Bill has played a leading role at the annual British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) awards dinner, presenting winners with their prizes and making a short address to gathered delegates.

The ceremony, which was hosted by West Midland Safari & Leisure Park in Worcestershire, celebrates contributions to wildlife conservation, animal welfare and public understanding by member collections for species both in the UK and overseas.

Bill said,

“I was delighted to attend this year’s BIAZA awards ceremony and learn more about the excellent work taking place within Britain and Ireland’s zoological community.

The winning projects demonstrated breathtaking ambition and achievement. They are standard bearers for the sector and I would like to offer everyone involved my warmest congratulations.’

The dinner also marked the start of BIAZA’s two-day Awards, Communications and Education (ACE) Conference. On Thursday 29th November and Friday 30th November zoological staff and invited guest speakers gathered to share ideas on effective communication techniques and find out more about the latest developments.

More than 24 million people visit BIAZA collections every year – one in three of the population of Britain and Ireland. A recent Economic Impact Assessment suggests that zoos and aquariums contribute almost £645 million to our economy annually and support, both directly and indirectly, over 11,000 long lasting jobs.

The West Midland Safari & Leisure Park was founded in 1973 and is now home to over 165 species of exotic animals.