Edinburgh Today

Edinburgh Zoo

EPS Outing to Zoo

   EPS Outing to Edinburgh Zoo  -  c.1965

Development Plan  -  2003

A 20-year Development Plan has been announced for Edinburgh Zoo.  The zoo is situated on Corstorphine, between Edinburgh Airport and the centre of the City.

Multi-million pound plans have been drawn up to create four areas within the zoo:

-  rainforest

-  grasslands

-  woodlands

-  oceans and wetlands

The plan is to create these zones in stages, perhaps one every five years.

Edinburgh Evening News  1 March 2003, p.3

A Successful year  -  2003

There was concern in 2001, with falling numbers, and restrictions due to the foot-and-mouth crisis that Edinburgh Zoo might not survive. 

In fact, it was Glasgow Zoo that closed earlier this year.  Thanks to a 1.9m legacy, fine weather and 600,000 visitors (the highest level since 1976) the prospects for Edinburgh Zoo now look much healthier.

Edinburgh Evening News  2 December 2003, p.17


Chimpanzee Enclosure

Budongo Life Science Centre

Building of a 5.6m chimpanzee centre, 'The Budongo Life Science Centre' at Edinburgh Zoo is expected to to begin in 2006, if planning permission is granted.  This will be the first part of Edinburgh Zoo's 20-year masterplan.

Around the chimpanzee centre there will be a tropical forest with waterfalls. Inside, there will be four themed areas with glazed walkways for the chimpanzees to move between the areas.

The centre is named after the Budongo Forest Project, a project in Western Uganda that began in 1990 to protect the habitat of native chimpanzees, whose forest was under threat of deforestation.

Edinburgh Evening News  2 December 2003, p.17


20-Year Masterplan

A 58m masterplan has been announced to transform Edinburgh Zoo into a wildlife and research facility.

Short Term

Over the next two years, the zoo's entrance is to be built to the north of the main car park, replacing the Corstorphine Road entrance.  A new rhino enclosure and exotic bird house are also due to be built.

Long Term

Over the next 20 years the masterplan envisages the zoo being separated into four themed zones:

Tropical Forest Area

To replicate the jungles of South America and Asia and swamp forests of Africa

Woodlands Area

For elephants, lions, tigers, kangaroos, birds of prey.

Grasslands Area

Replicating the savannah and open plains of West Africa

Oceans and Wetlands Area

To include polar bear, penguins.


Edinburgh Evening News  April 6, 2007:  pp.8-9


Planning Committee Decision

Further Expansion?

Edinburgh Zoo's had drawn up plans for a 72m expansion of the zoo at Corstorphine, but they are now having to be reconsider the matter.

Their plans depended on housing being built on some of the land at Corstorphine Hill, but Edinburgh Council's planning committee recently refused permission to release this green belt land for residential development.

Edinburgh Evening News  October 11, 2007:  p.8

Independent Inquiry

Proposals by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland to finance a 72m redevelopment at Edinburgh Zoo by selling off about one sixth of the zoo's land on Corstorphine Hill to allow 120 new homes to be built have been considered by an independent inquiry, and rejected.  Permission is only likely to be granted for 20 homes to be built.

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland had hoped to be able to create a new entrance to the zoo and to create four 'biomes' replicating different environments.

The independent inquiry's report is not binding on the council. This topic is likely to be considered again by the council, later in 2009.

Edinburgh Evening News  July 9, 2009:  p.17

Approval Recommended

Following consultation between Edinburgh council officials and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, the council officials have now recommended to their Planning Committee that it should approve a proposal to allow 80 homes to be built on land  currently owned by the zoo at the Kaimes Road staff entrance to the zoo..

By selling this land for development, the zoo would be enabled to proceed with its 72m expansion plans.

Community groups, including 'Friends of Corstorphine Hill' are still protesting against any such development on the greenbelt land.

The council's Planning Committee is dee to make a decision on this matter at its meeting on Thursday next week.

Edinburgh Evening News  September 1, 2009



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