The Silk Road - New Welsh Home of the Snow Leopards

The project aims to raise money to build a new home for Snow Leopards at the Welsh Mountain Zoo, and will forge a link between Wales & China

£22,985 raised of £200,000 target 11 %
93 supporters 15 days left
This project is using Flexible funding and will receive all pledges made by 2:01pm 12th March 2018

National Zoological Society of Wales - Registered Charity Number - 514108

The Silk Road Project aims to build state of the art accommodation for one of the world’s most vulnerable big cat species, while also forging connections with the world’s most important growth economy – China. By helping to build our new snow leopard enclosure you can be part our most ambitious and important project to date. We want to prepare for the next 50 years. And with your help, we know we can do it.

The project will see completely new accommodation for our snow leopards, creating a representation of the mountainous regions in which this endangered species lives. The Silk Road will forge links with China and the Himalayan Mountains exploring the Chinese culture, language, environment and species that originate from there.

 The new snow leopard home will be designed to offer visitors a nose to nose visual experience through glass, whilst an elevated walkway will journey around the site, offering panoramic views across the Zoo and to the Carneddau Mountains.

Snow leopards are well adapted to their home in the cold mountains of China and surrounding countries. Their thick fur patterned with dark rosettes and spots  is the perfect camouflage for their rocky habitat, allowing them to stalk their prey. Their beautiful coats are also made up of long hairs with a dense, woolly underfur to protect them against the cold.

Snow leopards have a longer tail than many other big cats and they can be up to 1 m in length to help the leopards to balance whilst they are on steep, rocky slopes. They also provide the snow leopard with extra protection against the cold since the leopards tails can be wrapped around themselves, like a scarf, while they are resting.

We have 2 snow leopards at the Welsh Mountain Zoo and they have lived here for 11 years. They are part of the European breeding programme and have been successful breeders, with their most recent litter now moved on to create two more breeding pairs and helping the survival of the species.

"My father, Robert Jackson spent ten years searching for the perfect place to realise his zoo dream. With its magnificent views across Colwyn Bay and the stunning Snowdonia mountain landscape, Dad chose this location as the foundation for his future work. Sadly, he died in an accident just six years after Welsh Mountain Zoo opened. After his death my mother two, brothers and I all rallied together to keep  Dad's dream and legacy alive for the next 50 years" 

Nick Jackson, Director

Now the Zoo is one of North Wales' top attractions that is open all year round (except Christmas day). The Zoo is home to around 750 animals of over 100 species from all over the world, including the majestic Snow Leopard.

China's mountainous habitat is home to the largest population of snow leopards in the wild and provides a focus and a theme for The Silk Road Project. However, the project aims to be much more than just a new home for the Zoo's snow leopards. The Silk Road Project also aims to create a cultural bridge with the nation of China - the world's newest emerging superpower.

The Silk Road Project aims to reinforce a growing friendship between our two nations.  Political, commercial, scientific and cultural partnerships between Wales and China will become vital in the years to come as the Chinese economy continues to grow. Opportunities to create and build relationships can lead to practical business, research or educational joint endeavours. These relationships and future collaborations can promote prosperity, peace and understanding between our two nations and will, in turn, be the inheritance of our children and grandchildren.

We believe that no other zoo or wildlife attraction in the UK has made this imaginative leap by combining the zoo’s traditional offers of biodiversity protection, tourism and leisure experiences with the wider macro-political and trade interests of the nation at large.

We have big ambitions for this project, but it all comes down to funding. The good news is we’ve already made an impressive start and have strong indications of further support. But we need your help to reach our £200,000 Crowdfunding target and make The Silk Road Project come to life.

Dame Judi Dench - Silk Road supporter Dame Judi Dench DBE is one of the nation's best loved English theatre and film actors, seven time Oscar nominee and Academy Award winner.
"I am delighted to support The Silk Road project to assist the long term survival of the snow leopard, Chinese biodiversity in general and to foster ever better relations with China"

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall - Silk Road supporter Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is a chef, writer, broadcaster and campaigner on many environmental issues. He is currently presenting Hugh's Wild West for BBC1.
"This  looks like a great project with the welfare and conservation of this stunning  wild cat at its heart. Good luck!"

Richard E Grant - Silk Road supporter Richard E Grant is a distinguished Actor, Director and Screenwriter.
"The Silk Road is a great project both in terms of wildlife conservation and in forming a new link to China. I am delighted to be a supporter"

Brian Blessed - Silk Road supporter Brian Blessed has had a distinguished and varied career which has encompassed all media. He is now one of this country’s best known and most highly respected actors, writers and adventures.

Rory Bremner - Silk Road supporter Rory Bremner is an impressionist and comedian best known for political satire and impressions of British public figures

John Cleese - Silk Road supporter John Cleese is a comedian best known for being part of Monty Python and Basil Fawlty in Fawlty Towers

Elizabeth Haywood - Dr Elizabeth Haywood was the inaugural winner of 'Welsh Woman of the Year'  and has a career in public service in Wales and roles in Government, Third Sector and Private Sector Companies.

Peter Hain -  (Baron Hain of Neath) is a former Secretary of State for Wales and has an eminent political career

Q. Which countries can you ship rewards to?

A. Rewards include Royal Mail delivery to UK addresses, but you can pay a little extra to have your parcel delivered elsewhere. International delivery will require an extra £10.00

Q. Can I pledge anonymously?

A. Yes, you can opt to hide your name from other supporters list by ticking the relevant box when you make your pledge. Don't worry, we will still be able to see your details. 

Q. Can I pledge on more than one reward?

A. Yes, you can choose as many rewards as you like. You will need to make a new separate pledge for each reward. If you get stuck, you can message for help. 

Q. Can I organise my own fundraising event?

A. Yes, we'd love as many people as possible to be involved and to spread the word of the campaign. If you want to organise an event and need some more information contact

Q. Can I pledge on behalf of a group?

A. Yes, all donations are welcome.

Q. Is Corporate sponsorship available?

A. Corporate sponsorship of elements of the enclosure are available in the rewards list, however, to discuss tailor made sponsorship packages, please email .