Gillespies create immersive savannah grasslands experience for Chester Zoo

Grasslands will be a phenomenal experience and will cement Chester Zoo’s standing as one of the world’s very best attractions
– Jamie Christon

Chester Zoo has announced it will build “an extensive African savannah”, designed by Gillespies in partnership with Darling Associates and BDP.

The Grasslands scheme will incorporate a restaurant with views across the savannah and overnight accommodation in the form of 28 lodges and 14 safari-style tents. It will be home to multiple rare and endangered species including zebras, giraffes, antelopes and ostriches. The scheme is aimed in part at helping to boost Chester Zoo’s work in preventing species extinction, with the creation of more natural habitats for endangered animals.

The extension is part of the zoo's 217-acre expansion masterplan, which is broken into themed geographic regions with evermore natural habitats for threatened species. This includes the £40m (US$49.2m, €44.6m) Islands development that is currently being partially rebuilt following a fire in its Monsoon Forest.

"Grasslands will be a phenomenal experience and will cement Chester Zoo’s standing as one of the world’s very best attractions," said Jamie Christon, the zoo’s chief operating officer.

"Featuring state of the art conservation breeding facilities for a range of threatened African species, Grasslands will also see the zoo push the boundaries of world-class animal care".

Planning approval has been given by local authorities and the newly developed area is due to open to the public in 2022.

Chester Zoo  Cheshire West  Chester Council  Monsoon Forest  zebras  giraffes  antelopes  ostriches  Jamie Christon 
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Chester Zoo has announced it will build “an extensive African savannah”, designed by Gillespies in partnership with Darling Associates and BDP. The Grasslands scheme will incorporate a restaurant with views across the savannah and overnight accommodation in the form of 28 lodges and 14 safari-style tents. It will be home to multiple rare and endangered species including zebras, giraffes, antelopes and ostriches. The scheme is aimed in part at helping
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The plans will also include an option for the zoo to develop overnight accommodation which would incorporate an additional 42 traditional discreet African-themed lodges
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