Local wildlife charity WWT Washington Wetland Centre is appealing for stories from young nature lovers who can trace their passion back to visiting the centre on a school trip.
Thousands of school pupils visit WWT Washington each year to learn about wildlife and the hope is that visit sparks a deep and long-lasting interest in the natural world.
Now the charity wants to learn what captured the imagination of those most inspired individuals, so they can inspire other young people in the same way.
WWT Learning Manager Joanne Newbury said:
“It’s so exciting to lead a group enjoying a day outside the classroom, learning and seeing things that are relevant to school, but in a very different environment.
“Our research indicates that a visit could well spark a longer-term interest in wildlife in some – the Attenboroughs of the future – and that’s obviously of huge interest to us, which is why we’re making this appeal now.
“We hope to learn what in particular made them tick, so we can do more to inspire future generations.”
The appeal marks the end of a project, carried out in partnership with HSBC, which funded free educational visits for schools with a high proportion of families on lower incomes.
Over 6 years the Inspiring Generations project has helped 7,224 children in the Washington area to learn about nature. Alongside providing free visits for schools, the Inspiring Generations project has supported research and development in the field of outdoor learning, so that WWT and other charities can be more effective in inspiring young people.
Any schools that visited for free during the Inspiring Generations project are still eligible for discounted learning visits.
Anyone whose child is interested in speaking to WWT about their experience should email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0191 419 5933.