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Our events


Each year we hold our Autumn meeting and AGM on the Saturday which falls closest to the 27th of October (the birthday of A. D. Bartlett). As well as the business of the AGM we discuss items that have been collected during the year or there are talks by various members or guests.

A meeting is held each spring at a zoological garden, usually one with some historical interest. These meetings sometimes include member talks or a guided tour around the collection or behind-the-scenes tours.

Informal meetings are also held. These meetings are often arranged between members of the society and provide an opportunity for members to meet up and enjoy a day at a zoo together.

Saturday 18 May 2019
2019 Spring meeting - Amazing Animals, Heythrop Zoological Gardens, Oxon
Please arrive at the Reception building from 10.30 a.m. for a prompt 11 o'clock start. The itinerary will include a tour of the animal collection and demonstrations of animal training.

Saturday 12 October 2019
AGM - ZSL London Zoo Council Room


Saturday 21 April 2018
Spring meeting - Chessington World of Adventures
Meeting commences at 11 am. Please go to the Lodge Gate entrance where you will receive a complimentary entrance ticket (please ensure you bring your BS membership card as you may need to show it) and on entry go to the Education Room, which is situated by the Zoo Shop opposite the entance to the Children's Zoo and adjacent to the entrance of the Amazon walk-through monkey exhibit. We have the room for the morning, with tea/coffee provided, and where we will be shown the Chessington Zoo archive. In the afternoon there will be a tour of the Zoo during which some of the remaining parts of the old zoo will be pointed out to us. If you have some Chessington - or other zoological - ephemera that you would like to bring to show or discuss during the morning, please do so. If you are coming by car use the Lodge Gate Car Park (£3 parking fee charge to Chessington Conservation Fund). Details of public transport links are in the latest BS newsletter or available on request.

Saturday 3 November 2018
AGM - ZSL London Zoo Council Room
Prior to the official business, the ZSL archivist gave us a very interesting talk and display in the Library about London Zoo's "Death Books". There was no speaker at the meeting, but John Adams, Vice-Chairman, gave an update on progress of re-publication of founder Clinton Keeling's "Clam" Books.


Saturday 17 June 2017
Spring meeting 2017 - Chester Zoo
The meeting was held in the Cedar House. The speaker was Tim Rowlands, Curator of Mammals, who gave a very entertaining talk about his career at Chester Zoo, spanning over 30 years.

Saturday 14 October 2017
AGM - ZSL London Zoo Council Room
After the formal business, our Chairman, Russell Tofts, gave a PowerPoint talk about the closed Mole Hall Wildlife Park in Essex.


Sunday 17 April 2016
Spring meeting 2016 - Newquay Zoo
This was the first time our Society had been hosted by Newquay Zoo. The director and staff seemed very proud to have us as their guests, and could not have been more helpful. We had all-day access to the Lynx Room (Education) where a very interesting display of memorabilia had been specially set up for us to look at. We were given talks and a guided tour of the grounds by director Stewart Muir and education officer Mark Norris. Mr Muir talked about current and future projects, and Mr Norris gave us a talk on the history of the zoo and the World War Zoo garden project, with accompanying PowerPoint displays.  In addition, the Spring Meeting also saw the launch of an exciting new Bartlett Society publication, "Ligers, Tigons and Other Hybrid Mammals". If anyone (non-members as well as members) would like a copy, do contact us for more details.

Saturday 15 October 2016
AGM - ZSL London Zoo Council Room
As well as the formal business of the A.G.M., members enjoyed a presentation given by two of the members about the extinct Thylacine (the so-called Tasmanian Wolf) in captivity. In addition, an extremely interesting double display had been arranged for us in the ZSL Library on the joint theme of Thylacines at London Zoo and "Giraffomania", it being 180 years since the arrival of the first giraffes at London Zoo.


Fri. 17 to Sun. 19 April 2015
Irish Excursion
The main attraction was a visit to Belfast Zoo on Saturday 18th; in addition to Belfast Zoo, members took the opportunity, whilst in Ireland, to visit some of the other animal collections.

