New name for Bristol Zoo's Wild Place revealed just days before crunch planning vote

220423 Bristol zoo project
It will be known as Bristol Zoo Project from next summer Credit: Matthew Rolley

The Wild Place Project in South Gloucestershire will be named as ‘Bristol Zoo Project’ from next summer.

This is the next phase of the project to move the zoo from Clifton to the edge of the city at Easter Compton.

Bristol Zoo bosses announced the new name at the visitor attraction today (22 April) with a photo call involving hundreds of people shaping out the letters of the new name.

The announcement comes just days before its controversial plan to redevelop the Clifton site goes before city councillors.

Bristol Zoo Gardens closed in September last year and now the charity's trustees want to focus its future at the Wild Place site, which is just the other side of the M5 junction at Cribbs Causeway.

It will be down to councillors on Wednesday (26 April) to decide whether the zoo’s plans to redevelop the Clifton site get the go-ahead, and planning officers have recommended the application be given permission.

Today Justin Morris, Chief Executive of Bristol Zoological Society, said the new name marked the "start of a journey".

Mr Morris said: "We are on a journey. Wild animals are under threat of extinction and we think zoos have an important role to play to address this ecological crisis, which is why we are investing in our 136-acre site.

"It won’t be quick. We are finalising the designs and construction is planned to start in 2024. Changing the name of our site marks the start of that journey.”

The zoo said the new name was chosen after polling visitors, employees and volunteers.

Work on Bristol Zoo Project is planned to start in 2024. It includes new visitor facilities, play areas and new homes for new species, such as critically endangered black rhinos, red-necked ostriches and endangered red pandas and mangabey monkeys.