'It's lovely seeing people back'- Smiles as zoo reopens for families

Families returning to Banham Zoo as the attraction reopened to non-members this weekend 

Families returning to Banham Zoo as the attraction reopened to non-members this weekend - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

A Norfolk family attraction is hailing a successful weekend as it fully reopened for the first time after lockdown measures eased.

Banham Zoo had dedicated its first five days to members only from April 12, but the doors were open to everyone from Saturday with pre-booking essential due to limited capacity as a Covid precaution.

A family enjoying the sun as Banham Zoo reopened to non-members on Saturday, April 17

A family enjoying the sun as Banham Zoo reopened to non-members on Saturday, April 17 - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

Reflecting on the two days since fully reopening, a spokesman for Banham Zoo said: "It has been a really busy weekend. The guests and visitors are delighted to return to the park." 

Families were able to enjoy Banham Zoo as the attraction fully reopened this weekend

Families were able to enjoy Banham Zoo as the attraction fully reopened this weekend - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

Claudia Roberts, managing director, added: "It's just really lovely seeing everyone back and the zoo full again.

"Everyone has been really safe and it's been calm. I think people are just grateful to be out in their family groups again just enjoying some space."

Banham Zoo managing director Claudia Roberts

Banham Zoo managing director Claudia Roberts - Credit: Victoria Pertusa


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The number of people allowed into the zoo has been restricted with a barcode entry system being used to speed up the process of getting inside the attraction.

One-way systems are in operation for those visiting while hand sanitiser stations are located in up to 35 locations across the zoo.

A family enjoying lunch at Banham Zoo in Norfolk

A family enjoying lunch at Banham Zoo - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

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Mrs Roberts added: "If you want to book, then you must book online and don't worry about your safety, we are restricting the numbers. 

"And all the feedback we have had so far is really, really positive. Every time somebody comes here, we are keeping our animals alive so we are really grateful for the support."

Smiles on show as families return to Banham Zoo for weekend fun

Smiles on show as families return to Banham Zoo for weekend fun - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

She continued: "Our main plans are just keeping our numbers low as it were, making it really safe for everyone, and then we can slowly look at rebuilding round the zoo and looking at some interesting activities for over the summer period."

Banham Zoo reopened to non-members from Saturday, April 17 after lockdown 

Banham Zoo reopened to non-members from Saturday, April 17 after lockdown - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

This time last year, both Banham Zoo and Africa Alive! in Suffolk had to undergo a substantial restructure and the necessary cost saving measures to ensure their survival. 

Banham Zoo reopened to non-members from Saturday, April 17 after the Covid lockdown 

Banham Zoo reopened to non-members from Saturday, April 17 after the Covid lockdown - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

Both zoos were left in a precarious situation after the Zoological Society of East Anglia, the conservation and education charity which leads both attractions, was hit by the national lockdown.

Banham Zoo in Norfolk where visitors are being restricted due to Covid precautions 

Banham Zoo in Norfolk where visitors are being restricted due to Covid precautions - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

But with families returning in the sunshine this weekend, the situation looks much more optimistic.  

Banham Zoo in Norfolk

Banham Zoo in Norfolk - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

Happy faces as Banham Zoo reopened after lockdown

Happy faces as Banham Zoo reopened after lockdown - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

A father and son at Banham Zoo on Sunday, April 18

A father and son at Banham Zoo on Sunday, April 18 - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

A number of safety measures are in place as Banham Zoo reopens to the public 

A number of safety measures are in place as Banham Zoo reopens to the public - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

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