As a charity, volunteers play a vital role in the life of the Zoo. They do not take the place of paid staff but contribute to our success by supporting the Zoo's education, scientific and conservation mission whilst enhancing the visitor experience and assisting us to raise awareness of, and funds for, animal and plant conservation projects locally and all over the world. Volunteers assist our staff, help our visitors enjoy their day and provide excellent customer service.
Every year our volunteers provide thousands of hours between them to support the work of Paignton Zoo. We have over 150 volunteers who support us on a regular duty day every week and without our volunteers the Zoo would not be able to offer the activities, events and all round excellent visitor experience that it does.
As such we are looking for people who can lend a hand regularly. Our volunteer roles would suit outgoing individuals who enjoy interacting with the public, being outdoors and who have an interest in the natural world. As our volunteers are considered a huge part of the Paignton Zoo team we value reliability and good communication skills.
There are many ways in which people benefit from becoming a volunteer with us. Learning new skills, meeting new people and passing on their knowledge and experience are just a few.
When you become a volunteer with Paignton Zoo we hope you’ll have great fun and enjoy meeting new people. You'll also feel good knowing your time is being well spent helping an important cause. We’ll give you all the training you need, a polo shirt, sweatshirt and name badge to wear on duty.
PLEASE NOTE: Volunteers do not have hands-on contact with zoo animals, unless stated, but you will be volunteering in an environment where the animals are all around you.
For most of our volunteer roles you need to be 16+ years of age as we require you to be able to volunteer unsupervised and independently under the direction of one of the many different departments that we have at the Zoo. Our Animal Food Preparation roles only accept volunteers from 18 years of age. Please see the individual role descriptions for confirmation of the minimum age required for each role. There is no upper age limit.
We do not pay travel expenses - please register your interest only if you live within easy travelling distance of the Zoo. Our shortlisting takes into account the distance that you would have to undertake on a regular basis in order for you to carry out your volunteering.
Due to the time involved in meeting potential volunteers for an informal discussion and inducting and training volunteers, we do look for a certain level of commitment.
As we have a limited number of opportunities, we endeavour to find people most suited to volunteering. This decision is based initially on information provided on the interest form and then through an informal discussion with potential volunteers who have been shortlisted from their interest forms.
Due to the number of interest forms received, we will only contact you again if you are shortlisted to attend an informal discussion where you will be able to discuss volunteering and the role/s you are interested in with the Volunteer Co-ordinator or another member of staff.
Following an informal discussion, successful volunteers undertake an induction to volunteering with us and their chosen role and training is provided where relevant.
The details on these pages relate to volunteers who support the Zoo every week on a regular duty day. If you are looking to gain career experience working with zoo animals, either through work experience or a work placement, please visit our work experience page. Volunteering is not the same as undertaking a work placement.
Please view our Volunteer Roles page which shows the volunteer roles with opportunities available at present.
It's got to be said, Paignton Zoo is hard to beat!
We've been to Paignton zoo several times and love it each time, especially the gorillas.
It's a beautiful attraction with plenty to see