Posted: Fri 21st Jul 2017

Chester Zoo will make school visits free from November to February in a bid to inspire a generation of conservationists

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Jul 21st, 2017

With the planet facing an extinction crisis as large numbers of species are under significant threat of extinction, including rhinos and elephants, frogs, birds and more.

Closer to home, there are widespread problems; The hedgehog appears to be declining in the UK at the same rate as tigers are globally, three bumblebee species have already gone extinct and one in five of Britain’s wildflowers is threatened with nationwide extinction.

Chester Zoo is now looking to inspire a generation of conservationists and is opening the doors and encouraging schools to visit, for free between November through February.

The zoo, which is the UK’s most visited tourist attraction outside London and the country’s most popular zoo, is both a conservation and an education charity with a remit to conserve the living world.

An army of field conservationists from the zoo are fighting back, working with partners to deliver more than 80 vital projects in 30 countries worldwide, while at home in Cheshire the zoo is a world leader in breeding endangered species.

Yet the challenges facing the planet are so great that they require widespread public engagement if they are to be successfully overcome.

A recent scientific study, supported by the zoo and published, confirms that people have significantly better understanding of biodiversity and conservation after a visit to a zoo than before their visit.

With 1.9m visitors per year and more than 100,000 people taking part in organised educational trips, Chester Zoo’s ability to shape a generation of conservationists is significant.

Chester Zoo’s major Safari Ranger outreach programme already delivers free sessions to schools throughout the north west of England and north Wales.

Experts from the zoo also train community group leaders in habitat conservation, work with local field partners to protect endangered species and engage families and young people on site in Chester every day.

Now, all school children visiting the zoo with their schools from November to February will visit for free.

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