2021 has been a year of celebrations as Slimbridge turns 75 years old, as well as marking the completion of our Slimbridge 75 project. We have won 'Family Day Out Venue of the Year' in the SoGlos Awards, along with 'Best Family Attraction' in the Worcestershire and Gloucestershire Muddy Stilettos Awards. Now to top it off we are delighted to have won a VisitEngland Visitor Attraction Gold Accolade!
In September Slimbridge scored 96% in the VAQAS (VisitEngland Quality Assured Visitor Attraction) assessment, improving on previous high scores with a 1% increase from the 2019 assessment. This meant that Slimbridge became eligible to be nominated for the VisitEngland Gold Accolade.
Mission Possible exhibit at Slimbridge - photo credit Sarah Freeman
VisitEngland Director Andrew Stokes said:
I’m so pleased to see our visitor attractions back in the spotlight with these Accolades that recognise the amazing experiences available across the country. They also acknowledge the people who bring the attractions to life through their unparalleled customer service. They are the ones who make an attraction the most ‘welcoming’ and give life to the ‘Best Told Story’ whilst the quality of the attractions themselves are rewarded with ‘Quality Food and Drink’ and ‘Hidden Gem’ and of course ‘Gold’ for best all-rounders. Now more than ever we need these attractions to encourage and remind us to get out and explore the amazing tourism on offer across England, driving recovery and economic benefits through the regions.
Introduced by VisitEngland in 2014, the Visitor Attraction Accolades are available to members of the Visitor Attraction Quality Scheme who represent a wide range of tourism experiences across England, from museums and galleries, farm attractions, historic houses and gardens to churches, cathedrals and country parks. They are supported by a network of highly trained and experienced assessors who advise on improving and promoting the quality, accessibility and sustainability of their offer.
VisitEngland were highly impressed by Slimbridge's staff and volunteers as well as our new exhibits including Mission Possible and the Living Wetland Theatre and Waterscapes Aviary. The assessor was furthermore impressed by our new app – Wetland Heroes, which they felt was entertaining and informative. They also commented that the expanding visitor offer helped to both educate and entertain visitors and that for our assessment scores to be consistently high (and especially so during the Covid restrictions), means a huge congratulations are in order for the entire team.
Pink-backed pelican during a demonstration in the new Living Wetland Theatre - photo credit Rebecca Taylor