Demand Broxtowe Council Rejects Plans to Build a New Zoo in Trowell!

Demand Broxtowe Council Rejects Plans to Build a New Zoo in Trowell!

14 March 2023
Petition to
Broxtowe Council
Signatures: 4,651Next Goal: 5,000
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Why this petition matters

Please sign this petition to demand that Broxtowe Council rejects the plan to build a new zoo on greenbelt land in Trowell, Nottinghamshire, as the project will negatively impact animals, the environment and the local community if allowed to go ahead. 

Reece Oliver - the controversial owner of ‘Strelley Wildlife Conservation Facility’ - a backyard zoo already located at his private residence - has submitted plans to Broxtowe Council to build a new zoo on greenbelt land in the nearby village of Trowell. Currently marketed as 'The Broxtowe Retreat and Sanctuary', the designs include a restaurant, spa and 27 guest cabins, alongside many animal enclosures which will be built to hold a range of species captive.



The joint project developer is Tim Hallam, a local Broxtowe councillor. Hallam has been leading the design of the development due to his experience as a 'sustainability engineer'. The project is being endorsed as a £20 million development, so there will of course be a significant amount of money generated from it if allowed to go ahead.   

Although described in their promotional material as “a sanctuary”, it will be run as a zoo model, with project developers expecting to be part of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) and the Ex-Situ Breeding Program (EEP), and that 100% of the animals will be initially sourced via these programs.

The term “sanctuary" is quite simply being used as a marketing tool, as the public generally responds more positively to facilities that are created with the view of helping animals in need and are therefore more likely to show their support. The reality is that true sanctuaries do not breed animals or profit from keeping animals, as to do so is wholly unethical. 

Any claims of the project having a conservational focus are unfounded. Oliver has rejected previous offers from the Born Free Foundation to rehome the lions held captive at his current zoo to one of their in-situ sanctuaries in South Africa. Sadly, two further lion cubs have since been born - in breach of Oliver's DWA licence conditions - and again no efforts have been made to ensure they can be moved to natural habitats and live a life of relative freedom.

There have also been serious risks to public health and safety already evident at Oliver’s current Strelley Zoo when, in May 2019, a 16 year old volunteer was attacked by the zoo’s resident Canadian puma, Rogue, after entering the enclosure completely unprotected.

Local residents are rightly concerned about the prospect of this project. There are many issues to take into consideration such as:  

  • Animal welfare
  • Public safety
  • Environmental destruction
  • Traffic build-up and pollution
  • Flooding risks

Developers are claiming the greenbelt land has a “biodiversity net-loss” to justify building works, but this is far from the case. Many animals are known to live and transiently move through the natural hedgerows and habitats on the site, including legally protected species such as badgers, great-crested newts, otters and water voles. The ecological and environmental impacts of the development will be catastrophic to local wildlife, and destroy many native species who should instead be protected at all costs. 

Reece Oliver often states in the press that the size of the project will rival Britain's largest zoos. Yet regardless of this, no zoo can provide the appropriate space or environment for animals to live a natural life, which is why so many sadly develop problems arising from malnutrition, stress, illness and stereotypical behaviours. In 2023, it is unacceptable to allow the development of yet another zoo to hold animals captive.

You can read into the campaign in more detail via our website.

We are calling for Broxtowe Council to reject application 22/00892/FUL to build a new zoo in Trowell. 

Please sign this petition to show your support for the campaign, and help animals today!

Support now
Signatures: 4,651Next Goal: 5,000
Support now


  • Broxtowe Council