Wildlife education experts at Chester Zoo have released tens of thousands of free tickets to school children.
The ticket giveaway, which launches today, will allow 42,000 youngsters to visit the zoo as part of an organised educational trip.
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.
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.
Nicola Buckley, Chester Zoo’s Conservation Education & Engagement Manager
“Over 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.