Saturday 9 May & Sunday 10 May 2015
Spring meeting 2015 - Banham Zoo (Sat.), Shorelands Wildlife Gardens (Sat.), and Africa Alive (Sun.)
The Spring Meeting this year was a two-day event. Members enjoyed illustrated talks, behind-the-scenes tours, animal shows, and giraffe-feeding. Both Banham Zoo and Africa Alive are run by the same organisation, the Zoological Society of East Anglia. but are very different collections, each with its own unique identity. Whereas Banham Zoo is a general zoological collection, with an emphasis on primates and felids, its sister park at Kessingland on the East coast specialises in the fauna of Africa. On the Saturday evening we were welcomed at Shorelands Wildlife Gardens, which stayed open specially for us. The emphasis here is on birds, with a few mammal species. Shorelands has many species which are uncommon in U.K. collections and an enviable breeding record.
Saturday 17 October 2015
AGM - ZSL London Zoo Council Room
Before the main business of the AGM we looked at a display in the ZSL Library about Jumbo, that most famous of London Zoo's elephants. Following the AGM, we enjoyed a screening of archive film footage taken by the late Reg Bloom at Chester Zoo, Flamingo Park, Morecombe Marineland, Miami Monkey Jungle, and in East Africa.


Saturday 10 May 2014
Spring meeting 2014 - Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park (formerly Birmingham Nature Centre)
Recent years have seen an expansion in the diversity of the animal collection and there were lots of new species, many of them quite rare, and exciting new developments to take in. Members enjoyed a talk on the history of the collection, and tours behind the scenes.

Saturday 18 October 2014
AGM - ZSL London Zoo Council Room
Prior to the AGM we looked at an exhibition from the ZSL library archives, called "Hippomania", marking the 150 years since the arrival at the London Zoo of Adhela, the common hippo whose arrival in Victorian England was greeted by such astonishment by Londoners, accompanied by many column inches in the popular press of the day. Following a successful AGM, we were then taken into the zoo by Paul Pearce-Kelly, introduced to various members of staff, and given close access to some of the animals, including llamas and alpacas, Galapagos giant tortoises, and giraffes.

Saturday 11 May 2013
Spring meeting 2013 - Flamingo Gardens, Weston Underwood, nr Olney, Buckinghamshire

Christopher Marler, founder of this private collection, gave us a fascinating talk followed by a tour.

Saturday 19 October 2013
AGM - ZSL London Zoo Council Room
We met initially in the ZSL Library where librarian Ann Sylph gave us a talk with associated books about Alfred Russel Wallace, the ZSL and birds of paradise, as this great explorer and zoologist managed to bring living birds of paradise to the London Zoo in 1862. After a break for refreshments, a lively and productive AGM followed in the Council Room. A full report of the AGM is due to appear in the November newsletter.  
Please note: Members will need to show their Membership Card and will need to sign against their name on the Members' List to gain free or reduced price entrance to meetings, as pre-advertised in our Newsletter and on our Website. Without their Membership Card, members will have to pay the full or guest price, again as pre-advertised in our Newsletter or on our Website.

Sunday 29 April 2012
Shaldon Wildlife Trust, Shaldon, Devon
The Bartlett Society Book Launch
'Animals in the Blood - The Ken Smith Story - A Biography of Gerald Durrell's Right-Hand Man' by Russell Tofts

'Animals in the Blood - The Ken Smith Story - A Biography of Gerald Durrell's Right-Hand Man' by Russell Tofts

Our new book, launched Sunday 29 April 2012 at Shaldon Wildlife Trust, available to order now

Saturday 12 May 2012
Spring meeting  2012 - Cotswold Wildlife Park 
The following talks took place:
Chris Green (a member of the Keeping Staff) - Talk and Tour on the History of the Tropical House and Walled Garden.
Jim Clubb (BS Member) - Talk on the old Oxford Zoo.
Sam Whitbread (BS Member) - Talk on the Smaller Menageries of the late 18th and early 19th centuries in London.
We also had a sale of surplus duplicate material from our Archive - full details of this were in our March 2012 Newsletter.
Saturday 20 October 2012
Autumn meeting and AGM at ZSL Library, London Zoo
Included a tour of the library.
Informal meetings  -

Informal meetings are held from time to time and details will be posted here.

Furthermore, many of our members also attend meetings of the Independent Zoo Enthusiasts Society and the Zoo Chat gatherings.