03 February 2020

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.

If your school meets the Terms and Conditions (see below), please complete our new application form and return to learning@chesterzoo.org by 29 February 2020.

Download application form

Terms and Conditions:

This free admission offer is for visits between 1 November 2020 and 28 February 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). Those who took part in the first year (2017/18) are eligible.  The offer is open to nursery, primary and secondary schools from Early Years and Foundation through to Year 13 pupils. Independent schools are not eligible to book in this first round of free tickets. Accompanying adults will be admitted free of charge at our standard ratios for each year group. Adults visiting over and above this ratio will be charged at the additional adult education rate.

Applications for free school places can only be made through the new application form available on the website and returned to learning@chesterzoo.org by 29 February 2020. Application forms received after this date will not be processed. Failure to complete the form fully may result in a delay in your application submission. All schools will be notified by the end of March. Due to the volume of applications we will be unable to provide updates on applications until the end of March 2020.

The number of free admission places and admissions per day is limited. If the limit is reached you may be asked to visit on another day and/or using our discounted education rates. Our discounted education rates are offered to educational establishments on weekdays during Cheshire West and Cheshire term time. Home educators are eligible to apply as a group through a Home Educators’ Network.

Applications will be reviewed and places offered on a first come first served basis. We do not hold a waiting list.


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