit in engaging and educating the visitors. A statement summarising their research as follows:

    "Chester Zoo is an internationally-renowned conservation organisation, and is the most visited zoo in the UK. In 2014, It was voted as the best zoo in the UK, and the 6th best in the world by TripAdvisor. Its new ‘Islands’ project is the biggest ever zoo development in Europe. It involves experimentation with the use of an immersive environment, where zoo visitors can wander amongst animals and plants distinctive of the south-east Asian islands whose wildlife it hopes to showcase. The hope is that this non-traditional way of experiencing zoo animals might encourage ways of thinking which this project also hopes to foster – ways of thinking according to which the human species is regarded simply as one amongst many, part of the rich biodiversity of life on earth, rather than a species set apart from the others – unique though we undoubtedly are. The Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Professor Steward will work with the Zoo both to assess the effectiveness of, and to further, the aims of the Islands project in promoting this agenda".

    Sounds like a groundbreaking exhibit!! Really interested to see how it works in reality......
     
  5. prawnie1975

    prawnie1975 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    29 Apr 2015
    Posts:
    55
    Location:
    Near Chester
    officially on countdown now ... camera is empty and fully charged ... Ticket is also ready ... better make sure i don't forget that lol ... only 4 sleeps to go :D
     
  6. SMR

    SMR Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    22 Oct 2009
    Posts:
    1,125
    Location:
    Chester
    I'll be travelling light with a Sony RX100M3 and the SLR with a 24-105mm. Might plump for the 400mm and a fast 50mm prime too... and the macro. Oh dear... ;)
     
  7. bongorob

    bongorob Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18 May 2007
    Posts:
    5,286
    Location:
    Stoke-on-Trent England
  8. prawnie1975

    prawnie1975 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    29 Apr 2015
    Posts:
    55
    Location:
    Near Chester
    looks amazing ... Look North will also be showing some more on tomorrow (thurs) night program 6.30pm bbc 1
     
  9. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 Jan 2008
    Posts:
    2,909
    Location:
    New York, USA
    Six, really.
    This is an evolution of Heart of Africa in concept, if not in animal collection.
     
  10. Macaw16

    Macaw16 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    28 Feb 2015
    Posts:
    878
    Location:
    York, England
    That will presumably be only North West look north, not all of the various look norths.
     
  11. prawnie1975

    prawnie1975 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    29 Apr 2015
    Posts:
    55
    Location:
    Near Chester
    yes i presume so ... but it will be available on BBC Iplayer . tomorrow im sure it said about how the animals are settling in
     
  12. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5 Jul 2008
    Posts:
    2,433
    Location:
    Aberdeen, Scotland (UK)
    Very exciting. No other exhibit has ever been seriously considered for an individual gallery on here - though perhaps that says something more about Chester Zoo's following. I really hope it lives up to it. :D
     
  13. kiang

    kiang Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    12 Aug 2007
    Posts:
    6,103
    Location:
    Argyllshire
    I would love to know how those lucky zoochatters
    With preview tickets are actually feeling?
     
  14. bongorob

    bongorob Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18 May 2007
    Posts:
    5,286
    Location:
    Stoke-on-Trent England
    I'm not feeling anything at the moment.
     
  15. SMR

    SMR Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    22 Oct 2009
    Posts:
    1,125
    Location:
    Chester
    According to an email from the zoo today entitled: "Your behind the scenes Member Preview on Islands"

    "Islands has been a hugely complex and challenging project for everyone involved, but we're so excited to be able to give our members a behind the scenes glimpse of Islands as we put the finishing touches to the largest zoo development project in UK history." (their emphasis).

    As far as I'm aware, it isn't a behind-the-scenes tour in any way, shape or form.
     
  16. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    8 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    3,640
    Location:
    South Devon
    I suppose you could say it's a before-the-scenes tour, which is the exact opposite in some ways :)

    Alan
     
  17. zoogiraffe

    zoogiraffe Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    12 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    6,491
    Location:
    Middlewich,Cheshire U.K
    Have to say I was getting excited until we found out that its not all going to be finished at this point in time,I now suspect the zoo is going to have to brace itself for alot of criticism for it not all being opened,and the fact that it will be well over 3 months late from the timescale that members were given at the AGM last year,before it is all open!
     
  18. Panthera1981

    Panthera1981 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    9 Mar 2014
    Posts:
    582
    Location:
    Buckinghamshire,UK
    Regardless of timescales, you're all lucky buggers for getting to see it. I'm insanely jealous!

    I can only hope that such an investment may one day occur at Whipsnade, though doubt it will in my lifetime!
     
  19. bongorob

    bongorob Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18 May 2007
    Posts:
    5,286
    Location:
    Stoke-on-Trent England
    Just another example of the chaos the zoo has got themselves into.
     
  20. ChesterZooFan

    ChesterZooFan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5 Mar 2012
    Posts:
    190
    Location:
    Leeds
    Mmmmmmm.......think this means there will still be work men and zoo staff on site whilst we walk round. My guess (based on a visit last week) is that the Manado Town area will still need "finishing touches" - there was still a lot of work going on here only a few days ago. Wouldn't be surprised if the shop and restaurant are not open tomorrow... Just a hunch.

    I love the spin that has been out on it all though! First we have a "phased opening" and now a " behind the scenes tour for members". You've got to give credit to the marketing department for turning a negative into a positive!!!

    Whatever the situation tomorrow I am actually beyond excited about seeing the (almost) finished article tomorrow! I think it is going to be so spectacular that I can forgive the delay or the marketing spin!