Oxfordshire zookeeper named Tourism Superstar finalist

Hayley Mullaney, Head Mammal Keeper at Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens, is one of ten finalists in with a chance of winning VisitEngland’s annual Tourism Superstar competition, supported by The Mirror newspaper. Hayley was nominated by Experience Oxfordshire, the destination management organisation which promotes, manages and develops the Oxfordshire visitor economy.

Tourism Superstar recognises the dedication and passion of those working in the tourism industry. It promotes unrecognised heroes who go far beyond the call of duty to ensure visitors in their area have an unforgettable experience.

Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and for 10 years Hayley has been a dedicated member of the team. Regularly going above and beyond her duties as Head Mammal Keeper, Hayley has launched a charity initiative using lost and found items, provided round-the-clock care for the park’s first hand-reared rhino calf, and organised the park’s first-ever ‘Dreamnight at the Zoo’ – an after-hours events for chronically ill and disabled children and their families.

Hayley Mullaney, Head Mammal Keeper at Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens said, “I am absolutely delighted to be nominated. In my role as Assistant Curator and Head Mammal Keeper, I am lucky enough to work with some of the rarest and most iconic animals on earth, including our new baby Rhino Stella, who is proving to be quite a character! I am very fortunate to be able to share my passion for animals and conservation with our visitors and this is hugely rewarding in itself. I try and give everyone a warm welcome when they visit the Park and always hope they leave inspired about the wonders of the natural world.

“I’m really touched that the extra things I’ve organised over the years, like ‘Dreamnight at the Zoo’ and Junior Keeper Experiences, have had such a positive effect on people and helped to create some wonderful memories for them. I’d also like to say a huge thank you to my colleagues at the Wildlife Park, as the job we do is all about teamwork, and a big thank you to Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens and Experience Oxfordshire for nominating me.”

Hayley Beer-Gamage, Chief Executive of Experience Oxfordshire said, “We are delighted to be backing Hayley Mullaney for this prestigious accolade. Across Oxfordshire we’re so lucky to have amazing people that work within our visitor economy to make Oxfordshire a world-class destination and provide a great visitor welcome.

“Hayley’s passion for animals and dedication to making Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens a fantastic family day out makes her an absolute superstar – we are so pleased that Hayley has been shortlisted by VisitEngland for this award.

“We would like to encourage our Oxfordshire locals, visitors to Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens, partners and friends to vote for Hayley so that she can become Visit England’s 2020 Tourism Superstar. We hope she is supported as this nomination is well deserved!”.

Visitors to Oxfordshire, the Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens and people in the local area are being encouraged to vote for Hayley Mullaney on the Mirror’s voting page between 7 March and 21 April 2020.

The winner will be announced on 25 April during English Tourism week (18-25 April), a week which showcases the quality, range and value of English Tourism and raises awareness of the enormous contribution it makes to the UK economy.

To find out more about the Tourism Superstar initiative, please visit the website.