An Important Message...
EDIT 4 January 2021
Eleven days after the last change detailed below, the Government has now closed Zoos in the UK under the third Covid lockdown.
This time it is clear, and Zoos (and other 'animal attractions') have specifically been named and separated from other venues such as National Trust properties, which can still trade.
As a result, Hamerton Zoo Park will close again from tomorrow Tuesday 5th January.
We are sorry for any inconvenience caused by these abrupt changes of policy, but we must always follow the law and Government guidelines.
EDIT 24 December 2020
Less than 24 hours after the message below and just a few hours after closing our booking system, we have re-opened it for visits from 27 December.
This is because the Government has today now formally re-classified Zoos as permitted visit destinations - across ALL 'Tier' groups.
As we have always done, we must strictly follow Government policy, directions and advice - so, please if you need any further clarification, we can only recommend that you go to the relevant gov.uk web-page, or as we have always suggested, contact your own MP.
(Please Note - that from re-opening, site work which we had planned for the next lock-down will now have to take place whilst we are open. This means that some disruption, as (for example) some of our toilet facilities may not be available every day, because renovation work will be underway. Please note, that from 30 December we will have no disabled toilet facilities available. This is temporary whilst renovation works are in progress, and these are expected to be completed by February half-term; labour, materials, weather and Government policy, permitting. We apologise for any inconvenience caused, but hope you will understand that such improvements have to be made the quietist time of year - and we have to continue with such work independent of abrupt reversals of Government policy).
In the meantime (!) - we wish all our supporters the happiest possible Christmas, and more importantly - the very best for 2021.
EDIT 23 December 2020
The ever-changing tier system has finally caught up with us! Along with most of England, all of Cambridgeshire will move to Tier 4 on Boxing Day - so for the third time in 2020, our anniversary year, we are forced to close by Government. The Park lost a further £100,000 by being closed with all other Zoos during the National lock-down in the month of November, when much of the rest of the economy (even that indoors) was allowed to trade. The generosity shown by so many during April and May, has now pretty much dried up - so this time we really are on our own.
Whatever good was done by November lock-down has of course now been wiped-away by the free-for-all encouraged in December under the 'Tier' system, and now showing in rapidly rising cases of Covid.
As we are now told that vaccination will not be complete until September 2021, we can only prey that the situation will allow zoos to re-open before then. Zoos along with much of th UK economy would simply not survive the loss of a second spring/summer.
As long as we can source materials and labour, we hope to continue with the three major developments mentioned below - along with a brand new web-site, allowing much higher prominence for news stories and the ability to edit, in-house.
EDIT 26 November 2020
In accordance with Government Guidelines, Hamerton Zoo Park will re-open on 2nd December 2020 - as all of our immediate catchment counties are formally now in 'tier 2', although more distant regions like Leicestershire and Lincolnshire are under higher restrictions.
Entry will be restricted to groups of 6 only and all indoor areas must only be used by one family group at a time.
We politely ask that face-coverings are worn at all times at the Park, both indoors and outdoors.
As is normal at this time of year, our play-areas remain closed and our walk-through aviary is also not open due to Government restrictions.
Please note that following Government instructions, and along with all other zoos in England, we must close for the second time in 2020. This closure will be from 5th November to 2nd December inclusive. Blanket legislation does not take into account regional variation, and we thank all of our visitors over the past few months for their support and consideration. As a result our area remains in the lowest 'tier' for Covid cases.
Being responsible and capping and controlling our visitor numbers has cost us many, many thousands of pounds in lost gate and shop revenue. Our running costs continue at the rate of around £4000 per day, and so we have re-opened our Crowdfunding page
and hope that people will be even more generous the second time around.
We plan to re-open on 3rd December, and because of the number of requests will be running our popular Santa's Grotto again - strictly by pre-purchased ticket only.
Tickets will be available from next week and details will be published on social media.
We would like to remind everyone of the value of our season tickets.
More have been purchased this summer than ever before, and at simply three times the entry fee for a whole year, make excellent presents. If bought during lock-down they will start on our re-opening and give a full year from that date, giving unlimited visits to take advantage of all our recent expansion and some big new projects due to be completed for next season - AND giving some immunity from the tax rises the Government is imposing on our entry fees from April 2021.
UPDATE - 12 November 2020
It is with regret that we have abandoned our plans to run our Santa's Grotto this year.
Due to lack of clarity from Government, and the expectation that (despite our area's lowest 'tier' of ranking) that the lockdown is likely to last beyond December 2nd, we are not confident that we will be allowed to run this and if we are, the experience will not live up to expectations and the highest of standards set by our first trialed season, last year.
Major developments already in-hand, will ensure that the 2021 season will be the most exciting so far...!
A nice autumn and the lockdown means we have been able to get on with site work. When we re-open on 3rd December, visitors will notice several areas of building. Drains are being installed in the centre of the park and up at the bears; two new aviaries are being added to the centre block, and work will then start on replacing the two large Brush Turkey enclosures.
Work is continuing on one of the large projects already in-hand and the second will start in the early new year, with completion deadlines of summer and autumn 2021.
Several animal moves are planned, and we expect to receive several new species of birds over the winter and into next spring.