40 year celebration!

Join us in saying congratulations to one of our longest serving employees, who yesterday reached 40 years working at DZC!

Assistant Head Gardener, Antony Gwilt, initially started on a gardening Youth Training Scheme, which involved three days training here at the zoo and two days at college.

He had wanted to go into glass cutting, but there was no option to go into the industry at the time, so he signed up to the gardening scheme instead which he said: “changed my life”.

After successfully completing the course, alongside 15 others, he was told about a permanent position going on the zoo’s gardening team. He got the job and has been here ever since!

Antony said: “I love my job. I love the variety you get, as you never know what you’re going to face each day.

“It’s very weather dependent, but different tasks are done in different weathers and I still love coming to work here every day. You just make the most of it.”

Over four decades, standout moments for Antony include recently completing the outdoor orangutan enclosure, where they had to move over 200 tonnes of top soil!

In the past, Antony and his tractor driving skills have also been called upon to help move a giraffe in a transport carrier and move a polar bear, crated on the back of the tractor’s trailer “I didn’t think much of it until someone told me I was moving one of the site’s most dangerous animals” recalled Antony!

To mark his milestone, Antony was presented with gift vouchers and thanked for his dedication to DZC and we’ll be planting a yellow magnolia out on site in his honour.