Bristol zoo Wild Place Project responds to ‘disappointed’ and ‘awful’ comments on Tripadvisor

‘We know there are things we need to improve’

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The team behind Wild Place Project zoo on the outskirts of Bristol have reacted to a series of negative Tripadvisor comments from disappointed visitors. Although the majority of comments about the zoo have been positive, a number have criticised the attraction near Easter Compton.

‘Tired’ play areas, ‘overpriced’ admission fees, ‘high’ prices in the cafe and ‘not enough animals’ are among the complaints from visitors posting on the reviews website on the attraction, which will be the new home of Bristol Zoo in 2024 following the Clifton zoo closure last year.

‘Very underwhelming’ was the verdict of Tripadvisor user ‘Venkmanuk’ who went for a family day out but said ‘we were all done (including a picnic) in just over two hours. Massively overpriced for the minimal animals you see there, I think we saw 10 in total (15 if you count the lemurs). Lots of walking around a bear trail (beautifully constructed but wasted with so few bears to see there) to sit there for 10 mins at a time seeing nothing until the last two metres where we saw a bored bear and a few wolves’.

The disappointed visitor added: ‘At the moment it really is poor value for money. With times as hard as they are there needs to be a greater incentive for people to waste nearly £50 for 2 adults and an infant for just over two hours.

‘Julienicola’ was so disappointed with the experience that he said his family ‘won’t be returning’. He added that ‘the enclosures were very overgrown and it was difficult to spot the animals. It felt like there were less species to see this time, lots of things we saw the first time not there anymore. The climbing area was also closed.

‘It felt like we had stumbled into a closed up research facility rather than a fully functioning visitor centre. If the ‘new’ Bristol Zoo is going to open there next year then they have a lot to do to get it ready and to make it a really great experience as well as supporting all the great conservation work they do.’

Hannah Windross, Director of People and Public Engagement for Wild Place Project, said: “Our visitors mean everything to us - they’re almost as important as our animals! We listen to every piece of feedback, both positive and negative, as it all matters.

“We recently changed the caterers as this is something visitors had asked for. In the last three months we have had 249 reviews, 223 on Google and 26 on trip advisor.

One of the bears at Wild Place Project near BristolOne of the bears at Wild Place Project near Bristol
One of the bears at Wild Place Project near Bristol

“Of these, 85% were 4 or 5 stars. What people love about Wild Place Project is the space, for both visitors and animals to roam, in large natural habitats, which is something we’ll never change. But we know there are things we need to improve, which is why we are so excited to be building a new zoo at Wild Place Project, with construction expected to start in 2024.”

Entrance to Wild Place Project costs £17.95 for adults with a donation, and £13.95 for children with a donation.