Leading conservation charity develops major visitor attraction
Bristol Zoological Society, one of the world’s oldest conservation and education charities, has an international reputation for its conservation science research work protecting wildlife around the world. As well as projects to protect critically endangered species, working with local communities, the Society encourages sustainable behaviours through its education programmes.
Bristol Zoological Society’s most recently opened visitor attraction, Wild Place Project, just off junction 17 of the M5 motorway, is a 136-acre park including areas of ancient woodland. Wild Place Project will become Bristol Zoo’s new home from 2024, a zoo for the 21st century with conservation and sustainability at its heart.
Video surveillance is vital for efficient and safe management of the project. A robust upgrade was needed to replace a failing system and overcome technical challenges.
Robust video needed to verify integrity of fences and enclosures
To ensure the welfare of animals, visitors, staff and volunteers, the Society needed a reliable real-time view of all perimeters and enclosures. It’s vital, for example, to check that the integrity of fences is not compromised by storm damage.
However, there was concern that an existing camera system at the site didn’t fully meet the Society’s needs and requirements.
A key challenge was to achieve 24/7 coverage of extensive areas while maintaining low OPEX costs for cameras, infrastructure, data transmission, and maintenance. KIS Fire and Security was awarded the contract to design and install a solution using end-to-end IDIS technology.
With species including European brown bears, wolves, cheetahs, zebras, and wolverines living at the site, installation of the new video system – also in challenging woodland terrain – needed to be undertaken with close attention to health and safety. Throughout the 8-week project the KIS engineers had to work in pairs, using walkietalkies to keep in close contact with Bristol Zoological Society’s team members.
IDIS 2MP Lightmasters provide HD images with minimal bandwidth burden
IDIS’s DC-S6283HRXL 2MP 36x Lightmaster PTZs proved to be the perfect cameras for the location because, while operating at low bandwidth and reducing storage requirements, they still deliver outstanding live view and image capture in full HD resolution. With IR cut filter and auto switch, they capture clear footage in full darkness up to 350m distances. And to cope with rapid variations in light in Wild Place Project’s woodland setting, they feature 120dB true WDR dynamic range, backlight compensation, plus advanced image control settings including self-adjusting video mode sharpness.
KIS set up the Lightmaster cameras to deliver a clear view of key fences and outdoor habitats and 5MP IR vandal and weather resistant domes to cover the bear enclousures. IDIS’ easy plug-and-play connection ensured problem-free installation, which was particularly important with hard-toreach cameras covering the site’s raised Bear Wood walkway and mounted on green eco-roofs.
The KIS team also installed full supporting infrastructure including fibre-links, cat-6 cable, and a data cabinet. Video is streamed back to the site’s meeting room and an IDIS 32-channel NVR ensures 30-day storage.
The cost-free IDIS Center software provides a powerful, flexible operating platform that makes the whole system easy to use, with the ability to seamlessly scale up to IDIS Solution Suite as the site expands, with Bristol Zoo beginning its two-year relocation and development journey to this new site, from late 2022 to 2024.
KIS has delivered enabled a truly future-proof IDIS solution that will allow integration with an unlimited number of devices including third-party cameras, reducing costs, and as development work continues as part of the Society’s ‘Strategy to 2035’ it will make it easy to migrate monitoring operations to a dedicated control room without interruption to critical video coverage.
Results and Benefits
IDIS solution ensures protection for people and animals - plus flexibility and value
The end-to-end IDIS video solution now gives the wildlife attraction’s ’s operational team and managers comprehensive domain awareness of enclosures and perimeters, with an intuitive interface that makes it easy for them to handle multi-task surveillance operations without specialist training. As well as ensuring that fences are intact, the system will allow continuous monitoring of animals, for example allowing them to be watched over but not disturbed during periods of hibernation.
Once the visitor attraction expands head of IT, Adam Evans, also plans to integrate the system with Microsoft Active Directory to make it easy to manage access rights centrally and securely.
He says the registered conservation charity also values the better TCO provided by the IDIS solution, with lower bandwidth requirements, industry-best warranties that protect against equipment failure, reduced maintenance burden, transparent VMS pricing structures and no hidden-extra licensing charges.
" Our IDIS video solution, delivered by KIS Fire & Security, gives us the best long-term value with the flexibility to scale and adapt as the park develops. Looking ahead, IDIS also makes it easy for us to take advantage of AI-powered analytics and integrate with wider systems."
Head of IT,
Bristol Zoological Society