Andy reaches 45 years!

This Love Your Zoo Week it seems apt to congratulate our longest serving member of staff, who certainly does love DZC, after reaching his 45th year working here!


Zoo Gardener, Andy Palmer, reached the milestone yesterday, when he was thanked and presented with gift vouchers for his dedication and service to the zoo by Zoo Director Derek Grove and Zoo Manager, Matt Lewis, as well as being given the opportunity to feed our giraffes – his favourite animal at the zoo!

The 61 year-old was just 16 when he applied for a job here as a gardener, just two days after leaving secondary school, and during his four and a half decades, we’ve even planted two trees on site to honour his 25th and 40th year of employment.

Andy said: “I love working at the zoo. I work with a wonderful team and I get to meet so many nice people.

“I’ve also seen the zoo change so much for the better over the years, but I can’t believe it’s been 45 years.

“One standout memory I have was in the early 1980s when I had to plant hundreds and hundreds of daffodil bulbs on the hillside banks. I remember I had to climb the steep banks with a pick and dig out the individual holes to plant the daffodils, which are still flowering every year.”

Zoo Director Derek Grove, said: “I’m sure when Andy started working in the gardening department at the local zoo, he didn’t envisage it would be a mainstay of his working life, and yet 45 years later, he is still working hard to maintain the grounds come rain or shine.

“I’ve worked alongside Andy for almost four decades and when you have known someone for so long you rarely take time to pause and to thank them for all those years of service, so I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you on behalf of all the staff and visitors for his continued dedication to a job he loves.”