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Improving drainage at Whipsnade Zoo

Covering 600 hectares, Whipsnade Zoo is the largest zoo in the UK and home to elephants, hippos, tigers, sea lions, cheetahs, zebras, penguins, reptiles, birds and marine life. More than 600,000 people visit the zoo every year. To maintain the zoo’s high standards of care and to ensure the safety of its residents and nearby properties, the Zoological Society of London, a charity dedicated to conservation of animals and their habitats, hired RSK to help it develop sustainable drainage solutions. The phased work would ultimately improve the quality of water discharging into the nearby watercourse and reduce the risk of flooding, while also improving the local ecology.

RSK’s specialist team planned, designed and developed its methodology and approach over several stages. Specialist surveying, geoenvironmental, asbestos and design teams completed their respective work concurrently. The project involved

  • developing detailed site designs
  • supervising site installations
  • reporting geoenvironmental site investigation
  • undertaking asbestos surveys
  • reviewing contractors’ method statements for drilling and protecting trees
  • presenting their findings and methodologies to staff

By completing the work using a phased approach, RSK ensured minimal disruption to the zoo and its occupants. More work is scheduled for the elephant compound and for developing on-site sludge drying facilities to reduce the amount of waste leaving the site.

  • Location: England
  • Client: Zoological Society of London
  • Project status: Completed
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