Back to Zoo News

02 15/02/2019

Inspiring the next generation of conservationists!

Chester Zoo will offer free entry to 42,000 KS1 to KS5 pupils from November 2019 to February 2020!


We're the UK’s most visited tourist attraction outside London and the country’s most popular zoo, and we're also both a conservation and an education charity on a mission to prevent extinction.

This is the third year the zoo has offered free school places and after lots of interest in 2017 and 2018, there are more places than ever available this time around. We will initially allocate the free places to schools who have not taken up the offer before.

A major scientific study, supported by Chester Zoo, reported that people have significantly better understanding of biodiversity and conservation after a visit to a zoo than before, so conservationists hope that school children motivated by their visit in 2019 will go on to play a crucial role in preventing extinction for years to come.

From songbirds in Asia to rhinos in Africa, large numbers of species are under threat across the world. Right here in the UK, almost all wildlife is in decline. Almost three quarters of British butterfly species are in decline, one in five wildflowers are threatened with extinction and the hedgehog population has decreased by 50% in rural areas in only 15 years. Field conservationists from the zoo are fighting back, working with partners to deliver more than 80 vital projects in 30 countries worldwide, including the UK.

Chester Zoo’s major Safari Ranger outreach programme already delivers free sessions to schools throughout the North West of England and North Wales. Experts from the zoo also train community group leaders in habitat conservation, work with local field partners to protect endangered species and engage families and young people on site in Chester every day.


Charlotte Smith, Head of Discovery and Learning at the zoo, said: 

Inspiring a new generation of conservationists could be the key to preventing the extinction of species in years to come. We want to encourage as many children through our gates as possible and we hope to remove as many barriers as we can to create opportunities young people may never have had before. It is time to act for wildlife.

The free school places scheme is available for weekday visits between 1 November 2019 to 29 February 2020, during the Cheshire West and Chester region term time. School groups are advised to book early via the book your visit page. There is a maximum capacity of bookings per day to avoid overcrowding and ensure every child and visitor is able to enjoy a world class experience.

Why not add on a curriculum linked workshop to your visit? We have a range of workshops available for all key stages as well as post-visit learning resources. Visit our learning section for further details.

Back to Zoo News