Investment boost to inspire next generation
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 thousands of pupils to the zoo every month 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 our zoo 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.
We 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 the park 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, 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.”