Wildlife education experts at Chester Zoo have released tens of thousands of free tickets to school children.
A spokesman for the zoo said the ticket giveaway, which launched today, will allow 42,000 youngsters to visit as part of an organised educational trip. And zoo educators are particularly keen for the tickets to reach children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The initiative is part of the conservation and education charity’s ongoing efforts to prevent extinction – by inspiring a new wave of conservationists and harnessing the passion of young people to protect the future of the planet and its wildlife.
The zoo has, for some time, been calling for educational reform and pushing for conservation action to be embedded into the curriculum of all schools in the UK, having already seen it work successfully in the north west of England.
Meanwhile, scientific studies, carried out by leading academics, have shown that people have a significantly better understanding of biodiversity and conservation after a visit to the zoo.
Nicola Buckley, Chester Zoo’s discovery and learning manager said:
“For many school children, a visit to the zoo is what sparks a lifelong conservation journey. These are the conservationists of the future and some will go on to play a vital role in preventing extinction all around the world.
“More than a million species are faced with extinction and we must galvanise the power of our young people to help protect our environment.
“Bringing school children to the zoo for free is about inspiring the next generation to connect with nature and to find their own ways to be conservationists in their day-to-day lives.
“It’s to help equip youngsters with the skills, attitudes and motivation they need to play an active role in tackling the environmental challenges we face today.”
This year, for the first time, every school will also receive a free resource pack to make the most of their visit.
This free admission offer is for visits between November 1 2020 and February 28 2021, weekdays during Cheshire West and Chester term time only.
It is only eligible to those schools who have not taken advantage of the free school admissions offer in the past two years (i.e those who visited with the free school tickets scheme in 2018/19 and 2019/20)
Also published on Medium.