OUR HISTORY

Yorkshire Wildlife Park is home to the charity, the Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation. The Foundation was created in 2013 to be a dynamic catalyst for inspiring people to support conservation and welfare.

In 2010 Yorkshire Wildlife Park rescued 13 lions from a rundown zoo in Romania by launching Lion Rescue. There were many donations of a small amounts – but it all added up to save the lions, so it was truly a people’s rescue. YWPF aims to make a big difference, a little bit at a time…

Since our humble beginnings we’ve gone on to work with various charities and conservation projects throughout the world to save habitats and project species, improve welfare, encourage sustainable behaviours and educate tomorrow’s wildlife experts.

OUR VISION

” to create a better world for wild animals by creating dynamic communities who promote, conserve and sustain the world’s biodiversity and improve animal welfare.”

OUR CHARITABLE OBJECTIVES

To promote and advance the conservation and welfare of endangered wildlife both in their natural habitat and in captivity and to educate and inspire the public.

OUR CONSERVATION AND RESEARCH PROJECT WORK

We work collaboratively with many other zoos, charities and conservation agencies throughout the world to help ensure the survival of many threatened species. We support a number of conservation projects in the wild through funding and expertise including Amur Leopard and Tiger Alliance (ALTA), The Giraffe Conservation Foundation, Save the Rhino and our more recently Polar Bear International.

Help us to help those who can’t protect themselves!

To learn more about our projects and conservation efforts visit Animals We Support.

Cheryl Williams

Cheryl Williams

Cheryl is one of the founder directors of the Yorkshire Wildlife Park. Cheryl was formerly the Marketing Manager for Woburn Enterprises for 14 years (Woburn Safari Park, Woburn Abbey, the Inn at Woburn, Woburn Golf Club) before leaving to help found YWP. Cheryl has been involved for many years in the zoo community at national and international level and is a director and trustee of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums, a board member of Enterprise Doncaster and Doncaster Tourist Board and a Patron of Welcome to Yorkshire. Cheryl has been instrumental in promoting YWP both at National and Regional levels and was a key figure in the Park’s mission to rescue 13 lions from a run down Romanian Zoo in 2010 and relocate them to YWP.

Chris Webster

Chris Webster

After a successful army career Chris has been an operator and consultant in the Leisure sector since 1989 including GM of Whipsnade Wild Animal Park, CEO of Woburn Safari Park and CEO of Vision XS Ltd, an international strategic leisure consultancy. Chris has also chaired a sub-regional DMO, was a non- executive director on the East of England Tourist Board and was also a non-executive director at Visit England. Chris has been CEO of two not for profit organisations, Endeavour Training Ltd, a national educational charity and the Woburn Centre for Conservation and Education and was for many years a trustee of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquaria. Chris is presently Managing Director of his own leisure consultancy, WINK Associates Ltd and is Deputy Chairman of Yorkshire Wildlife Park Ltd. He is a Fellow of the Zoological Society of London.

Charles Whitbread

Charles Whitbread

Charles Whitbread is the great grandson of Samuel Whitbread MP, one of the founder members of Flora and Fauna International and Charles previously lived and worked on a private nature reserve in South Africa. His family have a long-term interest in nature conservation.

Martin Hosegood

Martin Hosegood

Martin Hosegood qualified as a veterinary surgeon in 1986 and worked in mixed general practice until 2010 and now acts as a claims consultant for the Veterinary Defence Society handling allegations of negligence made against veterinary surgeons. Since 1990 Martin has been the lead vet at Woburn Safari Park working with a wide range of zoo species and advising on their health, conservation and management. In 1996, along with Chris Webster, Martin was involved in sourcing and arranging safe transport of three young orphaned elephants from India to Woburn where they have remained ever since.

Ruth Redfern

Ruth Redfern

Ruth Redfern is the Director for Communities, Transformation and Change at Kirklees Council and is responsible for directing and transforming the creative economy & voluntary and community sector, museums and galleries, sport and recreation, community cohesion, tackling anti-social behaviour, human resources, communications and developing the council internally so that it can work more closely and effectively with local people and the communities of Kirklees.Prior to this role Ruth was the Managing Director of You Must Be Wondering Ltd, founded in 2011 to provide bespoke productivity models for organisations going through change.

Formerly the Assistant Chief Executive of Yorkshire Forward, the Regional Development Agency for Yorkshire and Humber, Ruth was responsible for maintaining external relationships with stakeholders, partners, media and Government. Ruth was also the Director of HR at Yorkshire Forward and, following the announcement of its abolition, was responsible for the organisation entering into a change management phase swiftly, maintaining high morale and maximum productivity by implementing a bespoke Personal and Professional Development initiative for all staff and championing innovative approaches to organisational development in closure and transition.

Ruth’s campaigning for equality has spanned the length of her career, with early roles as a lecturer for deaf young people, a National Liaison Officer for PHAB, Co-ordinator for CHIPS and leading member of In-Valid? providing the backdrop for driving forward disability and diversity agendas through all areas of her life. Severely deaf herself, Ruth brought both her personal and professional experience to bear as the Chief Executive of Disabled Access to Technology Association (DATA), a training project for disabled adults, which became a European Centre of Excellence under her leadership.

Motivated by her commitment to equal rights for all, Ruth also held a successful political career as Chair of Community & Environmental Services, the first female Chief Whip of Bradford Council, a founder member of Bradford Congress, a Director of the Training & Enterprise Council and the Chair of Bradford City Centre Group.

In 2011 Ruth successful chaired the York Fairness Commission, set up to look into how to make the city a fairer and more equal place to live and work and she more has recently chaired the West Yorkshire & York Combined Authority low paid workers commission who launched their low pay charter in March 2015. Ruth is a life fellow of the RSA, a fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and a member of CIPD, a professional facilitator and coach, a published writer of both articles and poetry and a Practitioner of Neuro-linguistic Programming.

John Bramah

John Bramah

Sheffield born, John become the 5th generation of his family to be metal working engineers in South Yorkshire. Following an apprenticeship with Rolls Royce, he worked as a senior production engineer for Lotus Cars. In 1973 h3 joined the American Black and Decker organisation and worked in operational management in the North East and London, as well as periods in India and West Africa.

In 1981 he joined a German subsidiary of US Steel to commission a new vehicle production factory in South Wales. In 1985 he returned to Sheffield to take over a specialist supplier of heavy hydraulic equipment to the energy industry. He has been Chairman of several European funded South Yorkshire projects to encourage entrepreneurship and growth .

He was Chairman of the executive committee to create Sheffield University’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing and Rolls Royce.

He has been Governor of a specialist engineering school, a school science ambassador for Sheffield Hallam University, and a Vice president of the Industrial Trust educational charity. He was Master of the Cutlers Company of Sheffield in 2003, and chaired their educational awards panel for 12 years.

John is Chairman of a global investment company. He is a Trustee of several local charities , and was appointed as High Sheriff of South Yorkshire in 2014. John claims no nature conservation expertise , but he and his wife Julia, have long been supporters of “Compassion in world farming ”. Their homes have always been populated with a procession of dogs ,cats ,ducks, chickens, geese ,rabbits ,hamsters, goats and sheep.