Yorkshire Wildlife Park has launched a major ‘back to nature’ initiative to help families connect with the outdoors.
The Rewilding Families project involves families taking part in organised activities at the park and encourages them to take part in challenges at home.
The park at Branton, near Doncaster, secured £15,000 funding from the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) to run the scheme, which is part of global drive to promote conservation.
YWP’s latest Rewilding Families event took place on Saturday June 22nd and participating families and staff worked together to complete nature-themed activities about UK native minibeasts.
“We promoted a love for all things creepy crawly and looked at what we can do to help protect threatened species such as the honeybee,” said Jade Bancroft, Education Manager at the park, the UK’s No. 1 walkthrough wildlife adventure.
“Activities included minibeast hunts, learning to find and identify minibeasts and creating areas for nature such as bee houses and butterfly feeders.”
Families from the local area will take part in a maximum of six organised activities at the park, covering plants, mini-beasts, native mammals, environmental art, birds and sustainability.
“We were delighted to have been awarded the grant for this plan to help families explore and enjoy the natural world together,” added Ms Bancroft.
“Conservation is at the heart of everything we do at YWP and we love sharing our enthusiasm for wildlife and the outdoors.
“We believe that by giving families a unique hands-on experience will both promote conservation and help strengthen family bonds.”
Activities at YWP are linked to ‘at home challenges’ which are designed to encourage families to make a positive behaviour change and enjoy the outdoors and nature together.
Families will use the skills and confidence gained during the on-site activities to complete these challenges and win prizes.
Rewilding Families is designed to show that spending time in nature is important and valuable to their daily lives and wellbeing.
Families will also be able to make new connections with other families during the project.
“They will also learn about the wildlife found at YWP, what we do to help and how they can help too,” added Ms Bancroft.
YWP is home to over 400 animals from 70 species, many rare and endangered, and has built a worldwide reputation as a dynamic centre for conservation promoting awareness and understanding for biodiversity.
Visitors enjoy a unique walk through experience coming almost face to face with Polar Bears, Amur Tigers and Leopards as well as Giraffes and Rhinos.