Please note:

Due to Covid-19 you must pre-book your visit even if you are a member. Please visit our 'Book Tickets' section on the home page to do this or press the 'Book Tickets' button in the right bottom corner.

Before you book tickets please read the FAQ's below to you know what to expect from your visit.

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COVID-19 Reopening FAQ's

We’re so excited to welcome you back to Ponderosa Zoo on Monday 29th June. The health and safety of the general public, our staff members and animals is of absolute importance to us so we will be limiting visitor numbers and the zoo will operate on a one way system. Full details of all the safety procedures we have put in place can be found below.

Can I visit Ponderosa Zoo?

Ponderosa Zoo opened on Monday 29th June. Visitors must purchase pre-booked tickets online via our website. You can find this link on our home page.

What precautions are in place for a safe visit?

At Ponderosa Zoo, the safety of our staff, animals and visitors is our top priority. Therefore, we have implemented a number of safety precautions in order to maintain a safe environment. These are as following;

- To comply with social distancing guideline, we have made the decision to reduce the maximum number of visitors who can visit us daily. This will be limited to a maximum of 200 people per day. 

- To help limit visitor numbers, tickets will be available to purchase via our website only. All ticket bookings will be required to select a specific time slot for arrival. These time slots will be in half an hour slots starting at 10:00-10:30am until 1:30-2:00pm.

- Our opening times will be limited from 10:00am-4pm.

- We have installed protective screens in the admissions office and coffee shop to reduce contact.

- The gift shop is closed until further notice.

- The coffee shop is open and providing a limited menu for takeaway only as well as operating on a contactless payment service only.

- The Lakeside Restaurant will reopen on July 6th and the carvery will be back on July 12th

- All indoor exhibits are now open

- You will also see lots of signs and notices around the zoo informing visitors about social distancing and reminding individuals to wash their hands and use hand sanitiser at the many stations around the zoo.

- Heavily trafficked areas and surfaces such as toilets, door handles and windows will be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis.

- There will be a one-way system set in place around the zoo for visitors to follow in order to limit interactions and maintain social distancing.

- There will be no keeper talks or animal handling sessions being held in order to prevent visitors from gathering.

What will the opening times be?

Our open times will be from 10am-4pm (members can have an early entry of 09.30am - 10am - this must be still booked online). Entry into the zoo will be permitted in half an hour slots starting from 10:00-10:30 with the final entry being between 1:30-2:00. The zoo will then close at 4pm. 

Which areas of the zoo will be open?

The only areas of the zoo that are closed are the gift shop and Lakeside Restaurant. The restaurant will reopen on July 6th.

How long I can stay?

Visitors can stay for as long as they want after arrival. The allocated time slots are for arrival only to prevent large groups and queues in the admissions office throughout the day.

Are there any reasons not to visit Ponderosa Zoo?

Whilst we are trying our absolute best to provide a safe environment to allow visitors to enjoy a lovely family day out, we do ask that whilst visiting the zoo you are careful and responsible about your own health and the others around you.

Please ensure you follow the guidelines set out here by following the one-way system around the zoo, maintaining a safe distance from others whilst walking around and regularly using our hand washing facilities. We also ask that anybody who is experiencing any symptoms of the virus or is a vulnerable individual, please do not visit us as you may put yourself and others at risk.

How are the Cafes managing safely?

The coffee shop will be managing with certain changes. We will have a limited menu available which will consist of hot and cold drinks, ice cream and cold sandwiches. The cafe will operate as a takeaway, meaning once customers have bought their food and drink, they will have to exit the coffee shop and consume the products outside. There will be markings on the floor indicating where visitors should stand in the queue to maintain a safe distance from each other. Only contactless payment will be accepted at the cafe.

Can I rent a wheelchair?

Wheelchairs are still available for use from the zoo and will be cleaned and disinfected after every use.

Can animals contract the virus?

Yes. Research suggests that some animals can contract the virus. However, it is still unknown what the full effects are on them. We are keeping up to date with the latest research and recommended guidelines regarding this situation, as well as making sure all our keepers are taking every precaution with the species that are potentially affected by the virus. We also have signs around the zoo informing visitors not to get too close to the enclosure fencing and to maintain their distance.

Will I be able to pay for tickets upon arrival?

No. Tickets will only be available to purchase online prior to arrival due to a cap on the amount of visitors we are allowing into the zoo.

How do I book tickets as an annual pass holder?

If you have an annual pass and would like to visit the zoo, you will need to reserve your arrival slot by using our online booking system and the select 'Existing Member Tickets'. Then select the pass types you have. At the checkout you can then enter your unique promo code that has been emailed to you so your visit will be free of charge. If you have NOT received an email with a promo code and you are an existing member, please get in touch by using the contact us page. Please remember that although you are a member, you must book online, if you arrive without doing so you will not gain entry to the zoo. You can take advantage of the 09.30am - 10am arrival slot which is reserved for members only, however you can choose anytime slot you'd like.

Can I book the 9.30am - 10am time slot?

You can only book this time slot if you are a member. 

Does the zoo still need financial help?

As a small zoo, we rely on the support of our members and zoo visitors through tickets sales as our sole source of income to allow us to operate and care our animals. Having to close our doors has had a huge impact on our financial state.

With us being able to open once again to the public it is a big boost for us financially. However, as we are only able to open at a fraction of our capacity, we are still working on a loss and are not bringing in as much income as we need to sustain ourselves.

We have had a huge amount of support from our local community during this difficult time and we are so grateful for their generous donations to help us through.

But your support is still needed now more than ever, if you should wish to help us further in this uncertain time, you can visit our Go Fund Me Page and make a donation or by purchase an annual pass by phoning 01924 235276.


Thank You.

Ponderosa Centre Map