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Chester Zoo unveils new ‘state-of-the-art’ education hub

A new state-of-the-art education centre that aims to “inspire and empower future conservationists” has opened at Chester Zoo.

The zoo’s new Conservation Education Hub, which features three large classrooms, a recording studio and a 84m2 covered outdoor space, will host more than 50,000 children, young people, students and teachers every year. 

Conservation education experts at the zoo plan to use the sustainably powered building, featuring solar panels and air source heat pumps, to stage wildlife workshops, skills and nature-based training and community events as they step up efforts to support the next generation to take action for the planet and protect wildlife.

Study sessions and play activities will also be offered to young people, while the new hub will also host teacher training events, as well as weekend and school holiday clubs.

Nicola Buckley, Head of Conservation Education and Engagement at the zoo, said the new facility will: “provide more opportunities for people of all ages, especially young people, to learn how to secure a future in which nature can survive and thrive.”

She said it was a “key milestone” for the zoo’s ambitions to bring “real-world issues that young people care about” into the classroom.  

Education specialist from the zoo have long called for the government to galvanise the power of young people to address the role of our education system in protecting the environment, pushing for educational reform that will equip young people with the skills, tools and opportunities needed for them to help tackle the world’s environmental challenges and live more sustainably.

In recent years the zoo has worked to successfully incorporate conservation themes into the national curriculum across a number of subjects - from science and English to music and drama - all with the aim of encouraging children to address urgent environmental issues.

Nicola said:

“With so many species threatened with extinction it’s vital that we all play our part in creating a more sustainable future for people and wildlife. Spending time observing and learning about animals in the amazing setting of our charity zoo, supported by our educational experts, can help foster a connection to nature and empower children and young people to make a difference.

“It’s more important than ever that all students have opportunities to get outside, spend time in nature and learn about the amazing biodiversity of our planet, all things that can be supported through a zoo visit. So, we’re delighted to be unveiling our state-of-the-art Conservation Education Hub, which will open up even more opportunities for young people to access the enriching educational experience of a trip to the zoo – inspiring them to create a brighter future for our planet.”

Pictured - Chester Zoo has unveiled a brand new education hub. Conservation experts say the new learning centre will inspire and empower the conservationists of the future.

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