Accessibility is HUGELY important to us at Chester Zoo and we want as many people as possible to be able to visit our incredible zoo and connect with nature.

Our brand new Charity Connections Scheme will provide 5,000 free tickets per year to organisations who support people from a range of underrepresented groups that would normally face barriers to visiting the zoo. We want to make visiting the zoo more accessible so that more people can enjoy the zoo, be empowered to live more sustainably and to build relationships with local organisations

Thank you to everyone who has applied, due to the high volume of requests we have now closed applications. To those who are successful we will be in touch by the end of November. Please keep an eye on this page and our social media for future release dates for the Charity Connection Scheme
Frequently Asked Questions

Why have we created the Charity Connections Scheme?

Through this scheme we hope to remove as many barriers as we can to create opportunities for people to enjoy our zoo. We want to ensure that Chester Zoo is accessible to everyone and that everyone has the opportunity to experience our incredible species and conservation work.

Who is eligible to apply for the scheme?

Charities, non-profit organisations and community groups that support individuals or groups of people that face barriers to accessing the zoo. This includes financial barriers and those that may be reluctant to visit the zoo or have never visited before.  Charities or non-profit organisations must support people on low-incomes, who face financial barriers to visiting the zooto be eligible. Of those organisations that work with people on low-incomes, we are particularly interested in hearing from those that work directly with young people age 12-25 and underrepresented groups (people with additional needs and/or disabilities, people   of colour and minority ethnic groups).

For those that meet the criteria above we also strongly encourage applications from those situated within our Nature Recover Corridor project area


  • Schools​
  • Uniform groups​
  • No raffle requests
  • Individuals​

How do we apply?

Applications for the 2022 Charity Connections Scheme have now closed, please keep an eye on this page for our 2023 release

How many tickets can we apply for?

Each organisation or community group that is eligible may apply for a maximum of 150 entry tickets during this trial application period. Please note that carers and children aged 2 and under can enter the zoo for free. Please bear this in mind when considering the number of tickets you wish to apply for.

Is there a time limit on when the entry tickets can be used?

Successful charities, non-profit organisations  and community groups will be allocated a number of tickets for single entry to the zoo to distribute to their beneficiaries. These will be sent to you before the end of December 2022 for each organisation to distribute. Each ticket will be valid from January 2023 until June 2023.

How will you decide who gets an allocation of tickets?

For those that meet the criteria (above) applications are considered and tickets allocated on a first come first served basis. The reviewing process will be ongoing once the application window has opened.

Can we apply for tickets for use in raffles or to be sold to raise money?

Tickets should not be used in raffles, sold or otherwise used to raise money for the organisation. Tickets are to be given directly to the beneficiaries.

Can staff or volunteers use the tickets we are allocated?

They may only be used by staff or volunteers of the originations where those staff or volunteers are supporting the beneficiaries in this application to visit the zoo.

When will we find out if our application has been successful?

Applications are considered and tickets allocated on a first come first served basis. We will aim to get back to you within 14 days of your application being submitted.  All applicants will be notified either way by the end of November 2022. Due to the volume of applications, we will be unable to provide updates on applications during this period.

Will we need to report and be accountable for the tickets received? 

Tickets will be sent to successful organisations once we have received your signed Terms and Conditions document. A copy of the T&Cs will be sent to you via email as part of your confirmation email. Please note that we are unable to send your allocated tickets until we have received this.

It is your responsibility to ensure that the tickets are distributed to those in need of the tickets.

To measure our impact on those benefiting from the scheme we ask you to complete a survey towards the end of the 6 month period.  This will help us understand the audiences we are reaching and develop better links with regional charities, non-profit organisations and community groups.

Some of the other ways we support our amazing local communities:


We’re pleased to offer free entry to the zoo for 42,000 school pupils visiting between 1 November 2019 and 29 February 2020, in a bid to broaden the impact of our work as a conservation and education charity inspiring the next generation of conservationists.

This offer is open to Early Years and Foundation through to Year 13 pupils. Independent schools are not eligible to book in this first round of tickets free places.

Find out more here


Once a year, we run a very special event here at Chester Zoo. We open our gates for the evening and welcome 200 families with children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions to enjoy an evening together. We work with our local charities who invite families on our behalf to the evening.


Creating memories as a family is ever so important.  We love that we’re such an important part of people’s lives, and value our place in family traditions.

With this in mind, when someone is receiving palliative care we are happy to offer ‘A Day to Remember’ to make it as easier for families to visit. To find out more about the criteria and how to apply, please fill in the below form.

Download form here


We’re lucky to have a team of experts who are passionate about conservation and want to spread our mission of preventing extinction into the community. Wherever possible, we can explore the opportunity for a member of the team to speak at your event, although please be aware this will depend on availability and location.  Fill in the below form and follow the instructions and we’ll look into your request.


NOW is the time to ACT FOR WILDLIFE. Conservation is CRITICAL; species are under threat. TOGETHER we can make a BIG difference. Take action TODAY and join us in PREVENTING EXTINCTION.