Northumberland zoo calls on public's support to prevent permanent closure of attraction

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Northumberland Country Zoo could be just weeks away from closure following the Covid-19 shutdown.

That is the stark warning issued by Maxine Bradley, curator at the family-run, not-for-profit business, near Eshott.

She has so far retained her full-time keeper workforce so they can continue to care for the zoo’s 400 animals, yet without vital visitor revenue or government support, she says she is faced with an ‘unthinkable decision’.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It comes as the Gazette is running our #SupportLocal campaign aimed at promoting local businesses at this difficult time.

Ring-tailed Lemur.Ring-tailed Lemur.
Ring-tailed Lemur.

“We know and understand that the shutdown is affecting a large number of businesses, yet unlike many, we are unable to work from home as we are doing everything to ensure the welfare of our animals on site,” she said.

“We had been gearing up for a huge Easter 2020 to help kickstart the year; we were also planning to unveil our fantastic new restaurant facility and launch a new vital captive breeding conservation project for a native species.

“We are so unsure of what the future holds for Northumberland Zoo and never thought we would be in the position to have to ask the public for additional support, but now more than ever, we – our collective family of staff and our beautiful animals – need their help.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Maxine is calling on the Government to change its position regarding the 80% wage support package.

She says the current lack of support for staff who are still needing to come to work means she is forced to lay off all non-keeper staff, retaining only a small team of keepers to care full time for the animals.

Without financial support, however, funds for the keeping staff will soon run dry, leaving the welfare of the animals at serious risk.

The zoo is also calling on the wider community to pledge their support and help safeguard its survival.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

There are a number of ways that people can help, including direct donations, purchasing admission tickets online (valid for two years), adopting an animal or purchasing an annual membership.

The Zoo has also launched its #BringtheZootoYou YouTube channel, helping people in lockdown to keep in touch with weekly goings on.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you