Community comes together to support ‘much-loved’ local zoos

The Zoological Society of East Anglia (ZSEA), the charity behind Banham Zoo in Norfolk and Africa Alive! in Suffolk, saw an outpouring of generosity over the summer, with supporters going above and beyond to fundraise for their much-loved local zoos.

When the Covid-19 pandemic forced both zoos to temporarily close their doors to the general public back in March 2020, the Zoological Society of East Anglia (ZSEA) launched an urgent fundraising appeal to help with their dramatic loss of income.

The charity received an incredible response from supporters, with many individuals and organisations embarking on fundraising journeys to raise money for the Zoos.

Claudia Roberts, Joint Managing Director at the Zoological Society of East Anglia (ZSEA), said: “We have been amazed by the outpouring of love and generosity from our community throughout this difficult time and every message of support brought some light to otherwise difficult days.”

In June, Connor Root (age 6), who lives in Harleston, Norfolk, completed his ‘100 miles in 30 days’ biking challenge, raising over £6,000 for the charity.

Thetford-based Nurse, Melanie Sturman, a keen runner with 299 marathons under her belt, arranged a virtual fun run for the charity on Sunday 21st June. Over 800 people took part in total, raising £5,300 for Banham Zoo.

Other fundraisers for Banham Zoo included 5-year-old Esme, who raised over £1,900 by running 5km in 50 minutes, Lydia O’Gorman, who raised almost £3,000 through hosting a village ‘Zoo Day’ with her neighbours in Harling, Norfolk, and Chloe Turner, a Quidenham-based artist who raised £1,650 through a competition to win one of her watercolour paintings.

Steve Childs and James Dennis, from the Boathouse water sports store in Attleborough, also donated a custom-made zebra print canoe to the Zoo to be used in a charity raffle. The pair presented the canoe at Banham Zoo on Sunday 28th June to the lucky winner.

Michelle Watts and her two children, Mia (age 7) and Ollie (age 4), completed their fundraising efforts by walking, cycling, or running 100 miles in 30 days for both Zoos. The family, who raised £1000, also pledged to learn one new animal fact every single day of their journey.

Lowestoft-based Emily Collins, completed a huge 730-mile bike ride around her hometown, raising almost £700 for Africa Alive!.

The charity continues to need help to survive the coming winter months. The public is encouraged to support its ‘Wild About Survival’ fundraising appeal by visiting


Courtesy of The Zoological Society of East Anglia – 29/09/2020

Norwich Web Design by Nine2 Web & SEO