Animal funds

Animal lover raises over £2,000 for Colchester Zoo

A kind-hearted animal lover has raised money for Colchster Zoo after selling calendars to provide additional funds for the popular attraction.

Web developer Steven Hardy, 29, has created a Colchester Zoo calendar for 2022.

As an avid wildlife photographer and a member of the Zoo’s Gold Pass, Steven regularly takes photos of the animals on his visits, which he has used for the calendar.

Steven released his first zoo calendar in 2020 for last year amid fears the site could be forced to close due to the pandemic.

After a successful first batch of sales, he decided to repeat the feat and create another calendar for this year, to generate more profit for what is one of his favorite places to visit.

READ MORE >> Wildlife photographer creates zoo calendars to help raise their funding

He said: “With the pandemic still lingering and the cost of running the zoo at around £26,000 a day, I have decided to run a different schedule.

“The reason for doing this is totally to raise money for Colchester Zoo and I really enjoyed doing it.”

This year Steven raised £500 for the zoo and sold 102 calendars.

He said: “It did really well, people were asking for it after last year’s success, and I had regular customers who came back this time around.

“As this is the second year I’ve done this and raised around £500 which combined with the last time is over £2,000 raised.

“It was less than the year before, but obviously Covid didn’t help, but any money raised is a huge help, and that just means I have to beat it next time.”

Steven continues his regular photographic visits to the zoo and hopes to do more to help them in the future.

He said: “I would definitely revisit the calendars, the feedback this time around has been great.

“As soon as I posted the grand total, people were asking for more, which is lovely.

“I just want to do whatever I can to help raise money for the zoo.”