Introducing Colchester Zoological Society…

In April 2023, we released the exciting news that, as of 1st January 2025, Colchester Zoo will become a charitable trust known as Colchester Zoological Society!

For the last 60 years, we have been known as a privately owned Zoo with a charitable arm, Action for the Wild, since 2004, which has provided much needed funds to conservation projects around the world, including our own private nature reserve in South Africa, UmPhafa.

Each and every visit made to Colchester Zoo has contributed to not only the continuous development of the Zoo, but to vital conservation projects worldwide. Whether you have made a purchase of admission tickets, adoptions, experiences, annual passes or by donating through our website, without your support, we wouldn’t be able to help protect wildlife and wild places…but we want to do more!

Why is it changing?
Colchester Zoo is currently privately owned. By changing to Colchester Zoological Society, a charitable trust, we are securing the future of the Zoo and creating a Zoo that can be enjoyed by future generations. This change will ensure that Colchester Zoo remains a key destination in Colchester and will continue to protect and preserve wildlife and wild places with conservation at its heart, as well as providing a first-class visitor experience, whilst at the same time, further understanding and respect for animals.

What will change?
Although it seems a huge change, you won’t notice a vast difference during your day to day visits. The zoo itself will be the same as you know it today, albeit with continuous development as we work towards our future vision. The big change is behind the scenes in the set up of the charitable trust itself, and this will come into effect from 1st January 2025. In the meantime, you will notice subtle changes as we introduce Colchester Zoological Society in the run up to the change over.

Along our main entrance, in media both online and in print, we have introduced our brand-new logo that will come into full effect in 2025. During 2024, we are raising awareness of the change, our events will celebrate this upcoming conversion as we shine a spotlight on the conservation work we do as a leading Zoo. We will also be launching a brand-new website in Spring 2024 – watch this space!

Are you rebranding?
We are excited for the future and in readiness, our in-house design and marketing team have developed the current recognisable Colchester Zoo logo to incorporate the upcoming change to Colchester Zoological Society. This will gradually be introduced over 2024, ready for the charity to take over the running of the Zoo as of the 1st January 2025. The logo is not vastly different from the current Colchester Zoo branding because it represents our charitable arm, Action for the Wild, uniting with Colchester Zoo to fulfil the Zoo’s mission for the future as Colchester Zoological Society.

What will happen to Action for the Wild?
Action for the Wild will transition into the charitable trust, Colchester Zoological Society, in Spring 2024, and will take over the running of the Zoo as a charitable trust on 1st January 2025. Your support through visits and donations will continue to help support conservation projects worldwide during this time!

What will happen to UmPhafa?
A charitable trust is being prepared in the Republic of South Africa; the UmPhafa Conservation Trust. This trust will run the South African operation of UmPhafa and includes applying to the authorities to get UmPhafa designated with protected area status. This effectively means that once approved, UmPhafa will always be a natural reserve where animals are safe and protected forever.

Will I still be able to use my Zoo Pass from 1st January 2025?
Yes! We hope that you will join us on this journey throughout 2024 and 2025 as well as enjoy a whole host of benefits included with your Zoo Pass such as entry to our special events, discounts in our catering outlets and Outpost Gift Shop, along with FREE entry to other major zoos.

Will the Zoo change once it becomes a charitable trust?
Not only have we released the exciting news about becoming Colchester Zoological Society, but we have shared a vision for the future of Colchester Zoo which includes the expansion of the site. A bigger site may not necessarily mean more animals, but will allow us to expand on our high standard of welfare and provide bigger habitats for a range of species. The visual drawing gives you a taste of what the future holds for Colchester Zoo – click the image to expand.

We hope that you will join us on this exciting journey, helping us to protect wildlife and wild places across the globe!

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