Chester Zoo set to host major wildlife festival
Two days of live music, outdoor theatre and hands on nature activities will take place at Chester Zoo this September as part of one of the UK’s newest festivals dedicated entirely to celebrating British wildlife.
The Wildlife Connections Festival, which promises to fuse family fun with serious conservation, will take place in the zoo’s new Nature Reserve on Friday 14 and Saturday 15 September.
The free event aims to put a spotlight on UK species, such as hedgehogs, butterflies and wildlife, which are in dramatic decline.
Highlights of the festival will include an animal-inspired obstacle course, a people-powered merry-go-round and a special storytime with CBBC star, adventurer and zoologist Dr Jess French (Friday only). Jess will be sharing creative ways to protect the planet, based on her new book How to Help a Hedgehog and Protect a Polar Bear
Zoo conservationists hope the celebration will inspire festival goers to stand up and take action for the native wildlife living around them.
Pollie Shorthouse, General Discovery & Learning Manager, said:
Much of the UK’s wildlife has suffered a huge decline in recent times. Hedgehog numbers in rural Britain have plummeted by 50% since 2002, around 20% of wildflowers are faced with extinction and only a quarter of butterfly species in the UK are unthreatened. Britain was once covered in woodland but habitat has altered dramatically too, and it now covers just 12% of the land.
This unique festival will serve to highlight this; show people exactly what they can do to improve the picture for many of the UK’s wonderful species and, at the same time, be a lot of fun for the whole family. It’ll also showcase the many things that Chester Zoo is actively doing to protect UK species. We’ve no doubt it will leave visitors feeling better connected to the amazing wildlife around us.
The festival line-up will feature a host of other exciting activities including bug hunts with zoo experts, bird watching, demonstrations on how to make gardens and green spaces more wildlife friendly, face painting and art workshops using natural fallen materials.
The Wildlife Connections Festival - part of the zoo’s wider Wildlife Connections campaign which is helping UK wildlife by creating new areas of good habitat in gardens, parklands and community spaces - is free. More details available at www.chesterzoo.org/festival.