With mounting Jubilee fever, a plethora of celebratory Bank Holidays and Half Term falling across the imminent Jubilee week, the zoo is hanging out the red, white and blue bunting for native wildlife.

School holidays and increased visitors are important milestones in any zoo’s year.

They’re also opportunities to put on special events to thank, engage and entertain everyone coming through the doors: children, parents, holiday makers, locals, first-timers and devoted regulars, and spread the message about wonderful wildlife.

So while our poor keepers’ backs may be aching after a week of late-night, double-shift preparation (including café staff devising a special red, white and blue menu!), we love seeing the results and hearing the engagement and chatter.

Why native wildlife?

Well, with celebrations and the double-length Bank Holiday weekend very much focused on the Queen’s amazing history and heritage, it’s the perfect occasion to celebrate the Best of British in its furry, feathery, scaly and fin-y glory.

We’ve got extra keeper talks focused on many wonderful (and weird, of course) native species, and activity trails focussed on the British wildlife to be seen within the zoo and in the wonderful countryside and farmland just over the fence.

Not content to stop at the gates, we’ll be aiming to send visitors home inspired to notice, appreciate and help the native wildlife on their own doorstep, whether dormice on your doorstep, snails at school, creating a buzz about bees, help for hedgehogs, toads across the road, or just bats in the belfry.

We’re also taking inspiration from the Queen, a devoted supporter of nature, who has personally chosen to mark her Jubilee with The Queen’s Green Canopy, a unique tree planting initiative which invites people from across the United Kingdom to ‘Plant a Tree for the Jubilee’, and dedicating a network of 70 ancient woodlands across the UK.

This important initiative will create vital tree regeneration, provide important habitats, and help slow climate change, benefitting native wildlife and future generations.

Even our royal python, not usually one for visible emotion, is looking expectantly patriotic, though curtseying might prove a stretch.