As part of our Wildlife Connections project we’ve been working closely with a number of different community groups across Chester, Flintshire, Cheshire and the Wirral; inviting them to attend a series of free workshops led by experts from the zoo and our conservation partners.
The workshops aim to help them develop their skills and provide them with the know-how in a number of different areas, including: planting for wildlife, what they can do to help birds, toads and hedgehogs, wildlife recording and activities they can do with their group to help wildlife.
Judith Hancock volunteers for Girlguiding UK; she told us why she wanted to take part in our project:
“I love the great outdoors and the wonderful wildlife that lives in it and as a retired teacher I also love inspiring and teaching the younger generations. I now spend my time inspiring the guiding community as a Guide leader and activities coordinator for the brownie and guide site at Girlguiding campsite at Pettypool in Cheshire.
“I’m always on the look-out for ways to get the girls engaged with local wildlife so when I saw that Chester Zoo could provide me with skills and expertise to enable me to do this, I jumped at the chance.
Judith (right) taking part in one of the workshops at Chester Zoo
“As a Wildlife Champion I get the opportunity to attend eight workshops which will give me a whole host of skills and activities that I can pass on to the guiding community. I attended the first four workshops in April and learnt a lot including how to build a mammal survey tunnel and how to encourage birds in our open spaces.
“The workshops were brilliant, I came away with a whole host of activities I could do with my guiding groups and I got to share ideas with other community leaders. I’ve already passed on the skills I learnt at the workshops as I hosted a range of wildlife days at Pettypool throughout May where Beavers, Brownies and Guides made some of the items that I learnt to make in the workshops.
“By becoming a Wildlife Champion and inspiring people to care about it, I feel that I’m doing my bit to preserve the wildlife in this beautiful country for future generations. I would encourage any community group leader to sign up to become a Wildlife Champion!”
In addition to the workshops we’re also hosting a series of Masterclasses throughout the year which focus in more detail on different types of animals or plants. The most recent event focused on bees and was ran by bee experts from Liverpool World Museum, Tony Parker and Carl Clee. We've been working with Tony and Carl for a few years on a local conservation project that supports the monitoring of local bees, wasps and ants in the Cheshire area; read more by heading to our Act for Wildlife website here.
You don’t have to be part of a community group to take part in Wildlife Connections though; just sign up to our campaign here and start making changes to your garden or local green space. We can all make a difference to UK wildlife by creating spaces that are perfect for our local wildlife to thrive.
So, what are you waiting for? Get involved here.