Penguin Bay construction began in November 2014 following a brief planning period. In October 2014 Chessington submitted a planning application to the local council. Detailing the park’s desires, the planned target for change was Penguin Cove. The tired and worn-out enclosure was in dire need of a refurbishment, with big changes.
With a penguin habitat being on this site since the early zoo days, Chessington decided it was time to modernise. Tidying up the tired and dated enclosure with modern touches, plans looked set to rejuvenate the enclosure and improve things for both the keepers and the animals. Including a new tiered seating area, the new enclosure would be a drastic change. New glass viewing windows wrapped around the enclosure.
Education is an important aspect of any zoo. With Chessington highlighting this as a concern, the new seating area allows the park to expand on the educational offering at the park. Giving keepers space to talk to guests about the Humboldt Penguins at Chessington, screens and audio equipment feature as part of the expansion,
Plans were approved without much issue and construction began not long after. With the new enclosure opening as part of the Year of the Penguin in 2015. Join us below and check out all of our Penguin Bay construction updates.
March 14th 2015
Just like that, work is complete. The newly renamed Penguin Bay has opened for the season and looks fantastic. The penguins are settling into their new home. There is a whole host of details and an easter egg or two to discover. The new vibrant colours have brought a fresh lease of life to the former tired enclosure and it’s great to see the penguins enjoying the pool.
February 22nd 2015
Themed rockwork has gone up over the supports of the glass viewing windows. The inside of the enclosure seems to be being prepared for the penguins to return. Theming continues and the ship looks close to complete. With what looks to be speakers installed in the walls ready for penguin presentations to return.
February 8th 2015
The glass has arrived! All of the glass viewing windows into the enclosure has been installed. The viewing panel into the pool is also in place and work is progressing well on the seating area. Things are really coming together well.
January 31st 2015
A huge amount of progress has been made. The new ship themed seating area installation is well underway. Pillars for the new glass viewing windows are installed and painting has begun. Themed painting will add vibrant colours to the enclosure, with the keeper’s hut painted a bright blue. Small sections of fence have been left open, could we be getting up close to the penguins?
January 18th 2015
Join us for an exclusive angle this time around. Taking a look from within the Sealife service area, we got to see more work going on. Work carries on surrounding the main body of the enclosure. With new wooden theming going in as part of the barriers between guests and the penguins. The new glass viewing window into the pool has yet to be installed. The keepers hut now has a roof and all of the new filtration and utilities are starting to be set up.
January 10th 2015
New steel posts have been installed around the new entrance portal into the area. With work progressing well. The foundation work around the new seating area is taking shape too. Walls have been built surrounding the pool for the new viewing windows to be installed. The new keepers hut continues to rise and lots of new timber has been delivered.
December 27th 2014
With the Christmas break now over, work continues. Walls around the new entrance portal have started to go up. A new building has also started to go up around the staff entrance into the enclosure.
December 14th 2014
Work has picked up again. Site clearing appears mostly completed now, with foundation work beginning on the new seating area. Work has also begun creating the new pathing which will run alongside the new enclosure viewing windows.
December 7th 2014
Demolition work continues. With work moving further down the site into the back of house areas of Sealife. This area will soon be transformed into a seating area. More work clearing is taking place, with nothing else major to report.
November 23rd 2014
Not too much has changed following our previous update. More site clearing is in progress. With the glass panels of the old enclosure now removed. Work has also begun removing the old pool. With a newly refurbished pool with new filtration taking its place.
November 16th 2014
With Chessington now closed for the season, work has begun on demolition work on Penguin Cove. The previous walls have been taken down. Construction hoarding is up and the penguins have gone to a new home for the closed season. Not a lot of major work has taken place, with site clearing being the primary objective.