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Chester Zoo is giving away 35,000 free visits to nurseries, schools and colleges… here’s how you can get yours

Chester Zoo is giving away 35,000 free tickets to schoolchildren and students.

Chester Zoo is giving away 35,000 free tickets to schoolchildren and students.

Nurseries, schools and colleges from across the UK can apply for the free places, with zoo conservationists especially keen for pupils in more disadvantaged areas to take up the offer.

All who successfully get their hands on the tickets will be able visit the wildlife conservation charity for free as part of an educational trip between November 2024 and February 2025.

The scheme, part of the zoo’s charitable efforts to help nature to survive and thrive, aims to spark a passion for saving species and inspire a new generation of conservationists.

Education leaders at the zoo have called upon the government to draw on the power of young people to secure a greener, more sustainable future for the planet – pushing for educational reform in the UK that would see conservation action embedded into the national curriculum. This has already been implemented in parts of the North West of England with experts at the zoo now eager to see it rolled out across the country.

Charlotte Smith, Director of Conservation Education and Engagement, said: “Every one of us is a custodian of our natural world but it’s the next generation of conservationists – children and young people today – who are fundamentally important to overcoming the environmental and biodiversity challenges our planet is facing. They are inspiring and they give us hope, which is why we’re so keen to connect them with the awe and wonder of nature and help to nurture their passion and desire to make a difference.

“It’s proven that a visit to the zoo can significantly enhance people’s understanding of the huge efforts that go into conserving highly threatened species, while also bringing physical and mental health benefits, too. That’s why we particularly want to reach youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds and ensure they are the primary beneficiaries of the initiative – so we can provide them with the skills and know-how to go on and make a real, positive difference to wildlife in their everyday lives.”

Running since 2017, the zoo’s free ticket scheme has already seen more than 100,000 children and young people visit the zoo as part of free educational trips. This year, the initiative is open to nurseries, schools and colleges which haven’t benefitted from the scheme within the last four academic years.

Every school participating in the programme will receive a free resource pack to help maximise the educational impact of their zoo visit. Places each day are limited to ensure every child and visitor can enjoy their zoo visit.

To apply, simply just fill out and submit an application form on the zoo’s website by Friday 22 March 2024 here: www.chesterzoo.org/free-school-visits-for-2024-2025/

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