Marwell Wildlife

22 zoo & aquarium projects shortlisted for the Great British Wildlife Restoration

Posted: 6th October, 2023

British native species are receiving a boost through conservation projects undertaken by British zoos and aquariums, 22 of these conservation projects have been shortlisted for the prestigious new Great British Wildlife Restoration award. These projects will now be seeking the support of politicians who will vote for their preferred winner.

GBWR logo

The Great British Wildlife Restoration is the first such competition of its kind. Inspired by David Attenborough’s ‘Wild Isles’, this is a new initiative from BIAZA which seeks to raise the profile of the native species conservation work being undertaken by hardworking zoo and aquarium conservationists.

As shown by the new The State of Nature report, 1,500 native species are at risk of being lost and 1 in 6 species are at risk of extinction.  British wildlife is in decline and needs serious help.

The 22 projects including caring for sick and injured hedgehogs in Cambridgeshire, reintroducing the critically endangered Scottish Wildcat to the highlands, protecting ancient woodland in Devon and monitoring seahorses off the coast of Weymouth.

Collectively these projects have helped thousands of animals, habitats and ecosystems as well as inspiring thousands as they tell their stories. Species that have been helped include kestrels, red squirrels and even rare oysters!

These projects will now be competing for the votes of Members of Parliament and Members of the House of Lords to take home the title of winner of the Great British Wildlife Restoration at a special reception in the Houses of Parliament in January.

Dr Jo Judge, CEO of BIAZA, said; “We have an extraordinary shortlist of projects. They demonstrate that zoos and aquariums are not just saving exotic species but supporting wildlife on our doorstep.

We have to treasure the nature we have and help it thrive. It should be widely known that BIAZA zoos and aquariums are doing just that. It’s a source of hope and something we can all be proud of.”

The full shortlist:

  1. Conserving red squirrels – Belfast Zoo
  2. Restoring oysters to our coasts – Zoological Society of London (ZSL)
  3. Colchester Zoo: breeding and releasing the Fisher’s Estuarine Moth!
  4. Saving the Scottish Wildcat from extinction – Royal Zoological Society of Scotland
  5. Protecting pollinators with college students – Askham Bryan College
  6. Reintroducing bison to Britain! – Wildwood Trust
  7. Chester Zoo’s Nature Recovery Corridor
  8. A hospital for hedgehogs – Shepreth Wildlife Park
  9. Skills, data & biodiversity at Twycross Zoo
  10. Lights of hope: rewilding glow-worms – Derek Gow consultancy
  11. Reintroducing the UK’s rarest lizard - Marwell Zoo
  12. Restoring & maintaining temperate rainforest in Dartmoor by Becky Falls Ancient Woodland Park


  1. Saving seahorses – Sea Life Weymouth Aquarium
  2. A bee hive classroom! – Battersea Park Children’s Zoo
  3. Project Godwit - securing the future of Blacktailed Godwits in the UK- WWT & RSPB
  4. Health checks for Hazel dormice – Zoological Society of London (ZSL)
  5. Nest boxes for birds of prey – Hawk Conservancy
  6. Saving seagrass with Wild Planet Trust and the National Marine Aquarium
  7. Reclaiming reds in Merseyside – Knowsley Safari Park
  8. A Native Haven Trail at Banham Zoo
  9. My Tree, Our Forest – Folly Farm
  10. Spotted on Site




Notes for editors: 

For more details or to request high resolution images, please contact:  
Andy Hall, BIAZA Communications and Public Affairs Manager 

[email protected] / 07394388645 

The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) is a conservation education and scientific wildlife charity, which acts as the principal professional zoo body representing the responsible zoo and aquarium community in the UK.  

BIAZA zoos and aquariums have global impact, participating in over 800 conservation projects, 1,400 research projects and contributing more than £24 million a year to field conservation. With over 30 million visitors being welcomed annually, BIAZA zoos and aquariums are recognised as offering a fun and safe way to learn about animals and together the community delivers formal education sessions to more than 1 million students. 

BIAZA and its members are a powerful force in the care and conservation of the natural world. Collectively, they endeavour to inspire people to protect our planet’s rich biodiversity, deliver high quality environmental education, training and research whilst achieving the highest standards of animal care and welfare.