Investment Boost to Inspire Next Generation at Blackpool Zoo
The doors have opened on a new era of education at Blackpool Zoo following a major redevelopment of its education department, which has taught more than one million children from across the UK.
Over £100,000 has been invested to expand the facility, to create three new state-of-the-art classrooms for people of all ages, from early years foundation level to adults.
The education department welcomes hundreds of pupils to the zoo every week and the new facilities will enable the team to help even more people learn about the importance of conservation.
Three new classrooms are themed as a rainforest, a desert and a savannah to inspire learners and demonstrate the natural habitats of some of the zoo’s residents.
There are also insect and reptile enclosures, an outdoor learning zone and education and research offices.
Three new members of staff are currently being recruited to provide fun and interactive sessions with live animals including firm favourite Colin the Madagascan Hissing Cockroach.
Blackpool Zoo first started welcoming education groups when it opened its doors for the very first time in 1972. Since then, more than one million school children from the Fylde, the North West and across the UK have visited.
The new facilities are located in a former Air Traffic Control Tower, which dates back to when the land and buildings of zoo park land were part of the original Blackpool Municipal Airport.
The new education facilities will provide:
- Curriculum based education sessions from early years foundation to undergraduate level
- Bespoke educational courses for all ages and abilities
- Group and school visits
- School holiday courses including Keeper Kids for ages 8-11, Zoo School for 12-14 year olds and Zoo Keeper Academy for those aged 15-17
- Work experience for over 18s
- Creepy Crawly corner sessions for zoo visitors
Natalie Garrett, Head of Education at Blackpool Zoo, said: “We are absolutely delighted with our bigger, better facility and the extra space and staff mean we can teach thousands more children every year.
“I have worked closely with fellow management and directors at the zoo to design stimulating learning environments for children and young adults and they look amazing!
“We are all set for our best year yet here at Blackpool Zoo.”
Blackpool Zoo’s new education department – fast facts
• Year that the first educational visit took place: 1972
• Amount of money being invested in refurbishment: £100,000
• Number of children that have taken part in education sessions: more than one milllion
• Number of children on school visits since the zoo opened: more than one million
• Age of the former Air Traffic Control building: 85
• Number of children that can take part in one session: 35
• Furthest a group has travelled for an educational visit: 200 miles
Pictures show: The new education department signage, a picture of The Friday Club, who are a group of former Myerscough College students who visit every week as part of a learning programme with their support worker and a visiting school.
More information about Blackpool Zoo
Blackpool Zoo announced record figures for the sixth consecutive year in 2014 as it continued with investment in facilities and attractions, introduces new species and enjoys success in international breeding programmes for endangered animals.
Visitor numbers, school visits and memberships were all up 10 per cent, on the previous year, which all led to a 10 per cent rise in revenue.
Blackpool Zoo is owned by Parques Reunidos, the second largest European leisure parks operator and a leading world-wide player. The zoo is home to over 1,500 mammals, birds, reptiles and invertebrates set amidst thirty-two acres of mature woodland and lakes.
The zoo’s signature animals include elephants, giraffes, big cats, gorillas, orang-utans, sea lions, primates, zebras and kangaroos. It is open every day of the year, apart from Christmas Day, from 10am.
For further information please contact:
Out of office hours contact: Paula Holden on 07772268378