More than 300 information signs about DZG’s 1,300-strong animal collection have been erected across the 40-acre site with a further 100 to be completed!
The 400-plus signs, which have been designed and compiled by Head of Media and Communications, Jill Hitchman, are part of a £150,000 initiative supported by European Regeneration Development Funding and will take 12 months from writing and design to installation to be rolled out across the whole site.
The latest signs are 8ft x 4ft images of birds of prey in the courtyard of Dudley Castle, at the heart of the zoological gardens, and demonstrate how falconry was an integral part of medieval life when hunting for food was commonplace.
Jill, who worked with DZG photographer, Jason Skarratt on the animal images, said: “It’s a huge task and replaces signage that I did almost 20 years ago when we held quite different species. I started the project in February and am delighted to say I’m now on the final 100 and am ahead of schedule. “Every single species on site will have at least one information sign, plus there are lots of large complementary images to illustrate enrichment and features, so it’s quite a feat. “The signs, which incorporate our fantastic photographic archive, reflect the wide range of rare and exotic animals at DZG and also showcase our colourful history across eight decades. “They offer instant, interesting and fun information in an easy-to-read format about individual species within the collection, and unite the whole site via common branding which embraces our website, media and promotional material.” The communications project will also include improved website accessibility via an upgraded wifi system. Jill added: “We based our new signage on research compiled across site by trialling various designs and analysing customer feedback. “It’s a lengthy project, but the signs have already earned many compliments from visitors, so we’re really delighted.”