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Chester Zoo launches crowd sourcing project for heritage collection

With the upcoming debut of the BBC’s six-part period drama Our Zoo, starting today (3 September), Chester Zoo has created an interactive microsite to crowd source memories of the zoo throughout its 80-year history.

The show tells the true story of how zoo founder George Mottershead decided to start the establishment and the trials and tribulations he came up against while doing so.

A wide array of images have been collected by members of the public and staff over the last 80 years (image: Mirrorpix)

The microsite, created by Manchester-based digital agency CodeComputerlove – which also created the zoo’s award-winning smartphone app – includes an initial collection of anecdotes and pictures plotted on an interactive timeline, covering expansion works, royal visits and interesting interactions.

“With the new prime time BBC drama airing in autumn, based on the inspiring real-life story of our founder George Mottershead, we anticipate that there will be a lot of nostalgia around the zoo and a desire for people to share their own zoo stories from yesteryear,” said the zoo’s online marketing manager, Simon Hacking.

“So many people have connections with the zoo and have been part of its history, our website is the perfect vehicle to capture and showcase this.”

This image of Sir David Attenborough visiting the zoo in 1998 is part of the open source collection

The zoo is also planning to refurbish Oakfield House – a Victorian mansion used in the TV series – as a tourist attraction. Visitor demand is predicted to increase following the BBC’s drama, as well as a predicted boost in visitor numbers in general.

Chester Zoo MD Jamie Christon recently spoke to AM2, revealing the masterplan for the attraction’s second wave of expansion, which will follow the completion of the zoo’s Islands project in December this year. Islands will open to the public in May 2015.

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With the upcoming debut of the BBC ’s six-part period drama Our Zoo, starting today (3 September), Chester Zoo has created an interactive microsite to crowd source memories of the zoo throughout its 80-year history. The show tells the true story of how zoo founder George Mottershead decided to start the establishment and the trials and tribulations he came up against while doing so. A wide array of images have
VAT,HAM,TEC
This image collected from 1941 shows the first elephants to arrive at the zoo / Chester Zoo
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