The Association of Jersey Charities has awarded £30,000 of Channel Islands Lottery funding to Jersey Zoo.
The money is facilitating accessibility improvements across the 32-acre site for visitors living with disabilities.
As part of their vision to make Jersey Zoo an inclusive and enjoyable destination for individuals of all needs and abilities, the zoo has embarked on a collaborative journey with local people and specialist organisations. Their joint venture began with a comprehensive accessibility audit designed to identify areas needing improvement.
Thanks to the generous Channel Islands (CI) Lottery grant, the zoo is carrying out the first phase of improvements, which encompass enhanced access to enclosures and buildings, as well as flooring, lighting and ramp upgrades.
Scheduled for completion by the end of 2023, several improvements have already been completed or are in plan, including:
- The installation of new flooring and a new ramp at the Reptile House, ensuring safer and easier access for visitors while enhancing navigation;
- A gradual reduction of gradients on pathways to enhance mobility accessibility;
- The widening and flattening of paths throughout the zoo; and,
- The addition of signage pointing to alternative routes where full accessibility is incomplete.
Jon Taylor, Presiding Officer of the CI Lottery said: “This collaboration embodies the very essence of what the CI Lottery aims to achieve – improving the lives of individuals and supporting community initiatives.
“We are proud to contribute to Jersey Zoo’s efforts in making the site accessible to all, enabling every member of our community to connect with nature, learn about conservation and meet some of the world’s rarest animals. This initiative also illustrates the power of collective actions, showing that when organisations, communities and charitable foundations unite, transformative change can be achieved, ensuring equal opportunities for everyone.”
Glynn Bower, Head of Site Services at Jersey Zoo, emphasised the importance of the ongoing work, acknowledging the challenges associated with maintaining accessibility in a historical property.
He commented: “This initiative marks the first phase of a broader, sustained improvement campaign for the site. We want Jersey Zoo to be accessible for people of all needs and abilities so are looking at all entry and exit points, ensuring doors are user- friendly and that our ramps comply with the latest standards. We are extremely grateful to the ACJ and CI Lottery for their invaluable support, to help us on this journey.”
Picture credit: Max Burnett.