Green prescriptions at Dartmoor Zoo

At Dartmoor Zoo we are strong believers in the beneficial effects that being outside can have on mental health and well-being, and we are keen to support people on their personal journeys, be it to recovery, back to work, or simply to just feel better than they used to.  In the UK 1 in 4 people suffer from mental health problems each year, so it's more common than most people think. We'd like to raise awareness of this issue and support people in their recovery programmes. We believe that mental health is just as important as physical health, and that by getting involved, or effectively being prescribed this kind of activity, that it can dramatically improve people's mental health and wellbeing.

We work with referrals from charities and organisations as well as individuals who would like to incorporate the outdoors into their recovery programmes. Being outside, working in a team and being constructive and supporting the Zoo can support people with building confidence, social skills, teamwork and employability skills in a beautiful environment surrounded by nature and animals. 

Our Wellbeing Programme launched 19th May 2016 as part of an event to engage local organisations, charities and people who would potentially find this interesting. The event took place in Mental Health Awareness Week to raise awareness and show our support to those affected by mental health issues. It was extremely successful and we hope to run more in the future.


The Dartmoor Zoo Wellbeing Programme includes:

-          On site session. We’d like to offer our gallery space, subject to availability, free of charge for groups to run one of their sessions.

-          Zoo entry for groups. We can offer a reduced entry price for a group to come in and enjoy a day at the Zoo. Adults £7.50 and children £6. (Those off work and claiming benefits can come for free as part of a group booking from a charity/organisation.)

-          Be creative. Groups and mental health service providers can either request Wellbeing passes to share or refer individuals to be creative at the Zoo through art or photography as a way to support them on their journey,.

-          Volunteering opportunities (aged 16 and over). Support the Zoo and build confidence, teamwork and employability skills by volunteering with either our presentation or maintenance teams (see below for more information).

-          Group Volunteering. One off group volunteering sessions available for up to 10 at a time. (Please note: this experience would not be representative of ongoing volunteering at the Zoo and if an individual is interested in volunteering we would advise them to go through the application process to ensure it really is right for them.)

If you are a Charity or Organisation interested in discussing how we can work together to support your clients or have a client you would like to refer please contact or 01752 837 645. 

Group offers:

Tours of the Zoo

£30 for up to 30 people for a group tour of the Zoo!

Close Encounters Session

£30 for up to 30 people to take part in a private 45 minute close encounters experience.

Enterprise Challenge

For £10 a head we can conduct our award winning Enterprise Challenge for your group.

Ever wondered what it takes to run a fully functional zoo? Well here at DZP you can try your hand at it as we offer an interactive session on developing your own enclosure for an animal of your choice! You will have a chance to explore our amazing site and have on hand help with one of our experienced education officers. But don’t be fooled, it can be harder than you think! Taking part involves working to a budget and time frame, team work, and presenting your idea to a panel of industry professionals. Winners will also receive a prize and gain some valuable skills and experience.

Contact us on 01752 837 645 or email for more information.


Volunteer opportunities information

Dartmoor Zoological Park’s key aims are to conserve, educate and research, whilst offering a fun and engaging family day out.

Volunteering can be an incredibly rewarding experience - developing new skills, spending the day alongside animals and getting to share it all with a few new friends. 

At Dartmoor Zoo we offer a range of different roles, allowing you to get truly stuck in with the day to day of Zoo life!

Volunteering provides many benefits - including increasing confidence and self-esteem, satisfaction at being involved in important tasks, gaining employability skills, and is also good for health, both mental and physical.

We ask that people fill out an Expression of Interest Form and come in for a chat to ensure that this opportunity is appropriate for you and that should it be we know how to best support you. Please see below for further details.


Presentation Team

We are looking for volunteers to help us provide an involved and exciting experience for all of our visitors. The Presentation Team is responsible for a wide range of public talks & activities.

Daily tasks include:

- Delivering public talks at animal feed time

- Talking to and Engaging visitors to ensure they get the most out of their day

- Helping with Kids crafts, workshops and raising awareness of campaigns

- Assisting with the husbandry of Reptiles and Invertebrates

If you are a confident, outgoing and fun individual with a passion for conservation and education then this is the role for you. 

If you are interested in this role, please fill our an Expression of Interest Form and send a CV and Cover Letter to Mike Capstack:


Maintenance & Grounds Keeping Team

Our Maintenance Team is responsible for everything from cleaning drains and changing light bulbs to designing and building new enclosures. In this department experience in the building trade is highly prized but by no means required. If you don't mind hard work you'll be very welcome.

We're also looking to build our grounds keeping team. We need handy people to help us maintain our extensive 33 acre woodland property. This includes helping to manage the cultivated public spaces as well as aiding us to maintain the wild spaces, which play an important role in our Natural Conservation programme.

Expression of Interest Forms to go to Tim Steward:


Grow 4 Good South West

Grow 4 Good is a charity based at Dartmoor Zoo helping people through horticulture. They provide opportunities for people at risk of social exclusion to develop skills in organic gardening and nursery stock production, and to practice and engage in general gardening duties within the grounds of the Zoo itself. The project aims to improve participants’ personal, social and life skills, developing a sense of identity and self-worth by providing the opportunity to become part of a working team.

Head Gardener, Dave Sharp said:

"We are looking for volunteers to work with us as part of our team, helping us support our participants under the guidance of the Head Gardener.  If you are interested in helping us to make a real difference to people’s lives, and would like to learn about or offer your existing gardening skills, we would love to hear from you.  No gardening experience is necessary.  Volunteers should enjoy working with people as part of a team, and be prepared to undertake a variety of work outside in all weathers."

Contact Dave Sharp by email: or  phone: 07989 243 455.