22% of the population in the UK have a disability. One in five of us will be affected by disability at some point in our lives.
At Northumberland Zoo, everyone is welcome. We understand that loud noises, bright lights, and large volumes of people can be stressful or overwhelming for those with a disability. A calming environment can also be better for elderly visitors or those struggling with mental health.
What to expect?
We aim to be more inclusive to everyone by introducing quiet hours for those that can find busy/noisy places a stressful experience. This is not just for people with a disability but for everyone including those with a disability, as well as elderly visitors or those struggling with mental health.
We will be turning the waterfalls off in the restaurant, dimming lights and clearly stating the noisier animals. We will be making changes to make the zoo less busy and less noisy.
No bright/flashing lights
No light shows
Number of visitors is limited
No background music
No overhead/broadcast announcements
No noisy equipment in operation
Sensory maps/Sensory kits
We will have designated quiet areas throughout the zoo to allow visitors to break from sensory-rich experiences. We will have sensory supports including:
Sensory friendly map (digital options as well as physical copies available)
Upcoming quiet hours:
October 11th, 14:00 - 17:00
December 13th, 14:00 - 16:00
The Zoo will still be open to general admission & visitors during these hours. We will do our best to inform other visitors who are on-site to be mindful of the quiet hours upon entry to the Zoo on these dates.
Please see our Accessibility page for more information on our staff training and KultureCity partnership.