Sharne Is ZOOming Towards The Finish Line

Student Sharne Wood is taking on the challenge to complete a 5km run around the beautiful area of Park Hall Country Park. This idea arose from a post Sharne came across on social media from Chester Zoo who are needing to raise funds to ensure the Zoo can stay open.

Since the closure of Chester Zoo back in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic, staff have tried to remain optimistic about what will happen next. On Wednesday 3rd June the Zoo learnt from the government that they may need to stay closed indefinitely, leaving staff to fight for its future.

Chester Zoo announced they are heading towards a massive debt of £24m by the end of 2020, a staggering and crippling financial hardship. Rather than just sit back and be left with a huge financial burden, the Zoo took to social media to appeal to the public and raise vital funds through Just Giving. They calculated that they need to raise £1.6m each month just to keep ongoing. In the first 24 hours alone they managed to raise £1.5m in donations from people up and down the country.

Late on the 9th June, Chester Zoo heard the news that they had longed for. The government has allowed them to re-open to the public from the 15th June, providing them with a much needed lifeline. Despite this amazing news the fight still isn’t over, the lockdown closure has left them with a heavy financial deficit.

Sharne saw their original appeal and couldn’t bear not to help. She has many fond memories of day trips to the Zoo when she was young and knows that so many others will do too. Sharne says “I’ve spent many happy days there as a child and I’m sure that’s true of thousands of people up and down the country, and even further. I would hate to think future generations of animal lovers would be deprived of visits to such a wonderful place.”

On the 31st July at 2pm, Sharne will be completing a 5km run, on her own, following a route through Park Hall Country Park. Sharne commented “I’m running a 5km route on Park Hall Country Park (a beautiful public area of countryside, paths and fields located close to where I live) to raise money on my page for Chester Zoo. As you may know, they’ve entered into a lot of financial difficulty due to the COVID-19 crisis in the UK, and therefore need to somehow get the money back in order to keep the zoo going.”

If you would like to support Sharne and Chester Zoo you can make a donation through her Just Giving page. Sharne says “This is really important to me so I appreciate all the support and would love it if as many people as possible could donate to my page, where the money is automatically sent over to Chester Zoo.”

There are many ways in which you can help to save Chester Zoo. You can adopt an animal through their website, make a one-off donation through their own page and you can also become a member of the zoo too (which gives you a whole year of free unlimited entry, plus lots of other benefits.) It’s £59.00 a year for people up to the age of 17, and £105.00 for those over the age of 18 (and there’s a £10 discount for students over the age of 18 too.) You can also save further money by making payments through direct debit.

It is important to remember that all Zoos are struggling to survive financially through this pandemic and you can show your support through signing petitions on