PRESS RELEASE FROM FLAMINGO LAND: Young animal fans had a wild time at the official opening of Flamingo Land’s newly revamped education centre.
The Udzungwa Discovery Centre has been transformed from what was a normal classroom into a themed learning space inspired by the Udzungwa Forest Project – Flamingo Land’s flagship conservation project which is taking place in Tanzania.
The centre’s redesign was headed up by Dr Sarah Spooner, education centre manager, who is delighted with the new look. She said: “The feedback has been wonderful – and it was great to see everyone enjoying the new surroundings today. “It’s a much more fun, useable space and is perfect for helping children learn about the Tanzanian rainforest.”
Animal handling, ranger session and storytime!
Children were invited from Foston and Terrington Primary Schools, near York, and enjoyed an African Rangers session, animal handling and an interactive storytime session with Harrogate-based author Jonnie Wild.
Class teacher Katie Stringer said: “The children really enjoyed it. They loved the story and it was brilliant how Jonnie used the puppets! They also really enjoyed the animal handling session. “What has been done inside the centre is fantastic – and it was perfect timing for us as the children are studying Africa at the moment.”
Funny crocodile and fabulous flamingos!
The pupils gave their feedback too, with Rose, age five, saying: “I had fun. I liked the flamingo part of the story.”
Frankie, age seven, said: “It was funny when the crocodile came in at the end!” Henry, age four, said: “I like the flamingos the best.”
Author Jonnie Wild read his story, The Carnivorous Crocodile, with the children acting out different animal characters.
Having retired as the boss of Bettys and Yorkshire Tea, Jonnie now dedicates his time to conservation projects and writing children’s books.
The proceeds of his books are being donated to Flamingo Land’s Udzungwa Forest Project. He said: “It’s wonderful to come here and have the opportunity to work with the children, who were very excited, on site. “I’m delighted to be a part of the launch and that the books are an integral part of the conservation work being done here.” Jonnie signed copies of his books during the event, including his latest release, The Mud Monster.
Corn snakes, stick insects, hissing cockroaches, African land snails and tree frogs!
The centre is home to a number of creatures, such as corn snakes, stick insects, hissing cockroaches, African land snails and tree frogs, who all live in special enclosures and are part of the education sessions.
Animal handling sessions are held at 3pm daily and school groups are welcome to book in for a visit.
For details on what the centre has to offer, or to enquire about a school group booking, email firstname.lastname@example.org