Marwell Zoo - Linne's two toed sloth
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Marwell Zoo prepares to reopen safely

Posted on
June 10, 2020

One of our favourite local days out, Marwell Zoo in Hampshire, has outlined its plans to welcome visitors back safely as zoos are finally able to reopen.

The decision to relax restrictions on zoos is expected to take effect from Monday 15 June, however Marwell’s Chief Executive James Cretney said the Hampshire zoo’s reopening date is to be confirmed.

Marwell Zoo

He explained: “We’re delighted that zoos will finally be able to reopen!

“We’re looking forward to welcoming guests back very soon, however we’ve always been working towards the government’s original indicated reopening date of early July as part of Stage 3 of the UK’s Covid 19 recovery strategy.

Our priority continues to be the safety of our guests, staff and animals. We are now busy making the necessary changes including bringing back and safety training our furloughed staff and installing all the physical measures to ensure guests can safely enjoy our 140-acre zoo. As soon as the preparations are complete, we will reopen.”

Marwell Zoo

New Safety Measures at Marwell

Measures will include two metre floor markings at enclosures and queues, new one-way routes on narrow paths, multiple hand sanitisation points, stringent cleaning and signage to inform visitors.

The zoo will be strictly limiting numbers each day so all guests including members will need to book online before they arrive while all payments at the zoo will be by card only.

All indoor animal areas will remain closed and there will be no animal talks, touch tables, train services or public animal feeds. The indoor cafes will not be open however there will be catering outlets where takeaway food and drink will be available as well as extra outdoor picnic areas.   

Marwell Zoo

Marwell’s SUPERSIZED Brick Adventure

We are big fans of Marwell’s brick adventures, with the Brickosaurs last year. This year’s summer brick adventure event is SUPERSIZED! and will be on display until 1 November 2020.


Guests will be ‘shrunk’ through a ‘minimising machine’ on arrival before meeting toy brick models SUPERSIZED to eye-popping proportions, including a three-metre tarantula, assassin bug, American kestrel and a towering red spitting cobra.

James, added: “The zoo may feel a bit different when we open but it will be the same warm welcome from all of us.

“Unlike many organisations, our costs are incredibly high, around £600,000 a month to ensure our animals receive the same high standards of care they are used to so each day the zoo is closed to guests, our need for the public’s support grows to help us cover basic costs such as animal food and bedding.

“It is great news the government has acknowledged the importance of supporting us to care for our incredible animals while giving families more options to reconnect with the natural world and spend time safely outdoors.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of our supporters during these unprecedented times and it will take us a long time to recover. We can’t wait to welcome guests back as soon as possible.”

Marwell Zoo

To find out more about the zoo’s fundraising appeal go to:

Alternatively if you would like to buy a gift for the animals from the zoo’s Amazon Wish List, visit

  1. Reply


    June 11, 2020

    It’s great that zoos can reopen as they were hit really hard by the pandemic. However, I think it will still take a while until visitors will dare to go for a visit

  2. Reply

    Linda Hobbis

    June 12, 2020

    I am totally baffled that it has taken this long to allow zoos to reopen given the important conservation work that they do. Thank god Marwell can open its doors. Let’s hope that the public fully support this and other zoos like Chester as funds are direly needed now. When you think about it, it has always been relatively easy to social distance at a zoo as long as giftshops and restaurants operate on a ‘takeaway’ basis. My only query would be what they will do about loos.

  3. Reply


    June 12, 2020

    Such good news that zoos are able to open again soon! It sounds like Marwell have got social distancing plans in place well.

  4. Reply


    June 12, 2020

    I’ve wanted to take the kids here for ages, can’t wait to visit this summer.

  5. Reply

    Sally Akins

    June 13, 2020

    This is really good news! Zoos do such important conservation work, and it should be fairly easy to put social distancing in place at a zoo

  6. Reply


    June 13, 2020

    It’s really positive, not only that Zoo etc can reopen but that they are all putting measures in place, I feel really reassured that they are doing their best to be safe

  7. Reply

    Melanie williams

    June 13, 2020

    This is fab news!! I was starting to really sorry about the future for all of these animals. Just brilliant x

  8. Reply

    Jess Howliston

    June 14, 2020

    YAY so pleased to hear they (and many other zoos and wildlife parks) are opening again so they get hopefully get some much needed funds to keep them open! It sounds like they have great plans in place to keep everyone safe and we cant wait to visit again soon, its one of our favourite zoos!

  9. Reply


    June 16, 2020

    That must be such a huge relief, they rely so much on the public visitors paying. It’s scary how much has been effected in the past 2 months

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Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog